Levels course tamed by Leonard birdie blitz

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 23/07/2013
Tim Leonard
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
COURSE CONQUERER: Tim Leonard’s flawless round of 63 at Levels, including nine birdies, helped him to the best score recorded at the Timaru Golf Club.

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Tim Leonard was on fire at the Timaru Golf Club on Saturday, shooting an unofficial course record of 63.

The just-turned 21-year-old shot nine birdies and matched them with nine par holes in his blemish-free round at Levels.

Professional John Lister and Graham Brown share the course record of 64, which dates back to the early 1970s.

Leonard's 63 did not count as the course record because he hit off the white tees rather than the championship blue tees and "preferred lie" placings were also available to club golfers on Saturday.

His round consisted of just 25 putts.

Leonard went out in 32 and came home in 31 after birdies on holes 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, 14, 16 and 18.

"I didn't birdie the two holes I usually find the easiest, five and 13."

However, he was very happy with his effort. "My putter worked pretty well, I just didn't miss apart from a lip-out on nine."

Leonard said he felt he might break 64 after sinking the birdie putt on 12.

"At that stage I was six under."

The talented young golfer is back home on holiday after completing the first year of three on a golf scholarship at Southern Utah University.

Leonard had hoped to help his collegiate Thunderbirds team clinch their first division one conference title, but they finished second, losing by two shots.

"Our last guy had to birdie the last hole to win it but he bogeyed it."

Leonard averaged 73.5 a round in collegiate golf and hopes to drop to 72.5 this season.

"That's just taking out one mistake a round but the courses can be tough."

Leonard said the American collegiate competition was really competitive but he was enjoying the challenge. All students on sports scholarships still have to hit the books to pass their academic work or have to miss out the following year.

Leonard hopes to finish his three years not only a better golfer but with a degree in economics, with a minor in business administration.

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- The Timaru Herald

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