Date: May 01, 2009

Jager crowned champion in NZ

AIS/Golf Australia National Squad member Matt Jager has won the 2009 Lion Foundation New Zealand Amateur Championship after a dominant 6&5 win over South African Nicol Van Wyk at Titirangi Golf Club in Auckland. Jager started the 36 hole final with an eagle on the par 4 opening hole before Van Wyk brought it back to square after the fourth hole. From there the West Australian and Melville Glades Golf Club local skipped away to a 4-up lead through 12 after his birdie there and pushed it out to a 6-up lead after another birdie on the 15th. Trouble on the 16th and 17th for Jager gave the South African a sniff of a comeback at 3-down through 19 holes but just as he did in the middle of his first 18 holes, Jager put his foot down again to shoot three birdies in his next four holes to lead 6-up through 24 holes. Birdies for both players on the par 5 31st hole were not enough for Van Wyk as Jager claimed the match 6&5. I had not played the 16th and 17th well all week so it was good that I did not have to play it again this afternoon, 20 year-old Jager said. I hit the ball really well tee to green right through the tournament. Today was the best I have putted in a long, long time which proved the difference. This is a real highlight for me. Jager made the final after a nail-biting win on the final hole against Kiwi James Hamilton in the semi final on Monday.