CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Feb. 23, 2012) -- Former New Zealand rep Daniel Pearce is the round one leader at the South Island Stroke Play after a three under par 69 in fine conditions at the Christchurch Golf Club today. The former Srixon Academy member, who is now based in Melbourne, enjoyed his first tournament back home in a year with a fast start to lead the tournament by one shot from five players who share second.
“It is always nice coming back to a course you have played before as I know it well,” said 23-year-old former Hastings rep who has enjoyed a resurgence in form this summer in Australia.
“Golf has been really good lately actually. I have been working really hard on it and getting some nice results which is good. I am really happy with the progress that I have been making and I am scoring really well which is all positive. I have plans to turn pro at the end of this year so I want to play as well as I can in the next little while and get my ranking up there.”
Pearce, who teed off on the 10th hole, was four under through the turn in a stretch that included three birdies in a row from 15 to 17. He dropped two shots coming home at the first at fifth but got back to three under with a birdie at the sixth hole.
Pearce leads by one from six players Oscar Cadenhead (Clearwater), Regan Kilpatrick (Russley), Sam An (Titirangi), Compton Pikari (Te Awamutu), Fraser Wilkin (Royal Auckland) and Blair Riordan (Takaka) who shot rounds of two under par 70.
Defending champion Vaughan McCall had a solid start to his title defense to be one of four players in a share of eighth on one under par.
“Once the wind switched around this afternoon it was a different ball game,” said the 20-year-old from the Gore Golf Club.“But I am happy with my start. I hit it pretty solid I just hope that I can get the putts rolling in later in the week.“This is a great track and I always enjoy coming here. The greens were a bit softer today than they are normally in the Shirley Open and now I have a good chance to go low tomorrow morning.”
New Zealand No.1 Ben Campbell is in a share of 22nd place after a one over par 73 to be four shots back.
Pearce is back in New Zealand for a few weeks to compete and spend a bit of time at home before he returns to Melbourne to play pennants golf for his club.
He still holds the ambition of playing for New Zealand in the Eisenhower Trophy and to be eligible he needs to join a New Zealand Golf Club.“I would love to play at the Eisenhower. It has always been a goal of mine and if it happens that I would be selected then that would be fantastic. All I have to do is keep doing what I have been doing and hopefully the rest is history.”