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4 March 2018

Scintillating final round earns Daniel Nisbet New Zealand Open title

Australia’s Daniel Nisbet has produced a stunning final round of nine-under par (62) to become the 99th ISPS Handa New Zealand Open champion, while Nick Voke finished leading Kiwi and Daniel Hillier was the low amateur.

Starting the day five shots behind the unflappable Terry Pilkadaris, who didn’t make a single bogey at Millbrook this week, Nisbet made four late birdies in a row from holes 14-17 to secure his second professional victory at the Millbrook Resort this afternoon.

Along with the Brodie Breeze Trophy, Nisbet also set a new tournament record of 27-under for the four championship rounds which was previously held by Kel Nagle since 1964.

“I knew Terry was playing well yesterday and thought he would continue to play well. I was surprised when I saw we were almost level. When I holed the putt for eagle on 10 I saw the board on 11 and then I held a good putt on 11 as well,” said Nisbet.

“I knew it was tight but I thought I would need a really good finish.

“I thought I would have to hole that par putt on the 18th to win and make him birdie. I didn’t know he had parred 17. I am happy now that I went for birdie on 17. It was a bit of relief.”

Nick Voke continued a superb week in his debut New Zealand Open to record his best professional finish of tied seventh with rounds of 66, 68, 65 and 66.

With that also comes the biggest pay cheque in his young career of $31,211 AUD which brings his combined earnings to a total of $47,835 AUD and a big step closer to securing his ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia card.

“It feels pretty special, it really does. Growing up there were the amateur events as I was going through the ranks but this is the pinnacle of our game here. This is my first time competing in Queenstown and it’s been a pretty good week,” said Voke.

Daniel Hillier’s dream week took a slight turn this morning after starting his final round with back to back bogies which swiftly took him out of title contention.

Hillier was unable to recover from here, but with earlier rounds of 69, 65 and 64 he was clearly the most impressive amateur this week and finished in a tie for 23rd to add to his already amazing amateur CV.

“Entering the week I was thinking it would be great to make the cut, and to be in the third last group on the final day was amazing,” he said.

“Just being in such great atmosphere. There are so many guys here who are renowned on tour and to be mixing it with them for four days is a real honour. Obviously to be in Queenstown, such a beautiful part of New Zealand, I was happy to create an experience here.”

Hillier will have little time to reflect on a big week, flying out to Qatar in the morning to represent Asia-Pacific against Europe in the Bonallack Trophy.

Mark Brown produced the lowest round of the day for our Kiwi contingent with a six-under, 65 to end the week in tied 11th. He did all the damage on the back nine where he produced four birdies in six holes.

After enjoying the success of the past four days, focus will quickly turn to 2019 as we prepare for the historic 100th New Zealand Open.



Henderson romps to victory at McKayson NZ Women’s Open

Canadian Brooke Henderson has made light work of the challenging conditions to run away from the field to win the Mckayson New Zealand Women’s Open by five shots.

The world number 12 claims her fifth LPGA title and second of the year with clinical rounds of 65, 70, 67 and a remarkable final round of 69 in extremely challenging conditions.

Henderson made light of the still gusty conditions to see off challenges from China’s Jing Yan (-12) and Korea’s Hee Young Park (-11).

The classy new champion closed out her victory with a sensation birdie on the 72nd hole to send the passionate golf gallery into roars of support.

“This is so amazing to get my first win outside of North America, my fifth win on the LPGA Tour, it is incredible. It is a dream come true and to do it in New Zealand – I am really excited to be here,” Henderson said.

“Brittany (her sister and caddy) and I did an extremely awesome job of adapting to those conditions. All day yesterday I was trying to overcome that one shot deficit in case the tournament got cut short. That drive and that push to keep making birdies is what got me in this position.

Hometown favourite Lydia Ko briefly pulled into contention when she eagled the par four 15th by holing her approach, however the former world number one doubled bogied the 17th and then triple bogied the final hole to drop down the leaderboard.

“I played really solid pretty much apart from the last two holes,” a philosophical Ko said. “It was a tough finish but overall my game was solid and there were a lot of positives coming from two good finishes to give me the confidence coming into this week.

“I had hoped a few more putts would have dropped but I think I am saying that almost every week. There’s always something left to improve.

“But overall the crowds here this week were really the cool aspect for me I don’t get to come home very often – but it gave me goosebumps and made me proud to play this event and have it as a LPGA event.”

The leading amateur was New Zealand-based Korean Ayean Cho who was tied for 17th on six-under par.



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    1 Hillier, Daniel 242.40
    2 Mountcastle, Kerry 190.16
    3 Koong, Kevin 131.73
    4 McLean, Matthew 119.50
    5 Lee, Jang Hyun 104.88
    1 Dryland, Brittney 214.51
    2 Jung, Miree 174.37
    3 Hung, Juliana 164.00
    4 Lu, Vivian 125.60
    5 Khoo, Caryn 102.50