Kennedy takes 2011 NZ Open

AUSTRALIAN Brad Kennedy rammed home a 30-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole against icon Craig Parry to win the 2011 New Zealand Golf Open in Christchurch today.

In a dramatic final day both Aussie golfers did their best to lose the event at the Clearwater Golf Club while in third spot New Zealander Josh Geary was desperate to end his country’s winning drought at their national championship.

After a great rookie year on the Japan Tour, journeyman Kennedy went into the tournament as the highest ranked player and was three strokes ahead as the final round began.

Kennedy got off to an unconvincing start and saw his lead diminish as an on-fire Parry scored four birdies in six holes.

“I got off to a shaky starts and I let a couple slip through in the early stages,” said Kennedy, who was chasing his second professional win.

“I saw that Craig had it to 9-under on 14 so, I had then became the chaser, and got more aggressive.”

The 37 year old looked dead and buried nearing the end of his round until Parry found water on his 18th hole and ended up with a double bogey, forcing the playoff.

“The playoff was great, to play against someone like Craig and to win holing a putt for birdie was fantastic,” he said.

“To win a national open is right up there. To win a New Zealand Open, with all the names that are on the trophy, it’s one of the oldest opens is pretty special to me.”

Kiwi Geary was hugely disappointed in not ending the national drought with his final round 72 putting him at 6-under, just one stroke short of the playoff.

“I am definitely gutted,” he said. “What is done is done, you can cry for a few hours but it’s not going to change what happened.”

Australian Jake Higginbottom finished the event as the leading amateur and was awarded the Bledisloe Cup for his efforts.

2011 New Zealand Open Final Leaderboard
Previous articleBaker-Finch to join 2011 Australian Legends Championship field
Next articleLyle and Green earn 2012 US PGA Tour spots
Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

Leave a Reply