THREE TIED AT THE TOP AT THE NEW ZEALAND STROKEPLAY

14/03/2020

Plenty of movement on the leaderboard see’s three players tied at the top at the New Zealand Me’s Strokeplay after moving day at Hastings Golf Club.

Jang Hyun Lee, Kazuma Kobori, and overnight leader Jared Edwards are all tied at 11-under for the tournament, three ahead of the next challenger in equal course record holder, Charlie Smail.

Lee was the biggest mover in round three, firing an incredible round of 65 to catapult himself into contention. After a lacklustre opening nine to be at four-under for the tournament, Lee caught fire in the back nine making seven birdies to come home in 29.

He says it was a bizarre round of golf.

“The back nine was just crazy. I made seven birdies in nine holes and to shoot 65, wow,” he says.

Lee says he’s not sure what clicked, but knows he’s going to need to do something similar tomorrow.

“Both players are going to be hard to beat tomorrow. I’ve played a lot with Jared and Kazuma hits it very straight, so I’m going to need to keep the momentum going into tomorrow to win this tournament,” Lee says.

A win tomorrow will tick a box for Lee tomorrow, and he’s excited at the doors it might open if he could get it done.

“It would be amazing. It was one of my goals at the start of the year and hopefully that would mean I get to play in next years New Zealand Open, but we will see what happens,” he explains.

Lee will be up against Kobori who has been in contention at this very event this time last year. He won the NZPGA Championship in 2019 as well and knows what it takes to compete at the highest level.

He didn’t get to achieve his goal of being bogeyless this week at Hastings Golf Club, but still has an opportunity to achieve another goal of his should he keep them off his scorecard tomorrow.

“I made a bogey today, so I was a little disappointed with myself, but I’m still tied for the lead and I’m really looking forward to making less bogey’s tomorrow,” Kobori says.

He made just the one blemish today on the 16th on route to a five-under 67 to join Lee and playing partner Edwards at the top of the leaderboard. He hasn’t had a win since his victory at the NZPGA Championship and is hoping he can get over the line again tomorrow.

“I really want to end the drought. What I’ve been doing so far this week has been working, I just need to keep the emotions in check and hopefully it’ll be enough,” he says.

His playing partner Edwards will be looking to have his say in tomorrow’s playing partners plans. The overnight leader was far from his best today but managed to scramble his way to a four-under 68.

He says his plan of enjoying golf like he did when he was 12 years old is paying dividends.

“It was a real a battle out there early on. I couldn’t seem to hit a hit a fairway or a green on the front nine but managed to make four birdies on the back to save myself a bit which was quite nice.

“Tomorrow is just another round of golf. That has been my attitude all week so I’ll do the same thing tomorrow,” Edwards says.

Play gets underway from 11am. 
 

    OOM LEADERBOARD

    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Jones, Samuel 104.20
    2 Lee, Jang Hyun 75.20
    3 Zheng, Jimmy 66.36
    4 Bai, Joshua 66.10
    5 Ford, Jayden 59.54
    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Chung, Darae 195.10
    2 Son, Yeonsoo 82.64
    3 Xu, Fiona 70.20
    4 Im, Amy 69.80
    5 Raj, Tara 68.85