BIG NAMES ADVANCE TO QUARTERFINALS AT NEW ZEALAND AMATEUR

23/10/2020

A number of big names have progressed while others have fallen during the first day of matches at the New Zealand Amateur at Poverty Bay Golf Club.

Women’s number one qualifier Momoka Kobori was faced with the daunting task of coming up against the 16th seed Darae Chung in her opening match this morning

The pair have been the in-form female players in the country of late and went head-to-head in a match that didn’t disappoint. Kobori came out firing claiming two early holes to be a couple up after the fifth.

Chung managed to get one back and Kobori would make the turn at 1up.

Kobori then hit her straps and won four more holes to take the match 5&4. She says she’s pleased to get through today.

“I didn’t really know what to expect coming into today because I knew that she didn’t have a great couple of strokeplay rounds but she’s very capable of shooting good numbers. When I was out there, I just tried to do what I could and play my own game and try and make as many birdies as I could,” she says.

Kobori admitted she was surprised to have to face Chung in the opening round of the matchplay this morning, as she would normally expect to meet someone of Chung’s ability in the latter rounds.

“I must admit I was quite nervous coming into today and for the first few holes out there. She’s not an opponent that I expected or preferred to have in the first round of the matchplay, but I managed to control the emotions and control my game so I’m happy.

“I’m really pleased to get through today. I’m just going to do the same thing tomorrow and do what I can. Everyone in this draw will be hard to beat when they’re playing well, so I just need to stay patient play my own game,” Kobori explains.

Her younger brother Kazuma came out and caddied for her midway through the round and helped get her across the line. Kazuma lost to Joshua Bai 4&2 this morning, and although Momoka is gutted her brother lost, she’s glad he’s on the bag.

“As of now Kazuma will be on bag duties. He did a decent job out there this afternoon and I’m thankful for that; he can stay on,” she laughs.

In the opening round of the men’s matches, Kerry Mountcastle also had a tough ask coming up against the defending champion Samuel Jones in the round of 32 this morning.

Jones got off to a quick start being 2up through the opening nine holes. However, this would kick Mountcastle into gear.

He staged an amazing comeback and found himself 2up with two holes to play. The defending champion finished with a par and a clutch birdie up the 18th to force extra holes.

The pair both birdied the 19th and a par on the 20th was good enough for Mountcastle to advance to the top 16 where he’d face Jonny McKay.

He’d continue the morning’s form into the afternoon round to beat McKay 3&2.

Mountcastle says he’s pleased with his days work.

“It feels good to get a couple of wins today. I’m pretty tired, I’ve had to play some pretty good golf to get past Sam and Jonny. It was a real battle, especially toward the end this morning. I’m looking forward to getting some rest before tomorrow,” he says.

Like Kobori, he was naturally a little nervous for his opening match being drawn against the defending champion early in the tournament.

He says the key to his golf today was focusing on his own game.

“I was pretty nervous heading into this morning’s match against Sam knowing that I needed to play well. He came out firing and I just made sure I kept playing my game and, in the end, it was good enough to get there on the 20th. The heart rate was racing.

“I got off to a decent start this afternoon and was a couple up early. I managed to get it to 3up the lost a ball and a couple of holes but regrouped nicely and managed to hold on,” Mountcastle explains.

He’s now faced with another former champion in the quarterfinals in Charlie Smail.

In a replay of the 2018 New Zealand Amateur final, Mountcastle is looking to avenge his 5&4 loss in the 36-hole final over 18-holes tomorrow.

He says there is no lack of motivation heading into Saturday.

“You can’t not want to beat someone who has already beaten you, I hate losing so I’m definitely looking for some revenge.”

Play gets underway from 7.30am tomorrow morning.

 

    OOM LEADERBOARD

    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Hydes, James 156.07
    2 Kobori, Kazuma 123.61
    3 Thompson, Mako 110.28
    4 Jones, Samuel 93.31
    5 Zheng, Jimmy 86.98
    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Chung, Darae 218.92
    2 Kobori, Momoka 159.50
    3 Xu, Fiona 128.24
    4 Son, Yeonsoo 96.58
    5 Lu, Vivian 91.25