OMAHA BEACH, N.Z. (Feb. 14, 2014) -- Australian golfer Samuel Christie had another superb round yesterday at the Omaha Beach Golf Club as he looks to claim his first New Zealand Seniors Championship.
Christie, who has carded two rounds of 70 at the popular Northland layout, is on a two-under par total to be two shots clear of four players; defending champion Brent Paterson (Royal Auckland), Stuart Duff (Hastings), Stuart Nicholls (Waitemata) and Michael Barltrop (Royal Auckland) on even par.
The defending champion Paterson, who won the title by nine shots at the Taupo Golf Club last year, played nicely in the demanding conditions of the second round to be in the final group for the final round.
Duff climbed seven places when he shot the round of the tournament so far – a two-under par 69 at the Omaha Beach layout which is hosting a national tournament for the first time.
Nicholls will have plenty of confidence heading into the final round after he birdied four of his final 10 holes today to jump into contention.
Auckland’s Barltrop played nicely through the middle of his round when he made birdies on the ninth and 11th holes to get into a share of the lead with Christie.
But he faltered on the homeward nine making consecutive bogeys on the 13 and 14 to slip back into a share of second place.
Mike Leitch is six shots back and alone in sixth place, one shot ahead of Andrew McKechnie, and needs a low-round today to keep his title chances alive.
The final round today in perfect conditions should be a great battle with four quality players within two shots of the leader Christie and looking to chase the Aussie down.
The New Zealand Seniors Championship has attracted a truly international field with players from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, United States, Samoa and Scotland.
The Australian contingent is warming up for their test match against New Zealand – the Sanctuary Cove Trophy at Muriwai Golf Club from February 18 to 19 – where they will be keen to reclaim the trophy.
View results for New Zealand Senior Golf Championship