NEW ZEALAND STROKEPLAY TITLES WIDE OPEN

11/03/2020

The New Zealand Strokeplay gets underway at Hastings Golf Club tomorrow with plenty of names favourites to put their name on the trophy come Sunday afternoon.

Of those favourites, Jang Hyun Lee appears to the form player of the bunch, reaching the final of the Brian Green Property Group NZ Super 6’s on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour just last week. He lost to Daniel Hillier in a closely fought final but beat big names such as Nick Voke and Tae Koh to get to the big dance.

Lee was a key member of the Junior President’s Cup side last year and finished in a tie for fifth at last year’s New Zealand Strokeplay Championship. He also won the Player of the Tournament honours at the New Zealand Men’s Interprovincials at this very course in December last year.

He says he’s excited to get the week underway.

“I’m really looking to getting started here at the New Zealand Strokeplay tomorrow. The course is looking great.

“My goal was to win last week and to beat all of the professionals. Unfortunately I lost in the final, but I’m looking to go one better this week,” Lee says.

Kazuma Kobori will also look to add his name to some more history this week. He’s also in some dangerous form after playing at the Riversdale Cup last week. He missed out on a playoff by a shot, finishing at nine-under par for the tournament.

Kobori is no stranger to performing when the pressure is truly on, winning the NZPGA Championship by four shots last year. He also went head-to-head last year’s champion Luke Brown at Christchurch Golf Club, rolling in a 25-foot putt for birdie before Brown rolled in an eagle putt to seal the victory.

He hopes he can go one better this year.

“I played really solid last week and aside from a few minor errors, my game is feeling really good. Hopefully I can continue the form here at Hastings Golf Club.

“It’d be great to get some revenge for last year. Thankfully Luke [Brown] isn’t playing this week but I’m looking forward to getting started and seeing if I can feature on the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon,” laughs Kobori.

Other names that will look to make their names heard this week is current New Zealand Amateur champion Sam Jones. He’ll look to be the first person to add his name to both trophies since Vaughan McCall achieved the rare feat in 2012.

Jared Edwards is also in some fine form, and Mako Thompson will carry the hopes of all the locals.

Meanwhile Carmen Lim will also look to add her name in the history books by adding her name to the New Zealand Women’s Strokeplay title twice; a feat achieved by Chantelle Cassidy in the last decade.

However, this isn’t something the 2019 champion is allowing her to think about.

“I’m trying not to think about defending my title. This is a new week and I’m focusing on what I need to do and hitting one shot at a time.

“It would be pretty awesome to get my name on the trophy again, but it’s not going to be something I think about this week,” Lim says.

She’ll have stiff competition in 13-year-old Jeong Hyun Lee who impressed at last week’s Brian Green Property Group NZ Super 6’s.

She finished in a share of fifth during the strokeplay portion of the event and got knocked out in round two. Lee will look to be a force near the top of the leaderboard once again this week.

Darae Chung and Fiona Xu have also been in some formidable form in the past six-months, both capturing their first Jennian Homes Charles Tour events proving they’re not afraid of the big stage.

Play gets underway tomorrow from 7.35am.

 

    OOM LEADERBOARD

    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Lee, Jang Hyun 165.33
    2 Smail, Charlie 82.67
    3 Jones, Samuel 82.00
    4 Kobori, Kazuma 66.67
    4 Zheng, Jimmy 66.67
    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Son, Yeonsoo 117.08
    2 Kang, Sumin 104.40
    3 Chung, Darae 100.00
    4 Im, Amy 61.07
    5 Ju, Angela 60.00