1997 to 2001
Richard was a talented all-round sportsman throughout his years here and he has become the most successful male golfer to leave this school.
While at school he gained three bursary subjects, played for the 1st XI cricket team for three years, was a member of the senior boys’ volleyball team, played rugby for two years, was the No 1 player in the golf team for five years and was the Tui House leader in his 7th Form year.
On leaving school Richard gained a Certificate in Sport Studies from Waikato Institute of Technology in 2004 and in 2006 graduated with a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science degree. While studying he worked part-time at the Prodrive Driving Range in Hamilton and gained fulltime employment there whilst completing the NZPGA traineeship program for the last three years. Richard is now a fully qualified NZPGA member which enables him to teach golf and play in professional tournaments. The last two years Richard received a scholarship as Trainee of the Year.
As an amateur Richard has represented New Zealand in many amateur tournaments around the world including Australia, America, Singapore, Malaysia, Greece, Italy, Turkey as well as NZ. His highest placing was 5th in the Saujana Open in Malaysia. All these tournaments comprised of top amateur players from around the world.
Richard has a fantastic list of achievements starting from school days when the college team participated in the NZ Secondary Schools tournament.
Listed below are a few of his achievements from 2001 to 2011:
• National Elite coaching School
• Waikato Under 19 Interprovincial winning team
• Member of Waikato Senior Men’s Team 2002-2008 (2007 Winners, Captain)
• Matamata Golf Club Champion
• Waikato Champion of Champions
• Wintec Sportsperson of the Year
• Matamata Piako District Sportsman of the Year
• Waikato Institute Sportman of the Year
• Prime Ministers Scholarship (2 years)
• Sir Bob Charles Scholarship 2008
• NZGPA Trainee of the Year 2009/10.
• Winner of Whangamata Classic, Bay of Plenty Open, Lawmaster Classic
• Two holes in one
Now that Richard has graduated as a full member of the NZPGA he is about to start a professional playing career beginning with tournaments in NZ, Pacific Islands and Australia. After a year he is planning on going to the Australian qualifying school in December 2012. Richard is hoping to qualify as a member of the Australian PGA and this will enable him to compete in bigger events in Australia and Asia. His ultimate goal to be playing on the European Tour by 2017. Of course he still needs money so will continue to work part-time at Prodrive in Hamilton to help cover expenses.
Richard has just last evening (8 Dec 2011) been named as the Trainee of the Year for the third year in succession. What an honour!