Golf: Hendry favourite for Lawnmaster Classic

Michael Hendry playing at the 2016 New Zealand Open at The Hills. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Hendry playing at the 2016 New Zealand Open at The Hills. Photo / Getty Images

After the recent New Zealand Open in Queenstown we have seen the field for the 2016 Lawnmaster Classic grow in strength with the defending champion, Michael Hendry headlining the field.

Hendry lit up the Hills late on Sunday afternoon with a string of late birdies to finished in a tie for third place to show his current form is where it needs to be in search for back to back victories at Manawatu Golf Club.

"It's a tournament that I enjoy playing, especially after winning last year, so thought I would be great to come back," said Hendry.

The 2015 Lawnmaster victory was his fifth Charles Tour title where he went wire to wire to finish three shots clear of the chasing pack.

Also showing face in Manawatu is Josh Geary who was at the head of that chasing pack last year, pushing Hendy throughout the final day, but in the end Hendry was too classy.

After a successful campaign at the Holden NZPGA two weeks ago where he finished in second place, Geary couldn't quite get it going in Queenstown. Both golfers could be spending some time together this weekend as they will no doubt be near the top of the charts by Saturday.

Gareth Paddison, Nick Gillespie and new father Doug Holloway are a few experienced names in the field this week and are more than due for a Jennian Homes Charles Tour victory.

Local professional Josh Munn who finished tied second with Geary on his home track last year, will be missing his home Charles Tour event, to play in Australia in an effort to earn vital order of merit points on the Australasian Tour in his first year as a professional.

New Zealander Amateur champion, Daniel Hillier will tee it up after finishing as lead amateur in his first New Zealand Open last week.

Hillier is joined by young guns Ryan Chisnall and Luke Brown who round out an exciting looking amateur field as well.

Many amateurs will be coming fresh of a trip to Melbourne where they competed in the Riversdale Cup and judging by last week's form, Muchin Keh is one to watch in the women's division after finishing in third place. It won't be easy however, with the women's field showing great strength this week.

Trying to turn the tables will be Canterbury's Mokoka Kobori who finished in ninth position behind Keh last week.

Harewood Open Champion, Chantelle Cassidy will be looking to make it back to back wins on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour. Cassidy placed 11th in her Riversdale Cup campaign.

The Lawnmaster Classic has another great addition to it, starting with the Horizon Golf Shootout tomorrow. This is an exciting form of the game where the top six players from today's Pro-Am plus four earlier exemptions will go all lock horns for nine holes in search of the $10,000 prize purse.

The 10 players all tee off together with a player dropping out each hole until there is a lone winner.

- NZ Herald

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