NZ start strong at inaugural Ten Nations Cup

Last updated 12:53 07/02/2013
Vaughan McCall
FIRING: Vaughan McCall makes a putt on his way to carding a three under par 69 at the Ten Nations Cup.

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New Zealand has a two shot lead over Scotland after round one at the Ten Nations Cup in George, South Africa.

 Southland No1 Vaughan McCall led the way with a three under par 69 and was well supported by Josh Munn and Tyler Hodge who added rounds of two under par 70.

"I am pretty happy," said 21-year-old McCall after his opening round. "I did what I needed to do all day. I got the ball up and down and played well. A pleasurable moment was when my own team mates were hassling me down the last and I chipped in to put a smile on my face."

The Kiwis combined for a seven-under-par team total with Blair Riordan having the non-counting score, a one over par 73.  

England and Argentina share third place, only three shots back from New Zealand, and Ireland and Colombia share fifth. Australia and hosts South Africa are off the pace in eighth and ninth place respectively.

The Ten Nations Cup, which is being staged at the Kingswood Golf Estate in George from February 6 -9, is an amalgamation of the Four Nations Cup and the Southern Cross Trophy.

Hodge said the key to scoring well at Kingswood is keeping it straight.

 "The fairways are quite narrow and hard to hit here so once you drive it well there is chances to make birdie. It is a great course."

The Four Nations Cup was last staged at The Hills near Arrowtown where the New Zealand team of Ben Campbell, Ryan Fox, Mathew Perry and McCall finished runner-up to Australia.

It was a biannual event and is now played over four rounds of stroke play between 10 countries. The teams comprise of four male players with the best three scores each day contributing to the team's score.

Following the event the New Zealand team will compete in the South African Stroke Play Championship from February 12-15 at the Ernie Els designed Oubaai Golf Club in George.

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