TIMARU, New Zealand (Feb. 27, 2011) -- Southland golfer Vaughan McCall has come from behind on the final hole to win the South Island strokeplay championship in Timaru today.
The Gore teenager finished with a one-under par 71 to edge out Auckland’s Sam An by one shot at the Timaru Golf Club today.
An, 16, who won his age group at the Aaron Baddeley International in December, had been at the top of the leaderboard from the opening hole until the 71st. Standing on the last tee with a two shot lead, he made a disastrous double bogey while McCall made a clutch birdie to claim victory.
It was heartache for An, who had been steady throughout the day, played in delightful conditions after rain affected the second and third rounds. An clung to a one shot advantage for much of the back nine, with both making birdies at the 16th. The advantage stretched to two shots after McCall bogied the 17th before the dramas on the final hole settled the contest.
McCall, a member of the Srixon Academy and New Zealand under-19 representative last year, added to the North Island Under-19 title he won in 2010.
Meanwhile Auckland’s Jesse Hamilton bounced back from a terrible eight-over 81 in the third round to claim the women’s honours.
The Maungakiekie club player fired a superb three-under 70 today to claim the women’s title by four shots from Ashburton’s Catherine Bell who could only manage a four-over 77.
Bell looked to be heading for victory after Auckland’s Emily Eng fell by the wayside and Hamilton was two-over for the day through nine holes. Hamilton then stepped on the gas with a remarkable five-under 32 for her final nine holes including three birdies and eagle.