New Zealand Amateur: Fox takes outright lead

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND (April 22, 2011) -- Wellington’s Thomas Spearman-Burn had a Good Friday as the big mover in the New Zealand Men’s Stroke play at Russley with a superb six under par 66 climbing him 14 places up the leaderboard and within two shots of leader Ryan Fox.

The New Zealand Amateur Champion from 2008 will begin the final round in Christchurch tomorrow firmly in contention as the lead group in round three of Fox (73), Shaun Jones (76) and Thomas Brockelsby (74) were underwhelming in warm and fine conditions.

“You never know how the other guys are going so you just try and go low to catch up,” said the 21-year-old Spearman Burn, whose twin-brother Peter has recently turned professional.

“The key to my round was my putting, I holed a few bombs, and it’s a good day out there and its perfect scoring conditions.”

Spearman-Burn, one of the hard case golfers of the local circuit, made seven birdies in all (on holes 1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 13) and one bogey on the 16th and is confident of upsetting Fox.

“I haven’t played that well for a while but I am hitting it good this week and I think I can win, why not?”

It was a dramatic turnaround for the Miramar golfer who began round three on two over (74, 72). He will be a danger in the New Zealand Amateur as a noted matchplay golfer.

Meanwhile, Fox was happy to lead by two shots but disappointed with his one over par 73 that he put down to a cold putter.

“I couldn’t hole anything, it was a really tough day,” said the 23-year-old, who hit 14 greens in regulation.

“There were a couple of tough pin placements and the greens are quick so you need to be putting with good speed to score well.

“Tom’s round was pretty impressive – he is a former New Zealand Amateur champion so he’s obviously got some game.

“I hope this weather holds out so we can have a good battle tomorrow.”

Also making a move in the right direction was Gore golfer Vaughan McCall who shot a three under 69 to get within three of Fox.

“It was good to go on moving day – the course is not playing easy, it’s tight, the greens are slick and the rough is long,” said McCall.

“I enjoyed playing with Foxy on the first couple of days he just smashes driver all day and dominates the course – it is great to watch and it’ll be fun tomorrow.”

The final round of the Lion Foundation New Zealand Men’s Stroke play for the leading group of Fox, Spearman-Burn and McCall will begin at 12:45pm on the first tee.

Results For New Zealand Amateur Championship
WinNew ZealandMathew PerryNew Zealand500
Runner-upNew ZealandSteven HeyesNew Zealand400
SemifinalsNew ZealandJoshua MunnNew Zealand300
SemifinalsNew ZealandBlair RiordanNew Zealand300
QuarterfinalsNew ZealandCameron JonesNew Zealand200

View full results for New Zealand Amateur Championship

ABOUT THE New Zealand Amateur

Match play championship of New Zealand for men and women. 36 holes of stroke play qualifying to determine the final 32 players for single elimination match play.

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