Blue appeal to golfing frenzy

Rory McIlroy mania has hit the Bay of Plenty with residents digging dip into their pockets in an attempt to get their hands on a piece of golfing history.

As part of the annual Blue September campaign raising funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand, PlaceMakers Mount Maunganui is auctioning off a professionally mounted and displayed commemorative 2011 US Open flag signed by champion and golfing sensation Rory McIroy on TradeMe.

PlaceMakers area sales manager Nev Eades with the commemorative 2011 US Open flag signed by Rory McIlroy.    

PlaceMakers area sales manager Nev Eades says the item was donated by a former work colleague who now caddies on the United States PGA Tour, and is a great draw card with all proceeds going to the charity.

“It was donated by Tim Butler who caddies for Australian golfer Alistair Presnell. This is a commemorative flag, not the actual 18th hole pin flag, signed by Rory only 20 minutes after his first major tournament win.

“I think it's something that is quite unique at this end of the world.”

Blue September is the Prostate Cancer Foundation's national awareness campaign helping raise funds for Prostate Cancer Research.  One in 10 New Zealand men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.  

PlaceMakers are proud sponsors of the campaign as it aligns directly with the considerably male based building industry, says Nev.

“It relates to our business and it's fair to say 95 per cent of the people working in our industry are males. Plus many of the builders are also keen golfers.”

Until recently Rory was the current World Number One ranked golfer, retaining the title for 32 weeks before Tiger Woods reclaimed the number one ranking extending his reign to 642 weeks.

The 2011 U.S Open was Rory's first major tournament win.

The plaque on the golfing memorabilia reads; “2011 US Open Championship Pin Flag signed by Rory McIlroy 2011 US Open Champion. The youngest US Open Champion since Bobby Jones in 1923, winning with a tournament record score of 16 under par – 268 over the four day event a performance acknowledged by many as the greatest in the tournament's history.”

Although, the TradeMe auction only has 417 page views and sits at $1000 Nev expects the bidding to heat up ahead of today's 8pm deadline.  

“I think it's had a lot of hits. It has reached the reserve, but it will go nuts over the next couple of days.

The golfing memorabilia is currently on display at Tauranga Golf Club and can be viewed at


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Lest we forget, Mt Maunganui. Photo: Cherry Fowles.

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