NZ STROKE PLAY: JONES COMES OF AGE AT PARAPARAUMU BEACH

24/03/2013

North Harbour amateur Cameron Jones has followed the lead of his famous iGolf team mates by winning the New Zealand Stroke Play Championship in fine fashion on a dramatic day at the Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club.

 

 

The 19-year-old from the Muriwai Golf, who was one of four players in a share of the lead on four under par alongside Malcolm Wells (Fielding), Nick Voke (Manukau) and Thomas Brockelsby (Hamilton), held his nerve superbly to card a four under par 67 and claim his first national title by two shots from Voke who eagled the last for a 69. 

 

It was a coming of age performance from Jones who delivered the tournament winning stretch on the back nine – which included six birdies in eight holes in the northerly wind - to put the title beyond reach of the chasers.

 

Jones, with his father Glenn as his caddy, sealed his maiden senior national title in incredible fashion with a six under par 30 coming home.

 

“It feels really good to finally get across the line after many years playing these national events and finished second a lot so to finally win is awesome,” said Jones, who was met my about of his 20 mates on the 18thgreen following his win.

 

He said the key to his win was a swing thought he had heading into the turn.

 

“It started on the seventh. I remember something about my swing. I hadn’t been hitting it too good and then I found something and it started to click. I holed a lot of putts as well. I surprised myself as well with some of those putts.

They had quite a bit of break on them some of those so I was happy to see them keeping dropping.

 

“Having the four shots walking down the last was a good thing. Obviously it is never over until it is over. I played it how I wanted to – apart from pulling that second shot – but I got it done.”

 

It didn’t always look likely though. Little-known Bay of Plenty golfer Hayden Beard, who began the day tied eighth, jumped into contention. When Beard made back to back birdies on 10 and 11 and then eagle on 12 he had the

momentum and was making a strong challenge for the title. He faded to sign for a 67 and claimed third place.

 

Jones followed in the footsteps of iGolf team-mates New Zealand No.1 professional Michael Hendry and World No.1 amateur Lydia Ko who have impressed with wins already in 2013.

 

“It will be good to get back and share it with them too. [Coach] Craig [Dixon] has been a massive help the past few years and I give him a lot of credit for this win.”

 

He fulfills his long heralded potential that saw him a recipient of the Michael Campbell Scholarship in 2010, alongside Vaughan McCall and Keelan Kilpatrick.    

 

While Jones was smiling many other players will rue today as a missed opportunity. Manawatu veteran Wells, who was looking to become one of the oldest winner’s in the tournament’s history, got off to a disastrous start when he

quintuple bogey eight on the notorious par three fifth to derail his hopes.

 

Former Wellington rep Brockelsby also got off to a horror start as he was six over through the opening six holes. From that point on the Jones birdie onslaught was relentless.

 

The win has been a long time in the making after many close misses.  His only win of note before today came at the South Island Under 19 championship. He follows the likes of Tim Wilkinson, Grant Moorhead, Marcus Wheelhouse Brad Shilton, and more recently Brad Kendall and Ryan Fox.

 

“I haven’t got to look at that list yet but I will tonight. I know that Brad Kendall is on there and I wanted to get my name next to his. It means a lot. I will probably realize tomorrow night and look at the names and realise how special today was.”

 

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.

 

 

    OOM LEADERBOARD

    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Clarke, Dale 96.00
    2 Curnow, Brent 48.00
    2 Millington, Douglas 48.00
    4 Cormack, Matthew 25.92
    4 Wilson, Mike 25.92

    Order of Merit data is currently unavailable please check back later