New South Welshman Jordan Zunic has won the BMW New Zealand Open in Queenstown.
The 23-year-old rookie clinched a one shot victory over Victorian David Bransdon, with a stunning shot into the final hole in perfect conditions at The Hills.
Needing a birdie at 18 to avoid a playoff, Zunic hit a superb approach shot to just two feet, calmly tapping in the putt to finish at 21-under 266.
That was enough to relegate Bransdon to outright second at 20-under the card, a bogey at the last proving costly while fellow Victorian Kristopher Mueck was third at 18-under the card.
“When I hit it, it felt perfect and I just thought as long as the distance is right this should be pretty good. Obviously when it landed I was very happy,” said Zunic.
“I’m still in disbelief. I’m trying to pinch myself to say this really happened.”
“I knew I was playing well, but playing well and winning are two different things and I’m over the moon.”
It completes an incredible comeback for Zunic, who only turned Pro in January despite failing to earn his PGA Tour of Australasia card at Qualifying School.
However, the New South Welshman’s career was in jeopardy little more than a year ago, after he fractured his elbow in three places in a near fatal car accident in the United States.
“It was tough coming back from that. I didn’t know if I could get back to my best. I didn’t know if I’d even be able to play golf again when it first happened,” added Zunic.
“Since then it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with my golf, but this is what I want to be doing so I worked my butt off and it’s nice to have some rewards for your hard work.”
Now Zunic can look forward to exemption on the PGA Tour of Australasia until the end of 2018 and three starts on the Japan Tour this year.
“I was planning on having to pre-qualify for everything later this year and I didn’t even know about the Japan starts until they told me at the end so that’s unbelievable to.”
“I just can’t wait to start the journey – this is only the beginning.”
To cap things off, Zunic and his playing partner Maryanne Marlow also won the pro-am teams event, beating Aaron Pike and his amateur team mate Simon George on a countback, after both teams finished at 37-under the card.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Joshua Munn claimed the Bledisloe Cup for the leading amateur at the BMW New Zealand Open.
The 24-year-old, who was the only amateur to make the cut, finished in a share of 23rd place at 10-under the card.
“It’s an amazing feeling. I didn’t even know there was a prize for the leading amateur until yesterday when someone told me after my round, so I’m pretty happy,” said Munn.