Kerry Mountcastle (August Liu/AAC photo)
TAUOPO, New Zealand (Nov. 3, 2018) – Wellington’s Kerry Mountcastle
is one win away from holding the New Zealand Amateur Championship and the New Zealand Stroke Play Championship titles at the same time. He has played stunningly at Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary.
Mountcastle will face Waikato’s Charlie Smail in the 36-hole final Sunday while Korea’s Kang Kum Park continued her assault in New Zealand and will play Auckland’s Vivian Lu in the women’s 36-hole final.
Mountcastle earned his place in the final after taking down the country’s No. 1 amateur and defending champion Daniel Hillier in dominant fashion this morning, winning 5 and 4 before taking down the in-form Mako Thompson, 4 and 3.
The 23-year-old is having a season to remember after also claiming the Carrus Open on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour earlier in the year. With a win tomorrow, he would complete one of the more successful amateur years in some time.
“It feels amazing and I have given myself a chance to do the double which is pretty special and it can’t really get much better in terms of New Zealand events,” said Mountcastle.
“To do it here on one of the best courses in New Zealand that we can play on would be great. Thanks so much to Gary Lane for letting us on.”
Standing in his way, Smail also reaches his first New Zealand Amateur final as he looks to achieve something that his very successful father David was unable too.
“It feels unbelievable, it’s hard to explain at the moment and can’t really believe it,” said Smail.
“Yeah it’s pretty funny, I don’t think he ever did good in the New Zealand Amateur, but did well in the Stroke Play. It’s been great to have both Mum and Dad helping out here this week.
In contrast to Mountcastle, the 20-year-old has done things the hard way with all but one of his matches coming down to the wire and needing the final hole.
“I have had close matches every round and have been down the last hole on every match except this one, so I have pretty much played as many holes as I can,” laughed Smail.
“It would be an unbelievable feeling and it doesn’t even feel like I’m in the final yet, so it would take a while to sink in.”
The leading qualifier in the women’s field, Kang Kum Park has shown no signs of slowing down as the Korean advances into the New Zealand Amateur final against Auckland’s Vivian Lu which means there will be four first time finalists tomorrow.
Park made a statement this morning by defeating defending champion Silvia Brunotti by a convincing 4-and-3 margin, before winning, 3 and 2, over the newest Lydia Ko Scholarship recipient Carmen Lim, who has enjoyed a memorable week at the Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary.
Fellow finalist Lu is constructing a very impressive 2018 after claiming her maiden Jennian Homes Charles Tour title at the Akarana Open in April.
The 14-year-old has added some big scalps to her resume after beating fellow Aucklanders Brittney Dryland and the in-form Siyi Keh along the way as well as Zhuoyi Hu Saturday morning.
“It would mean a lot to win tomorrow because to win the New Zealand Amateur would be really nice and it’s one of the big ones, so it would complete a good year for me,” said a relaxed Lu.
ABOUT THE New Zealand Amateur
Match play championship of New Zealand for men
women. 36 holes of stroke play qualifying to
32 players for single elimination match play.
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