Felton holds his nerve to win 2017 NZ PGA Championship

AUSSIE golfer Jarryd Felton won the 2017 Lawnmaster Horizon Golf NZ PGA Championship in a thrilling playoff against Victorian Josh Younger and New Zealand’s Ben Campbell on the weekend.

Felton, Campbell and Younger all finished 14-under 270 at the end of four rounds of stroke play to force a trip to the 18th tee for a playoff.

The West Australian drove wide from the tee but was able to quickly rally and make birdie to seal the win.

“I didn’t hit too good of a tee shot, I think I got pretty lucky actually. I capitalized and made the putt, I don’t think the Kiwi fans were too happy,” laughed Felton.

“I came in to the week not feeling so confident but the more rounds I played around this course I started to grow in confidence and to win is a great feeling.”

“I didn’t get too far ahead of myself; I could’ve had some really good scores the first two days but lost a couple of balls up trees early.

“I didn’t let it affect me because I knew there were a lot of other people walking back to tees.

“I just kept playing my game, I knew there was plenty of birdies out here as shown by the scores so I was able to keep it going.”

This is Felton’s second win on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, his first came in 2015 when he won the NSW PGA Championship in just his fifth start as a Professional.

The 21-year-old said this win is his biggest achievement to date in his young career.

“It ranks pretty high this one, I’ve had a lot of things going on mentally the last few months so to win is really good.”

The win gives Felton full exemption on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia till the end of 2018, allowing him peace of mind for the rest of this season.

“Obviously we’re trying to keep our job at the end of the year, I finished really well in the money list last year, 18th I think on the Order of Merit, so I got a pretty good exemption category this year.

“Now I can kind of, not necessarily relax, but if I don’t play too well I’ve still got exemption all of next year.”

Ben Campbell was awarded the Sir Bob Charles trophy for finishing the leading New Zealander in the field.

“I obviously would’ve much rather have both trophies, but silverware is silverware,” Campbell said.

“It was a bit disappointing; I hit the ball really well today I just struggled with the putter all day.”

With the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open to be played virtually in his backyard next week, Campbell said he’ll look forward to carrying his form over.

“It’ll be good, I’m living down at Arrowtown now and I play out at Millbrook as well so another tournament around a course I know very well should be good.”

Campbell finished T2 with Josh Younger while Matthew Giles (NSW) was outright fourth.

New Zealand trio Harry Bateman, Gareth Paddison and Shaun Jones were T5 with Brad Kennedy (QLD), Ben Clementson (NSW) and Anthony Quayle (QLD) rounding out the top-10.

For all full results from the Lawnmaster Horizon Golf NZ PGA Championship please visit pga.org.au.

The ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia now heads to Millbrook Resort for the ISPS HANDA NZ Open.

Photo at top: PGA of Australia


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