Munn's big break in Japan

MIXED START: Manawatu's Josh Munn fired an even-par round of 72 as part of the NZ team on the opening day of the Eisenhower Trophy in Japan.
MIXED START: Manawatu's Josh Munn fired an even-par round of 72 as part of the NZ team on the opening day of the Eisenhower Trophy in Japan.

The big news for Manawatu golfer Josh Munn this week is that he has been invited to play in the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open in Japan.

That falls a week after he plays in the New Zealand Eisenhower Trophy team at the world teams event in Japan in September.

The invitation to the Panasonic, a professional event for Japan and Asian tour players, came though NZ Golf after Munn won the New Zealand Amateur Championships at Nelson in April.

He is still campaigning in the big amateur tournaments in the United States.

At one of the biggest, The Western Amateur in Chicago, Munn was tied for third with four other players at the halfway mark at the Beverley Country Clubyesterday.

After his opening round, Munn had been tied for fourth with a 4-under 67 and then added a 69 to be six under, four shots off the lead.

Munn spent a week at the Australia high-performance camp in the US and said he found it invigorating, on a larger scale to anything he had experienced and with many top coaches on hand. He even got to wear a laser jacket.

NZ Golf posed these questions to Munn in the wake of being named in the Eisenhower team.

What does it mean?

"It means a lot to me as it's the biggest stage for amateur team golf, and to be selected and represent New Zealand is such an awesome achievement."

What is it like to follow the likes of Campbell, Tataurangi, Charles as an Eisenhower player?

"It shows that each of the team members are on the right path for their golf, and just thinking of some of the guys who have represented New Zealand at the Eisenhower who are very successful touring pros and major champions."

How has your buildup been?

"About two months ago I won the New Zealand Amateur and to date I have been travelling around Europe and America playing tournaments.

"I've played at St Andrews, Royal Portrush, in England, South Carolina, Tennessee, and in Chicago where I had an eighth placing in the Southern Amateur."

What are you looking forward to in Japan?

"The sushi. Ha ha. The competition; playing the best golfers around the world; and to experience the culture of another country.

"It's going to be a great week."

What are your expectations in terms of performance?

"To win. That's the goal when we go to every event; that's why we play sport - to win."

What do you know about the courses and conditions?

"I'm actually unsure at the moment. When I finish my tournaments in America I will start doing my research for the event. But from memory the courses are tight off the tee and nice conditions, so not too hot, not too cold."

Did contending at the Ten Nations in South Africa (finishing second) give you guys confidence?

"Yes, huge confidence. It shows that we can compete in that sort of format and level."

Manawatu Standard