Chantelle Cassidy’s overwhelming feeling, when she sank the final birdie putt today at the Paraparaumu Beach Golf to win the New Zealand Stroke Play, was one of relief.


The 20-year-old from the Putaruru Golf Club carded an even par 74 in the blustery conditions to win her first national title by three shots from North Harbour rep Lita Guo, who held the lead after nine holes in the final round only to fade with a two over par 76.


Wellington rep Te Rongopai Clay had a six over par 80 to finish on a 10 over par total in third place and Auckland’s Brittney Dryland (79) claimed fourth.


This was Cassidy’s moment. She was superb on the back nine and made a clutch birdie on the par five 12thto regain the ascendancy and from there she never looked back. A birdie on the par 5 17thmade the walk down 18thfairway much more enjoyable. The former New Zealand rep sealed the win at the last with a fine approach shot to within 5m of the hole from 165m.


She two-putted for birdie to earn the biggest win of her young golf career. 


“It just feels really good to win a tournament,” said Cassidy. “It means a huge amount to get over the line. I have been to a lot of tournaments around New Zealand and to win the New Zealand Stroke Play is really special for me. I am really relieved.”


Cassidy said the key to winning at the world-class links of Paraparaumu was keeping the ball in play. 


“I just played percentage golf. I just hit fairways and greens and make as many pars as possible – birdies were a bonus – but making pars out there today was pretty tough.”


She felt like the win was even sweeter after the tough times she endured in 2012. 


“After the hard year I had last year this is even better. It was nice to be able to prove to some people that I can actually play golf. We have the North Island Stroke Play and the NZ Amateur coming up so  hopefully I can carry this form on at those tournaments and back up from today.”


Cassidy finished third in the New Zealand Stroke Play behind Lydia Ko and Champion Emily Perry. She is pleased to add her name to the Mellsop Cup and follow in the footsteps of many NZ Golf legends like Ko, Lynnette Brooky, Miss Oliver Kay and Mrs. Guy Williams. 


“It is amazing to follow Lydia. She has done so much for New Zealand Golf and put us on the map again. It is really cool to follow all of the big names of New Zealand Golf who have won this trophy.  It is an honour.


“It hasn’t really hit me that I have won this tournament. I am sure it will in a few days. This is a big deal.”


NZ Men’s Stroke Play story to follow…


The next tournaments on the NZ Golf Calendar are the North Island Stroke Play at the Poverty Bay Golf Club from April 4 – 7, the Taranaki Energy Open on the Charles Tour from April 11 -14 and the New Zealand Amateur at the Manawatu Golf Club from April 24 – 28.




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