Golf: Zwart takes early lead at Muriwai Open

Photo / Getty Images
Photo / Getty Images

Entering the final tournament of the Jennian Homes Trophy, most came prepared to battle the winds of links golf, yet players were greeted to calm weather at the Muriwai Links Golf Club.

There was still a hint of chaos on course with cricket scores and stunning rounds produced throughout the day.

Pieter Zwart of Hawke's Bay was the standout performer shooting a classy round of seven under (65) to lead the Autex Muriwai Open on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour by one shot over Ryan Chisnall and Tyler Hodge. After a quiet season thus far, Zwart made seven birdies and an eagle on his way to the lead.

"It's feels great, I haven't really had a decent round in a while so it's very pleasing," said Zwart.

"I must admit, I thought there would be a few other low scores with it not being as windy. I think the key is just to keep the ball in play out there."

He wasn't the only one thinking this after an unusual amount of big scores carded in the calm conditions.

The defending champion Daniel Pearce was one of the players that struggled (73) after a battle with the flat stick throughout the day and Jim Cusdin carded an even par round (72) in search of winning the inaugural Jennian Homes Trophy.

However our leader Zwart, much like every golfer, was visualizing winning the low round prize of the week which is rewarded with 52 dozen Asahi beer.

"I wouldn't mind this score hanging around for the whole week so I can get my hands on that 52 dozen," grinned Zwart.

New Zealand amateur Ryan Chisnall cashed in on the par fives this afternoon posting a 66 to show he is a serious contender this week. The Tasman number one has had a great year on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour this summer as he looks to finish on a high this weekend.

"It's been an awesome year, I'm happy with how things are going and the more Jennian Homes events you play the more comfortable you get, so yeah, it's been a good summer," said Chisnall.

"I started off with an eagle on the par five second, followed by a couple of birdies through the middle par fives then also eagled the 14th to play them all six under which was nice."
Joining him is Tyler Hodge who won't go under the radar after finishing fourth at the Akarana Open recently, he too shot a -6 (66) to be right in the mix at Muriwai.

Hodge played alongside Northland's Luke Brown who was charging early to set the pace, yet had a quiet finish.

"It was good to watch, Brownie went deep on the front nine so I just tried to keep up with him and then the putts started to drop on the back nine. I am just aiming to make it to double figures in my first Muriwai Open as you will always be a chance from there."

Hodge knows all about what is on the line this week from prize money to Jennian Homes Trophy points and maybe a little bit of Asahi as well.

"Oooh yeah it was in the back of my mind. I'm staying with Jason Gulasekharam who won the 52 dozen last year so it would be good to give some back to him!"

Over to the women's field, after returning from the Australian Juniors last week, Momoka Kobori has carried on her hot form today to lead the women's field by two strokes after posting a -4 (68).

Kobori was electric in Australia and just fell short of an amazing win to finish in a tie for second. Today she holds poll position and is comfortable with where her game is at.

"I have to say I'm pretty happy with the round today, even though I made a few bogeys the birdies I made up for them so hopefully I can do something similar tomorrow," said Kobori.

"One thing would be my putts are starting to drop so that's always nice and it's nice to continue my form after a good week in Australia."

Fellow Cantabrian Amelia Garvey and professional Jenna Hunter are on her tail and will be looking to close the gap before the weekend hits.

Every day is vital at the Muriwai Links as we near the end of a big summer and the inaugural Jennian Homes Trophy Champion.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 25 Apr 2017 19:16:54 Processing Time: 1173ms