Julianne Alvarez wins the Cobra Puma New Zealand Women's Amateur

Any arguments about who the best female amateur golfer in the country was were put to rest at the Titirangi Golf Club, as Julianne Alvarez claimed the New Zealand Amateur Championship to go alongside the New Zealand Stroke Play title she won early this year.


Alvarez who also won the New Zealand Amateur title in 2013 defeated sixteen year old Alanna Campbell in a tense 36 hole final that went the distance at the Titirangi Golf Club today.

Alvarez signalled her intentions early with a birdie on the 1st hole, before the pair matched each with pars before Alvarez had a second birdie at the 6th to extend her lead. A bogey by Campbell on the 11th saw Alvarez jump out to a three hole lead as the pressure mounted on the youthful Campbell.

Campbell who qualified as the number one seed has shown her fighting qualities all week and mounted a strong comeback to square the match with a birdie on the 17th. While she followed that with a soft bogey on the 18th to be only one down over lunch was a satisfying result.

Campbell quickly put that error on the 18th to rest over lunch and started strongly with a birdie on the 1st in the afternoon. An Alvarez bogey on the 2nd hole handed Campbell the lead for the first time in the match.

From there the contest turned into a topsy turvy affair with Alvarez claiming the lead back on the 5th only to lose the following two holes to see Campbell with her nose in front again. Alvarez then birdied the 8th and Campbell bogeyed the 9th to see Alvarez take the lead back and things settle down.

The pair halved the following seven holes before the decisive moment of the final. With the players side by side on the 15th fairway Alvarez hit her approach to a foot, a feat that Campbell was unable to match. Alvarez was now two up and had opportunity to close things out on the 17th, however her eagle putt was too aggressive and she three putted for a par, while Campbell made a fine birdie, pitching to six feet from the rough and nailing the putt to send the match down the last.

With Alvarez plugged in the greenside bunker and Campbell faced with a far simpler up and down the match looked destined for extra holes. In the circumstances and with the lie, Alvarez’s bunker shot to ten feet was outstanding, but the clutch par putt she made was even better and put the exclamation mark on what has been a wonderful few weeks of golf for her.

On the number one ranking Alvarez said “It’s something I’ve always aimed for I’ve been working at it for a long time and things are coming into fruition. It sits well with me, it’s where I want to be, it feels good.

“This win means a lot because to get my name on the trophy again is pretty special, and to have both trophies in the cabinet” she added.

“Match Play is exciting you can be more creative and aggressive but I just stuck to my game plan. I have been fortunate to be hitting it really well which is a great advantage around Titirangi, so I used that to my advantage.

On the close finish Alvarez was nervous down the stretch. “I guess I had nerves, I got excited on my putt on the 17th and then was a bit tight playing the 18th, but I just said stay focused and I managed to get it done. With the plugged lie the bunker shot was good, but when the putt went in, that was way better.”

Alvarez’s coach Kevin Smith and home club Manor Park will have double reason to celebrate tonight as earlier in the day sixteen year old Daniel Hiller who is also coached by Smith and a member of the Manor Park Golf Club won the men’s final 6&5.

Photo Caption : Julianne Alvarez wins the New Zealand Women’s Amateur Championship

Final Result : Julianne Alvarez def Alanna Campbell 1up



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