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 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.
“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.”