XU WINS FIRST NATIONAL TITLE AT 118TH NEW ZEALAND AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

25/10/2020

Fiona Xu has won the biggest title of her young career at the 118th New Zealand Amateur Championship held at Poverty Bay Golf Club.

She’s beaten Manawatu Wanganui’s Tara Raj 3&1 in the 36-hole to etch her name alongside some of the greats in New Zealand golfing history.

Xu last won an event in December last year at the Christies Floorings Mount Open and has battled with her form ever since.

She had no such issues today coming out on top in a tight tussle with Raj.

Xu says it’s great to be back.

“It feels really good. I haven’t had a win in a long time now so it’s great to be back.

“I wasn’t playing very well after we went into lockdown and I missed a cut and placed second to last at The Carrus Open in Tauranga. I’m glad I’ve found my game again and have come out on top at this tournament,” she says.

Xu and Raj traded blows all morning and found they found themselves all locked up going into lunch.

She’d then win the 19th with a birdie to get back to 1up over Raj and kick off her second half in style. However, Raj then started her comeback winning two holes in a row at the 23rd and 24th holes to get her nose in front for the first time in the match.

Xu kept her cool and won the 25th and 26th holes to move back to 1up with nine-holes to play.

She seemingly put the lead out of touching distance with back-to-back wins at the 29th and 30th holes to move to 3up with six holes to play.

Raj mounted a late comeback with birdies at the 31st and 32nd and the difference was just one.

Xu made an extraordinary birdie on the 33rd hitting her second to within gimmie range to make the difference two.

She won the 35th to win her maiden New Zealand Amateur Championship and says it’s a special feeling to write her name in the history books.

“It means a lot. I get to put my name on that historical trophy and when people look at it in the future, they’ll see my name their alongside some of the greats of our sport in New Zealand.

“I just told myself to play the best I could on this great golf course and to relax and enjoy every moment of it,” she says.

She now turns her attention to the New Zealand Women’s Interprovincials in late Novemeber.

 

    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