It was a case of the expected and the unexpected on the opening day of strokeplay at the Lion Foundation New Zealand Amateur Golf Championships in Hawkes Bay today.

Internationals Ben Wallace (Auckland) and Mathew Perry (Hamilton) started their campaigns strongly with rounds of five-under 67 in testing and unusually windy conditions at Hastings Golf Club to lead the men’s strokeplay.


However a relatively unknown, Caryn Khoo from Auckland, has the surprise lead in the women’s strokeplay after firing the only round under par with a three-under 70 at nearby Napier Golf Club.

The New Zealand golfing scene has been used to expecting red figures from a Korean-born golfer from Pakuranga Golf Club, but that has come from Cecilia Cho, not Khoo, the surprise leader after the first round of the women’s strokeplay.

She was the only player with a sub-par round, grabbing a three shot lead after her three-under par 70, secured before the winds got up at Napier Golf Club.

Northland international Caroline Bon shares second place on even par 73 with visiting Philippines player Lovelynn Mary Guioguio, who both shared the foursomes honours yesterday.

Zoe Brake is a shot back with the leading local Kate Chadwick and North Shore’s Ye Song Park. Brake has continued her excellent recent form, and has put herself in the reckoning to defend the New Zealand strokeplay title she won in Auckland last year.

Defending national amateur champion Cho is in a share of 10th place on three-over 76, six shots from the leader.

However, amateur runner-up and national representative Lydia Ko (Gulf Harbour) will have some work ahead of her after shooting a six over 79 in today’s first round to be in a share of 24th place.

The second round is tomorrow with two rounds on Friday to determine the strokeplay champion and leading 32 players to move on to the matchplay phase.

Wallace and Perry defied the windy conditions to fire five-under 67s today to take a two shot lead at Bridge Pa.

Wallace fired seven birdies in his opening 12 holes before giving two shots back near the end of his round.

“It’s a very good start. I have not been hitting it my best or feeling the most comfortable over the ball in the last few weeks, so it was good to put it together.

“We got a bit lucky with the winds. It was gusty early but it died down a bit in the middle of the round which provided a few opportunities to attack a few of the pins and then it picked up again in the afternoon.

“The course is definitely playing a bit longer at this time of year than when we used to play it in January. But I hit the ball well so the length did not prove an issue.

“I made a couple of good putts early on to get me going and started to hit it closer from there.”

Perry turned at four-under par and mixed two birdies with one dropped shot coming home.

They lead by two shots from a trip of players on three-under 69 including Ben Taylor (Omokoroa), Gary-John Hill (Titirangi) and Brad Kendall (Mt Maunganui).

Wellington’s Aaron Leech is a shot back on 70 with Tyler Hodge (Levin) with a further shot back to Blair Riordan (Takaka) and Pieter Zwart.

The stars backed off a bit on the opening day with the gusting winds with Ryan Fox (Auckland) and defending champion Matt Jager (Australia) managing a one-over 73 and Ben Campbell (Masterton) a 72.

Leading scores after round 1 men, Hastings GC, par 72:

67 Mathew Perry (Hamilton), Ben Wallace (Royal Auckland).

69 Ben Taylor (Omokoroa), Gary-John Hill (Titirangi), Brad Kendall (Mt Maunganui).

70 Aaron Leech (Royal Wellington), Tyler Hodge (Levin)

71 Blair Riordan (Takaka), Pieter Zwart (Waipukurau).

72 Sam Howe (Opotiki), Ben Campberll (Masterton), Fraser Wilkin (Royal Auckland), Cameron Jones (North Shore), Victor Janin (Rotorua), Owen Burgess (Russley), Nick Gillespie (Royal Wellington), Kaylin Huwyler (Tawhero), Tane Robson (Cambridge)

Leading scores after round 1 women, Napier GC, par 73:

70 Caryn Khoo (Pakuranga)

73 Caroline Bon (Northland), Lovelynn Mary Guioguio (Philippines).

74 Kate Chadwick (Napier), Zoe Brake (Whakatane), Ye Song Park (North Shore)

75 Jaime McIvor (Maraenui), Kristin Farrell (Titirangi), Faye Nickson (Peninsula)

76 Chantelle Cassidy (Tokoroa), Cecilia Cho (Pakuranga), Emily Eng (Remuera)




    1 Lee, Jang Hyun 124.00
    2 Jones, Samuel 80.25
    3 Kobori, Kazuma 70.00
    4 Smail, Charlie 66.83
    5 Hydes, James 62.00
    1 Chung, Darae 100.13
    2 Son, Yeonsoo 86.85
    3 Kang, Sumin 69.60
    4 Kobori, Momoka 66.67
    5 Im, Amy 60.64