'Confident' Moorhead heads for The Hills

MURRAY HILLS
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2013

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Grant Moorhead is brimming with confidence ahead of this week's New Zealand PGA championship at The Hills course near Queenstown.

The New Plymouth professional's confidence soared when he won his first Charles Tour event at the Manawatu Golf Club this month.

"Going back three months, I was struggling. My confidence was low," he said after arriving in Queenstown on Monday.

"All of a sudden, you win a 72-hole tournament and you feel great. There's no reason why I shouldn't play well this week."

Moorhead is certainly in form.

He carded a three-under-par 69 in the final round at Manawatu to hold off the charge of Waikato teenager Luke Toomey.

Moorhead had four rounds of 69 for a total of 276 to pocket the winner's cheque of $7200.

Last weekend, he finished seventh at the Omaha Beach Pro-Am in Northland with rounds of 70 and 71 - three-under par. Steven Han won the event at six under after rounds of 70 and 68.

"I played solid. My first round included a triple bogey on the par-three 12th hole. My ball was buried under the lip of a bunker and I took two to get out, then took three putts and made six. Apart from that, I hit the ball well."

Moorhead said his swing was feeling good.

"Things are tracking the right way. Confidence is a big thing. It's great to have that win under my belt. The weird thing is, it's more a relief. I've played a lot of Charles Tour events but never won.

"Now I have.

"It takes the pressure off and it's nice to know I can put together four good rounds."

Moorhead said he had played The Hills course "four or five" times.

"I've scored OK there but haven't excelled.

"My worst round is a 75 and my best a 70.

"I'm happy with my short game and things are coming right.

"I'm looking forward to playing four solid rounds."

Most of New Zealand's top players will tee off at The Hills course tomorrow. Michael Hendry is back to defend his title, along with three former champions in Steven Alker (2009), Greg Turner (1984) and Simon Owen (1978).

Last year's runner-up and a winner on the European PGA Tour, Mark Brown, and top touring Kiwi professionals David Smail, Michael Long, Ryan Fox, Phil Tataurangi, Gareth Paddison, Josh Geary, Brad Shilton and Richard Lee are also in the field.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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