New Zealand Stroke Play: Jonathan Cane remains in Lead
Jonathan Cane <br>(Golf New Zealand Photo)</br>
Jonathan Cane
(Golf New Zealand Photo)

CHRISTCHURCH, NZ (March 26, 2016)--Jonathan Cane (-7) shot an even-par 72 to hold his spot at the beginning of the New Zealand Stroke Play leaderboard after three rounds. Cane will carry a three-stroke lead into the final round at Christchurch Golf Club.

Cane was uneven in the third round beginning with his three birdie, two bogey 1-under par score on the front nine. Things stayed more or less the same for Cane on the backside as he posted a 1-over par 38. The Wellington, NZ resident bogeyed back-to-back holes, 14 and 15, before regathering himself and birding the last.

“I have been in this position (leading an event) plenty of times in Wellington events and won those," Jonathan Cane said to Golf New Zealand. "But this is a step up (in competition but) at the end of the day it’s the same sort of thing.”

His closest competitor at the start of the fourth round will be another Wellington resident Daniel Hillier (-4), the New Zealand Amateur Champion. Hillier, after beginning the round at 3-over par, blitzed the back nine on Saturday to force himself into contention.

Hillier had a very average start to his round with nine consecutive pars. However, on the homeward nine he recorded an astounding seven birdies for 7-under par 30. The only holes he didn't birdie were No. 11 and No. 15. His round of 7-under 65 is the low round of the tournament.

“It was amazing, definitely the best nine holes I’ve had in a national tournament,” said Daniel Hillier. “Today was just a case of staying patient, it was frustrating on the front nine after hitting every green, but didn’t hole any putts.”

The two Wellington residents and friends have battled it out many times before. This time the stakes will be a little bit higher as they will tee off in the final group. Ryan Chisnall (-3) in third place will also be part of the final group.

“It would be awesome to add this to the trophy cabinet," exclaimed Hillier. "About a year ago I wasn’t thinking about being in contention at all these national tournaments, but now I’ve had the feeling of what it’s like to be up there I just want to keep doing it, so really looking forward to tomorrow.”

-Golf New Zealand contributed to this story


At the midway point Jonathan Cane (-7) has three-stoke at the New Zealand Stroke Play. On a very windy second day at Christchurch Golf Club, Cane shot the low round of the week with a 6-under par 66.

Cane (Wellington, NZ) will carry a three-stoke lead into the third round. First round leader Ryan Chisnall (-4) and Nicholas Borren (-4) are tied for second place.

Through the first 11 holes it was a fairly mundane round for Cane. He birdied the first before parring the next 10. However, on 12 he kicked it into high gear with his second birdie of the day. He followed the birdie on 12 with another on No. 13.

“It was a little frustrating to start with until the 12th, then it was all on," Cane told New Zealand Golf after the round. “I played last week and it was a disgrace, I was all over the place so I just tried to work on ball striking before the event, which has come to fruition.”

After the two pars on 14 and 15 Cane closed with a flurry, birding the final three holes to vault himself to the top of the leaderboard.

“The wind was nothing compared to Wellington. I have also played (at Christchurch Golf Club) many times when the Shirley Open was around. But it’s just one of those things, when you get on a roll it doesn’t matter whether it’s windy, snowing or whatever, you just ride the wave until it stops,” Cane said.

-Golf New Zealand contributed to this story

Results For New Zealand Stroke Play Championship
1New ZealandLuke ToomeyNew Zealand40074-73-70-68=285
2New ZealandJonathan CaneNew Zealand30071-66-72-76=285
3New ZealandNicholas BorrenNew Zealand20072-68-74-72=286
T4New ZealandChang-Gi LeeNew Zealand20073-75-71-68=287
T4New ZealandJake MeenhorstNew Zealand20072-75-71-69=287

View full results for New Zealand Stroke Play Championship

ABOUT THE New Zealand Stroke Play

72-hole stroke play national championship with men's and women's divisions.

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