Waikato amateur Luke Toomey had to bow to veteran professional Grant Moorhead in the first Charles Tour event of the season at Palmerston North yesterday.
Taranaki's Moorhead held his nerve on the home stretch to win the four-day LawnMaster Classic by one stroke at 12-under-par on the sun-baked Manawatu Golf Club, shooting four consecutive rounds of 69.
It was his first Charles Tour win after many close calls and after a form slump late last year.
He just held off Ngaruawahia Golf Club's Toomey, who cut Moorhead's two-stroke deficit to one with a birdie on the par-5 15th.
Toomey finished with a par-72 after recording an astonishing nine-under 63 on Saturday, made up of 10 birdies and a bogey. That gave him the lead heading into yesterday's final round but two bogeys in the first four holes saw Moorhead slip ahead after he had started in third place at nine-under.
Another highly promising Waikato youngster, 16-year-old Nick Coxon from the Narrows club, finished tied for fourth on 279, professional Mark Purser was tied for sixth on 280, while yet another youthful Waikato amateur, Denzel Ieremia, recorded the best round of the day with a six-under 66 to finish in a tie for 12th.
Touring pro Josh Geary plunged out of contention with three 3-putt bogeys in his last six holes to be seven-under and in a tie for eighth.
The runaway winner in the small women's field at 14-under-par was new New Zealand representative Lita Guo from Auckland's Remuera club with 70, 68, 71 and 73. Guo won by six shots from Julianne Alvarez (Wellington).
- © Fairfax NZ News
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