Mark Hutson, Amelia Garve lead Men's/Women's NZ Stroke Play
36-hole leader Mark Hutson  (New Zealand Golf Photo)
36-hole leader Mark Hutson (New Zealand Golf Photo)

HASTINGS, New Zealand (March 24, 2017) -- Mark Hutson (Muriwai Golf Club) and Amelia Garvey (Kaiapoi Golf Club) stamped their authority on the New Zealand Stroke Play Championships with contrasting rounds of golf at the Hastings Golf Club today.

While Hutson backed up his spectacular round one 67 with a solid three under par 69, Garvey backed up her solid round one 73 with a course record equalling seven under 67.

Hutson’s solid play saw him finish Friday with a two-shot lead heading into the weekend.

Following a blemish free first round, Hutson immediately dropped a shot on his opening hole today - the par five 10th.

A solid run of four birdies in the next five holes steadied the ship and saw him hit double digits under par and open-up a commanding lead. Further dropped shots at the 18th and 8th hole were off-set by birdies on the 5th and 6th for another round in the 60s.

“There were a few silly mistakes today but overall it was pretty solid and I made enough birdies to post a good number. It was just a couple of poor shots today; a wedge shot on ten which I put in the bunker and a bad swing on eight” said Hutson.

“One of my outcome goals today was to get to double digits under par and I’ve achieved that. It would have been nice to be a few better, but overall I’m pleased with where I’m at.”

When asked about the key to his game, Hutson was quick to give praise to his flat stick. “I’ve been putting really well but I’m also hitting enough greens to give myself good chances with the putter. Tee to green I’m solid but the putter has been hot lately so that’s been the key.”

“It would mean a lot to me to win this week. There are a lot of good players behind me so it’s not time yet to think about what could be. I’ve still got 36 holes to go so it’s only half way though.”

Leading the chasing pack on eight under par is Canterbury’s Hilton Reid (Russley Golf Club) who followed up his first round 69 with a well compiled five under par 67. Reid’s round included six birdies and a solitary bogey.

Following Reid on seven under par is Bay of Plenty’s Harry Hiller (Te Puke) and Kerry Mountcastle (Masterton Golf Club)

Hillier kick started his round on the fourth hole with his first ever hole in one. Using his pitching wedge for the 139m shot, his ball landed a metre past the hole spinning back in the cup to his delight.

Some of the heavyweights in the men’s field lie in wait for a move on the weekend including Daniel Hillier (Manor Park Golf Club) on six under, Henry Spring (Whakatane Golf Club) and Nick Coxon (Riverside Golf Club) on five under and Luke Brown (Northland Golf Club) on three under.

Amelia Garvey’s course record equalling seven under 67 came in the calm early morning conditions at the Hastings Golf Club and saw her end the day with a three-shot lead over Alanna Campbell who also caught fire this afternoon finishing with a course record equalling 67 as well.

Garvey, who held a share of the overnight lead, was on fire at the Bridge Pa course with a bogey free round that included seven birdies.

Garvey started proceedings with a run of three birdies in a row from the 3rd hole before narrowly missing a fourth on the par five 6th hole. Further birdies on the 7th and 8th saw her turn at five under par for the day and increase her lead.

A solid back nine with birdies on the 12th and 18th saw her sign for the course record equalling score.

Garvey who is one of the longer hitters in the women’s amateur game had the luxury of being able to take three wood out on many of the par fours.

“I didn’t get the driver out of the bag too much today. I did on the last two holes because they are pretty wide, but if you find the fairways here you can attack at the pins pretty well” she said.

“I didn’t make many mistakes and played really smart out there.”

While she was bogey free, one of the keys to keeping her momentum going was a strong par save on the 14th hole.

“I made a good up and down there. There were a couple of par saves today but I didn’t really put myself in that much trouble.”

“My Putter was pretty hot but I was stiffing them pretty close on the front nine so it didn’t have to do too much work.”

Garvey would dearly love to announce herself on the main stage with a win this week.

“I won my first national title a month ago in the South Island so to win the New Zealand Stroke Play would be a dream come true really and then with the NZ Amateur Championship in Christchurch it would be good to get the double.”

“I’ll just stick to what I do normally, have a couple of putts to keep feeling the pace of the greens, if your putting well round here you can hole anything so I’ll go on the putting green for a bit and then just chill out for the afternoon.”

With Garvey on fire, Campbell needed her hot afternoon round to recover from a slow start in round one where she finished with a two over par 76.

Campbell started on the back nine and made birdies on the 11th, 13th and 18th to turn in three under par. She birdied the 2nd before eagling the par five 3rd hole and added yet another birdie on the 6th. With three holes left Campbell gave herself three good chances to make a final birdie to get the record on her own but in each instance her putts slipped by. Looking to make moves on the weekend will be Chantelle Cassidy (Riverside Golf Club) on four under par with Rose Zheng (Pakuranga Golf Club) and Juliana Hung (Russley ) a further shot back on three under par.

The men’s cut was made on six over par with 64 players making the weekend rounds.

Results: New Zealand Stroke Play
1New ZealandMark HutsonNew Zealand40065-69-67-75=276
T2New ZealandKerry MountcastleNew Zealand30070-67-71-70=278
T2New ZealandHarry HillierNew Zealand30070-67-69-72=278
T4New ZealandDaniel HillierNew Zealand20071-67-70-73=281
T4New ZealandHenry SpringNew Zealand20072-67-69-73=281

View full results for New Zealand Stroke Play

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72-hole stroke play national championship for pros and amateurs, with overall, men's amateur and women's amateur titles.

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