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McCall takes New Zealand Amateur title
Vaughan McCall
Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand (April 22, 2012) -- The 20-year-old from the Gore Club is the first golfer to win both the NZ Stroke Play and NZ Amateur titles in the same year for the first time in 24 years after overcoming Rotorua teenager Peter Lee 6 and 5 in fine conditions this afternoon at the Mount Maunganui Golf Club.

But it was the record-breaking feats of McCall that had most of the locals in the Mount Maunganui Golf Club talking as he became the first Kiwi to do the rare double in 39 years after Tauranga golfer Mike Nicholson won both events at the Springfield Golf Club in 1973.

McCall was delighted to hold aloft the New Zealand Amateur trophy.

“It means a lot to me to win this title and to win both the Amateur and the Stroke Play in the same year just makes it sugar-coated, ” he said.

“It is pretty cool to make some history. This is awesome for Southland golf and they are helping me out now too so this great for them. I can’t wait to get back to the Gore Golf Club and share this with them.”

The Srixon Academy member is known for being one of the best putters in the local game delivered his best when it mattered most.

“I got the ball rolling really well today. I had a really good process in my mind for what I was trying to do with putting today and I made 100 percent of putts from inside 10 feet today so that is a stat I am pretty proud of.”McCall said the turning point of the match was in the first round on the 16th where he had a 30 foot putt for birdie to Lee’s eight feet.

“I said to myself ‘right if I can hole this it will put a lot of pressure on his’ and I made mine and he missed. That was a big turning point. We had a good halve on the 17th and it was good to sneak one back on the 18th with a birdie to take a 3up lead into the afternoon. From there I felt I had the control.”

McCall is also the first golfer from Southland to win the New Zealand Amateur. He is also the first golfer from the deep south to have won the NZ Stroke Play and in 2011 he led Southland to their first win in the Toro Interprovincial.McCall has been working hard on his mental game and it paid dividends as he was relaxed and composed throughout.

“Someone took a photo on my downswing and I hit a terrible shot. Six months ago I would have walked down that hole frustrated as but I let it go made a great up and down and I wasn’t holding any baggage it was good.”

McCall, who made the turn with a three up advantage with a great birdie putts at the 16th and the 18th, carried his momentum in the afternoon. He won the first two holes after lunch to move to 5up and from there Lee was always playing catch up.

Lee made a fine birdie on the 25th hole to get back to four down but every time he rallied McCall held him off with fine saves for par. The No.2 seed went six up with seven holes to play and then finished off the job with a fine par on the 13th.

“Peter is a great talent and I think he has a big future. He was a bit inconsistent today and that came down to the pressure and he’ll learn from this and be better for it.”

View results for New Zealand Amateur

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