Wellington No.1 Julianne Alvarez has enjoyed the biggest win of her young golfing career with a come-from-behind win at the John Jones Steel Harewood Open.


The New Zealand rep carded a four under par 68 in the icy conditions to overcome six-time Charles Tour winner Emily Perry (78) and Sarah Bradley (75) to secure a breakthrough win on The Charles Tour.


The win is Alvarez’s first national title and it has been a long time in the making.


“I am really stoked,” said the 16-year-old from the Manor Park Golf Club.


“I wasn’t expecting it with my placing and with how well Emily was playing. To come out with the win today was really good and is really great for my confidence.”


Alvarez, who had rounds of 76, 71, 73 and 68 for an even par total, said the wet and windy conditions this morning was a turning point in her mentality.


“I woke up this morning and said ‘You have got to be kidding me.’ I thought ‘just go out and play and give all your putts a go. That is what really helped me today. I was hitting for the pins and keeping it simple because that is ultimately what you have to do. Get the ball in the hole.


The Kiwi-born, with Filipino ancestry, was three under par through the front nine to take the ascendancy in the event.  


Alvarez came close to winning the national Age Group championship at Mangawhai earlier this year when she finished runner-up to her Wellington team-mate Te Rongopai Clay.


She was also very unfortunate to be knocked out of the Kapi Tareha tournament in Napier literally when she was leading the event and was struck in the head by a stray golf ball.


“It feels great to finally win. I don’t know really know what to feel. I have had a really tough year. I have come close on a couple of times to getting a title but not quite getting there but to win today in front of a stellar field was really a great achievement.


“It is good for me because it breaks the barrier that I have always had up. It is great for me mentally to know that I am good enough. I can do it. I will take that attitude into new tournaments and take huge confidence from this.


“I have been spending a lot of time with my mental coach Vicki Aitken and I have improved a lot in that area. Last year I was playing to get into the national team and this year I have been playing to staying in it. You can’t play scared though and I have been trying to shift that focus. 


The win has been worth the wait for the likeable Alvarez who is set for a big future in the game.



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