Michael Hendry NZ PGA Championship winner

Kiwi Michael Hendry won the NZ PGA Championship Pro-Am at The Hills Golf Club in Queenstown, after surviving a scare at the par three 16th, where he  struggled to make seven on the par 3 hole. Michael had previously worried about the hole, and his concerns proved to be accurate, he said of the hole;

“Quite literally, the only hole I had any worries about was the 16th and, obviously, that proved to be accurate. I can’t really describe it, the ups and downs of the day. It’s going to take a couple of days to appreciate what I’ve achieved here today. Such a high all the way to the 16th, then such a low and I managed to pick myself up at the 17th.”

 

Michael HendryGetty Images

Michael trailed Australian Andrew Martin by two shots at the start of the day, and had built a three shot lead over Andrew with four holes left to play, then suddenly saw his hopes ruined by the quadruple bogey on the par 3 16th and fell a shot behind Andrew. A birdie on his next hole, the 17th got Michael back up to a tie for first and then Andrew, who finished a joint runner-up at the Queensland PGA two weeks ago, dropped a shot on the same hole to hand the advantage to the New Zealander. The Kiwi made the most of the opportunity, a solid par on the final hole helping him claim the title and the $81,000 winner’s cheque.

Michael added;

“It’s a mental game, and people talk about that all the time and it’s so true. I definitely felt like being a New Zealander gave me an advantage today. Just hearing people saying “come on Kiwi, you can do it, it’s fantastic. Maybe that had a little bit to do with the win today ,the relaxed atmosphere. Playing with a good friend. Probably took my mind off the game a little bit.”

 

 

 

 

New Zealand PGA Championship in Arrowtown.

Kiwi Mark Brown has the outright lead after day one of the New Zealand PGA Championship in Arrowtown. The mornings play had been delayed by an hour and a half due to fog, but as the weather warmed up so did the 37-year-old’s golf, as he birdied 14, 16, 17 and 18, before sinking an eagle putt at the par five first to rocket up the leaderboard. Mark, who hasn’t played in New Zealand since 2007, or on the PGA Tour of Australasia since he won the Order of Merit in 2008, commented on the early morning cool temperatures;

“Once the jumpers came off and you started to warm up it was magnificent but early on the ball wasn’t going very far through the air so you had to judge that a little bit.”

Talking about losing his European Tour card, Mark thought it may work in his favour;

“I’m actually looking forward to playing less, with a bit more time off to do some fitness stuff. The body’s in pretty bad shape. Obviously losing your card in Europe’s not ideal but I’ve looked at it as a positive. I can spend some time at home and get fit and do some meaningful practise. To play at home in front of your family and friends down here is just a dream and I’ve really missed it. It’s just fantastic to be home.”

Starting today’s tournament were 132 professionals who teed off in the hope of winning the trophy.  The top 60 will make the cut today and progress through the weekend to play for the NZ PGA Championship.