Golfing legend Michael descends from Ngati Ruanui iwi on his father's side, Nga Rauru iwi on his mother's, with a smattering of Scottish heritage from his great, great, great grandfather, who emigrated from Scotland in 1840.
When Michael was 5 years old, his family (father Tom, mother Maria and sister Michelle) moved to Titahi Bay.
Michael completed all his schooling in the Bay area. After trying his hand at rugby, software, squash and tennis, he began to caddie for his Dad (who played off a single figure handicap at Titahi Golf Club). Michael joined the golf club himself at age 10 - and had a handicap of 11 by age 12.
Within four years he had broken the Titahi Bay course record. From age 16, he represented Wellington in junior golf teams, and played for the national New Zealand amateur golf teams from age 18. During these years (1988 - 93) he represented New Zealand in many countries - and was a member of the first New Zealand team to win the Eisenhower Trophy (1992) and became the first Kiwi to win the Australian amateur championship (1992) - and made many sacrifices in order to practise hard and improve his game.
Michael turned professional in January 1993 and in only his fifth start he won the Canon Challenge on the Australasian Tour. From then on, he won or placed highly in many tournaments and championships, confirming his place as a major player.
Michael's natural talent and steely determination, steadied by the support of his family, meant that even in darker times, he never lost his resolve to be the best golfer he could be. While the US Open victory is undoubtedly the high point in his professional career so far, Michael is looking forward to the challenge of building on this success which makes for an exciting future for this highly respected and amiable Titahi Bay star.
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