Golf: Cane takes hold of NZ Stroke Play Championships

Jonathan Cane during the men's New Zealand Strokeplay Championship. Photo Dave Lintott
Jonathan Cane during the men's New Zealand Strokeplay Championship. Photo Dave Lintott

The Hurricanes will be happy to replicate the dominant performance of Wellingtonian, Jonno Cane tonight as he blew past his rivals to lead at the New Zealand Stroke Play Championships.

Play was shaping up to be a predictable day until Cane showed up late in the piece to steal the lead with the round of the week, 66.

"It was good mate!" started Cane with a big grin.

"It was a little frustrating to start with until the 12th, then it was all on."

His quote was on point as Cane finished with a hat-trick of birdies to close out an impressive day and turn around his recent form.

"I played last week and it was a disgrace, I was all over the place so I just tried to work on ball striking before the event, which has come to fruition."

After spending many years in the capital and no doubt the Cake Tin, Cane wasn't affected by the breeze in the Garden City this afternoon.

"The wind was nothing compared to Wellington. I have also played here many times when the Shirley Open was around. But it's just one of those things, when you get on a roll it doesn't matter whether it's windy, snowing or whatever, you just ride the wave until it stops."

Cane has a few years on his nearest rivals in Ryan Chisnall and Nick Borren and will be looking to make the most of that entering moving day.

"I would like to think I have grown up a lot since last time I was in this position at a tournament of this stature, and hopefully I can just keep doing what I'm doing."

Nick Borren of the Bombers Interclub squad also shot a brilliant four under par round to join the consistency of Ryan Chisnall in second place, three shots in the rear of Cane.

Borren has been in fine form after being one of only four amateurs to qualify for the New Zealand Open earlier this month and has continued the form leading into the weekend.

"I have been really pleased with my form recently and really happy with where my mental game is," said Borren.

With three birdies on the trot, things were looking good early in his afternoon round.

"I dropped a couple of nice bombs early on in the round which gave me the confidence to keep going."

Starting the day in a four-way tie for the lead, Tasman talent Ryan Chisnall showed consistency and patience in breezy conditions to card a one under par round, which was enough for him to remain in the hunt.

"I'm pretty happy with the round, it was tough out there but had a really good front nine, but slightly scrappy on the back," said Chisnall

"You didn't have to do anything crazy out there, I was just keeping myself in the tournament. Plugging it round and making pars are sometimes really good on those tough holes."

There are no surprises in the women's field with Chantelle Cassidy continuing her recent form with an impeccable five under round of 69 at the Christchurch Golf Club.

Starting the day two shots behind local Amelia Garvey, Cassidy came out of the gates on fire with two birdies in her first three holes to shoot up the leaderboard.

"I felt a lot better than yesterday, I found some shots that I couldn't play yesterday so it was very pleasing," said Cassidy.

Cassidy has been a regular feature throughout the summer and is consistently producing good results. The Waikato number one isn't getting ahead of herself as every week is a new one on tour.

"I haven't been thinking about winning last week, this is a whole new tournament and a different course with different conditions, so starting a-fresh has been key to my consistency this week."

Amelia Garvey of Kaiapoi Golf Club couldn't build on yesterday's success with a two over par round to drop off the pace.

Alanna Campbell finally found her A-game today after a tough couple of weeks to produce a clinical four under par round to be knocking on the door just one behind leader, Cassidy.

Moving day will commence at 8am for the men's field and the women will tee it up from midday onwards, all after the Hurricanes 7:30 clash with the Kings this evening.

- NZ Herald

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