Golf: Top seeds fall at NZ Amateur

Both the men's and women's top seeds fell on a dramatic opening day of the New Zealand Amateur Championship at the Manawatu Golf Club today.

Waikato representative Luke Toomey, who claimed the top seed in the men's draw in sensational style by shooting an 11 under par 61, was upset by Northland golfer Kadin Neho by 2 and 1.

His exit opens the door for defending champion Vaughan McCall, and Toomey was naturally disappointed to bow out after such a strong showing in qualifying.

"I am gutted but that is matchplay I guess,'' the 20-year-old said. ''[Neho] won it, I certainly didn't lose it. I was five down with five to play so it was always going to be hard from there. I came back at him but the damage was already done.''

Neho, who was five up after five holes, was pinching himself at being in the quarter-finals.

"I am just so amazed really, I am in a bit of a state of shock,'' he said. ``I have been playing really solid and I took that attitude that I had nothing to lose today against Luke and it paid off. My goal was to just make the top 32 so this is hard to get my head around.''

With Toomey knocked out, McCall was feeling good about his chances of going back-to-back after securing a 5 and 4 win over Harry Na in round two.

"I am playing well and I am happy with my work so far,'' McCall said. ``It is clich but in this format you have to take one match at a time. The seeds count for nothing. It doesn't matter if you are the top dog or the bottom dog - anyone is good enough to beat you on their day.''

That was also shown in the women's field, where top seed Wenyung Keh lost her second round match to Waikato No 1 Hanna Seifert by 3 and 2.

Seifert was happy with her win at the course where her family has a special connection, with her great grandfather having won the club championship at the Manawatu Golf Club 100 years ago.

"It is a really cool coming to this club,'' she said. ``I feel like I have a connection to this place with my family history here. It is nice to look up at the walls in the clubhouse and see my great grandfather's name.''

- APNZ

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