Chisnall collects Canterbury title in a canter
The tough Clearwater course and a three-club wind made the Canterbury amateur strokeplay championships a battle of attrition.
And that clearly suited Nelson's Ryan Chisnall, who won by eight shots despite going in the water - and playing out of it - on the last hole.
After howling winds made Saturday's opening two rounds phenomenally difficult, Chisnall and Christchurch's Jordan Bakermans were overnight leaders at six-over.
"It really was tough out there," Chisnall said.
But the 18-year-old is no stranger to tough, windy conditions at Clearwater; he played on the wrong side of the draw at the New Zealand Open and got buffeted around there too, shooting 75, 72 to be one of the small group of players from his side to make the cut.
In better conditions yesterday, the New Zealand development squad member signed for a two-over 74 before getting hot in the afternoon round.
He started with three straight birdies while Bakermans, who trailed by two after 54 holes, went the other way.
That gave Chisnall a seven-shot advantage.
"From there I just wanted to make sure I hit the middle of greens, I didn't need to go for too many birdies."
They came to him anyway.
Chisnall chipped in on both the par-four seventh and 12th holes, both for birdies.
He dropped a couple of shots late, but even a tee shot into the water on 18 didn't slow him down.
Chisnall's ball was only just in the water, so instead of taking a drop - and a one-shot penalty - and having to play out of the rough, he played the ball from out of the lake.
"That's a tough hole and a hard pin and I knew it would be much easier to play the ball from the fairway so I went for it. I just hit it sideways."
He then went up and down from more than 100m to save par and win his first 72-hole tournament.
"It's really big for me, this is my first New Zealand Order of Merit win, I'm pretty happy." Bakermans shot 81 in his final round to finish fifth.
Clearwater's Oscar Cadenhead finished second, eight shots behind Chisnall and three shots ahead of Russley's Owen Burgess and four shots ahead of Christchurch's J J Love in third and fourth, respectively.
The women's tournament was just as one-sided.
Methven's Yee Yeon Kim's 54-hole total of 226 was good enough for a 11-shot victory over Otago No 1 Laura Hoskin (Arrowtown). Kim shot 79 and 73 in Saturday's wind and her two-over 74 was easily good enough for her to hold on to her lead.
Hoskin and Waitikiri's Yean Lin Cho tied on their 237 total, but Hoskin beat Cho into third on a countback.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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