NZ WOMEN’S STROKE PLAY: KATSU IN CONTROL AT HASTINGS

22/03/2014

It is highly likely that a Japanese golfer will win the New Zealand Stroke Play title for the first time in more than 100 years.

Minami Katsu, who began the third round with a two shot lead, carded a brilliant six-under par 68 in the cool conditions at the Hastings Golf Club today to claim a six shot lead over compatriot Haruka Morita (72).

Former NZ Amateur Champion Munchin Keh (73) is the leading Kiwi contender, seven shots back, but in reality the local players, with Chantelle Cassidy and Lita Guo eight shots back, are out of reach of the runaway leader.

Katsu was happy with her bogey-free round at Bridge Par that saw her gain huge distance on the field.

“My putter was very good,” said the 15-year-old through a translator.

“I was hitting it close and making a lot of putts. No bogeys today so that is why I am more satisfied with this score.”

The Japanese team (three men and three women) came to this country with a reputation of being quality players and the women certainly haven’t disappointed this week.

The Mellsop Cup, which dates back to 1911 and has been won by many of New Zealand’s best, has never been won by a Japanese player.

Katsu said it would be a great achievement to win on her first trip to this country.

“It would be a great honour to be the champion but I will try to focus on shot by shot tomorrow and have another good score.”

It is believed to be the first time that Japanese golfers have contested the New Zealand Stroke Play Championship. Katsu said her team has loved their time.

“I am happy about coming here with my team-mates and to have everyone play well has made the trip better.”

 

SHARE:

    OOM LEADERBOARD

    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Hillier, Daniel 147.20
    2 Kobori, Kazuma 144.73
    3 Lee, Jang Hyun 132.53
    4 Brown, Luke 128.27
    5 McLean, Matthew 109.40
    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Khoo, Caryn 170.00
    2 Dryland, Brittney 137.87
    3 Lee, Jeong Hyun 123.84
    4 Lee, Roun 100.00
    4 Lim, Carmen 100.00