Kiwi amateur Munn storms to NSW golf title
Manawatu amateur Josh Munn carded a scintillating six-under par 66 to win the Lake Macquarie international amateur golf championship at Belmont in New South Wales by three shots.
Relishing the rainy, sodden conditions, the 21-year-old charged home on the back nine yesterday with an eagle on the 437m par-five 10th hole and birdies on the 12th, 13th and 17th to finish at 15-under for the tournament and beat his fellow overnight leaders, Australian Brett Drewitt and England's Nathan Kimsey, who both had rounds of three-under par 69.
Munn started with a bogey on the first hole but then birdied holes two and three. He sank a 5m putt to save his par on the final hole for the win and was swamped by congratulations from other members of the New Zealand team.
He said after the win he was in awe of following the footsteps of other winners of the championship, such as Peter O’Malley.
“I was so much in the zone I didn’t feel the rain,” said the New Zealand rep, who finished runner-up at the Argentine Amateur late last year.
"This is easily my most important win.”
The Palmerston North golfer made history in 2012 when he became the first amateur to win two titles on the Charles Tour.
He will not get the chance to compete this week at the Charles Tour's Lawnmaster Classic, on his home track at the Manawatu Golf Club, as he has been selected to represent New Zealand in the inaugural Ten Nations Cup in South Africa.
He said he had no immediate plans to turn professional but wanted to play against the best amateurs in the US and Europe.
Meanwhile, Michael Hendry fell one shot short of involving himself in a playoff at the inaugural Heritage Classic on the PGA Tour of Australasia in Victoria yesterday.
Hendry took a one-shot lead into the final round of the $A130,000 event on the back of a third round 64 but could only manage a one-over par 73, including a bogey at the 17th hole, to finish at 13-under for the tournament.
Australian David Bransdon prevailed in a three-way playoff after finishing at 14-under 274 alongside compatriots Max McCardle and Lucas Herbert.
Gareth Paddison was the next best of the Kiwis, finishing tied for seventh at eight-under.
Closer to home, an eight-birdie blitz by North Harbour’s Richard Lee in the final round of the Ekatahuna-Masterton Pro-Am at Masterton not only set a new course record but it also catapulted him to the win in the two-round New Zealand PGA tournament.
His round consisted of nine threes and nine fours, a 63 going with the earlier Eketahuna round of 66 for a total of 129.
The first day leader, Daniel Pearce of Ashburton, scored a four-under 67 which alongside his earlier 64 left him on 131 and two shots back of Lee.
Kieran Muir of Omokoroa was three-under on 68, with his first day 66 making it a total of 134 and seeing him take third place from Jared Pender (69 68).