For Luke Brown, it was a dream finish to the New Zealand Stroke Play. When the Northland native eagled the par-4 18th hole at Christchurch Golf Club, he sealed a one-shot victory over Kazuma Kobori.
Brown had been two shots behind at the start of the day and trailed for most of it. The par-4 18th is drivable, however, which set up well for Brown. His tee shot left him with a 20-foot putt for eagle and the win. Brown made it, and in front of a packed clubhouse.
Kobori had already birdied.
Brown didn’t spend the whole week trailing. He had opened with a 1-under 71 that gave him a share of the lead after the first day. He added rounds of 70-69-71 and at 11 under, was one ahead of Kobori.
“I’m still trying to come to terms with it, it was quite an emotional finish so to get over the line was pretty amazing,” Brown told the New Zealand Golf Federation. “Getting out to a three-shot lead, then giving it back was tough but to be able to sink that putt after he made his was special and something I will never forget.”
Kobori was every bit the worthy opponent, having entered the New Zealand Stroke Play fresh of a win on the PGA Tour Australasia a week go. Kobori won the NZPGA Championship.
The top of the leaderboard was dotted with other notable names, too. Daniel Hillier, co-medalist at the U.S. Amateur, tied for fifth at even. Defending champion Kerry Mountcastle was a shot behind that at 1 over.
In the women’s division, Auckland’s Carmen Lim claimed a breakthrough victory, and by a mile. Rounds of 72-70-69-69 on the par-74 layout left her with a seven-shot victory.
“I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment for some time now, so yeah it feels amazing,” she told the Federation.
Information from New Zealand Golf used in this report
ABOUT THE New Zealand Stroke Play
72-hole stroke play national championship for pros and
amateurs, with overall, men's amateur and women's
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