Munn learns quickly about travel demons

23:00, Nov 26 2012
Josh Munn
WORLD-RANKED AMATEUR: Josh Munn battles his jetlag during the New Zealand Open at Clearwater last week.

Manawatu golfer Josh Munn has learnt the hard way that stepping off a plane and playing golf the next day while jet-lagged doesn't work.

He won't try to do that again.

Munn had been travelling for about 24 hours after two weeks in Argentina to play in the New Zealand Open at Christchurch last week.

He was too zonked to play in the Am-Am, which was to be his practice round, and when he stood over the ball at Clearwater he felt giddy.

"I got a bit wrecked on the way back from Argentina," he said.

Munn had rounds of 85 and 75 to miss the open cut by a lot. "I thought I was a bit tougher than I was. I've never had a bad case of jet lag before; it was a real weird experience."


He had had a massive two weeks in Buenos Aires where the New Zealand team ran second in the Juan Carlos tournament and Munn was third individual (67 71 73 72).

"I had a good chance to win the individual but the putts weren't dropping."

The highlight, though, was being the 28th seed and runner-up in the Argentine Amateur to a Spaniard, Antoni Ferrer Mercant, among many of the world's best 80 amateurs.

Munn said it bettered winning his two Charles Tour events. Kiwi team-mate Jordan Bakermans caddied for him in the final. "I was proud of myself to get to the final; I didn't expect that. We played 36 holes a day for the last four days."

With only two hours sleep before flying out, no wonder he bombed at Clearwater.

He struck the wrong side of the draw with the foul winds and only one player made the cut from that side. "It was unreal," Munn said. "There's no trees, everything's so exposed to the conditions."

Christchurch people told him that if it was windy in the city, it could be three times worse at Clearwater.

So after a few days off and working in the family's pizza shop in Feilding to help his mother and to earn some money, Munn will be off with the Manawatu-Wanganui team to the national interprovincial at Balmacewan, Dunedin.

Both Munn and Levin's Tyler Hodge plan to contest the big Australia amateur events in January, whether in New Zealand teams or not.

Hodge made the New Zealand Open cut by one shot after shooting two 75s. In the first round he put three balls in the water and in the second round on Friday he was in one of the last groups, knew he had to play the last six holes at two under par and was pleased to do it.

On Saturday he leaves for the Australia Open at The Lakes in Sydney next week alongside big Aussie names.

"It should be another pretty cool experience," he said.

The opportunity came after Hodge's win in the Australia boys' amateur.

"Playing those types of courses should be good. They are a lot harder than normal New Zealand courses."

Hodge is becoming the Luke Donald of New Zealand amateur golf with most others longer off the tee than him but he is still able to get it done.

Hodge does enjoy the professional tournaments.

"They're only one round a day; we're used to 36 holes."

Manawatu Standard