Tasman amateur Ryan Chisnall has completed a fine come-from-behind victory on an exciting final day at the John Jones Steel Harewood Open today in Christchurch.

The 20-year-old from the Greenacres Golf Club, who began the day five shots back from overnight leader Daniel Pearce, secured his first Charles Tour win when he carded a four-over par 68 to win by one shot from Manawatu amateur Lachie McDonald (67) and Wellington professional Harry Bateman (68).


Chisnall, the leading amateur at the Carrus Open in September, was “stoked” to claim the biggest win of his young career at the $40,000 event.

“It means a huge amount,” he said afterwards. “It is obviously my biggest win. The biggest thing for me was putting myself in situations where I was under the pump. I did it at Tauranga and I wanted to do it again here.”

Chisnall became only the sixth amateur to win on the Charles Tour following Josh Geary, Troy Ropiha, Ben Campbell, Joshua Munn (2) and Fraser Wilkin in the history of the series that dates back to 2006.

He is the second amateur to win the Harewood title after Manawatu golfer Munn won the inaugural event wire-to-wire in 2012.

Chisnall, the South Island Stroke Play Champion, got off to the perfect start on the par five first when he holed his third shot from the rough at 108m away.

“I had a mint lie, I could see the flag in there and I hit a little pitching wedge. I hit it good, I didn’t see it go in but it was a bonus to start the day for sure.”

It was just the catalyst that Chisnall needed to run down Pearce. He summed up the early switch in momentum.

“I hadn’t really been in this situation before, trying to chase someone down, the biggest thing for me was getting off to a good start which I managed to do and I put Pearcey under a bit of pressure. He struggled a wee bit early on,” he said.

“Then the closer you get, the harder it is for him and easier it is for you, that worked out today for me.”

Ashburton professional Pearce began the day with a four shot lead but faded quickly when he made four bogeys to close out the front nine on his way to carding a three-over par 75 to finish in fourth place on six-under par.

To rub salt into the wound, Pearce bogeyed his final hole to mean that Bateman would claim the winner’s cheque of $7,200 for finishing as the leading professional.

Chisnall, a Tier Two Member of the National Academy, hoped his win was the start of bigger things to come but he is in no rush.

“I am in no hurry to turn pro,” said the former New Zealand Amateur runner-up. “I still have a lot to do in amateur golf to feel like I am worthy of turning pro and play well enough to make money.”

Chisnall leaves for Argentina this Friday to compete at the Juan Carlos event. He believes that this result will give him huge confidence to compete internationally.

“I want to get overseas and get some international results behind me. I have played well in New Zealand and it is just a matter of doing that in some bigger events.”

Hawkes Bay professional Doug Holloway once again came home strong during the final round. The five-time Charles Tour winner matched the course record of Fraser Wilkin when he signed for an eight-under par 64. But the main talking point was the performance of Chisnall.

He showed great composure to hold off Bateman and McDonald on the 18th hole with a well made par to finish on eight-under par. He said the experience at the Carrus Open helped him a huge amount.

“To win top amateur [in Tauranga], I was stoked with that. I didn’t think the field was a strong this week and the goal for the week was to get into contention and play under pressure and see how I got on.”

Chisnall got on pretty well and walked off the 18th making a name for himself as a player on the rise.



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