Date: January 27, 2013
Author: Graeme Phillipson

New Zealand’s Munn Wins at Belmont

Sunday 27 January – Day 4

Click here for 2013 Leaderboard Twenty-one year old New Zealand golfer Josh Munn had a scintillating six under par 66 to win The Greater Lake Macquarie Golf Championships at Belmont by three shots today. Relishing the rainy, sodden conditions the Manawatu amateur charged home on the back nine with an eagle 3 on the 437 metres par five 10th hole and birdies on the 12th, 13th and 17th to beat his fellow overnight leaders, Brett Drewitt, of Long Reef, and Nathan Kimsey, of Lincolnshire, England, who both had 69s to finish on 12 under par. Munn started with a bogey on the first hole but then birdied holes two and three. He sank a five metre putt to save his par on the final hole for the win and was swamped by congratulations from other members of the New Zealand team. He said after the win he was in awe of following the footsteps of other winners of the championships, golfers like Peter O Malley and many other successful professionals. I was so much in the zone I didn t feel the rain, he said. This is easily my most important win. He said he had no immediate plans to turn professional but wanted to play against the best amateurs in the US and Europe. He leaves in a week for South Africa to play in the Ten Nationals Cup amateur event. Munn is one of the few amateurs to win pro events on the Charles Tour in New Zealand. In fourth place on 11 under was 19 year old Queenslander, Cameron Smith. Heavy rain caused two delays during the day when several greens flooded but the course recovered and play resumed. The joint overnight leaders went toe to toe through the first seven holes today, all three at ten under, but at the par four 347 metres 8th hole, Kimsey took a one shot lead with a remarkable birdie. He found trouble off the tee and was stymied behind a tree off the fairway but managed to pitch to within three metres and sank the putt. He turned at 11 under, equal with Smith who was playing in the group ahead and one shot up on Drewitt and Munn. But Munn took charge with his eagle on the 10th and was never headed, carding 31 for the back nine. Seventeen year old Queenslander, Viraat Badhwar, who migrated with his parents from India six years ago, finished on seven under for the tournament after carding 66 yesterday. Badhwar, who finished school last year and plays out of the Indooroopilly Club in Brisbane, has just won a scholarship to Stanford University in the United States. Best of the Hunter contingent were former Scone player, Nathan Waters, who finished equal ninth on 284 after a final round of 69, Luke Morrison, formerly of the Waratah Club, who had a 71 today for a total of 289 and Callan O Reilly, formerly of Toronto, who had a 74 to card a total of 290.

Saturday 26 January – Day 3

Front running Long Reef golfer Brett Drewitt is locked in a battle for the lead with New Zealand star, Josh Munn, and Englishman, Nathan Kimsey, after the third day of The Greater Lake Macquarie Amateur Championships at Belmont. All three are sitting on 54- hole totals of nine under par 207 with one round to go tomorrow. Drewitt had a nine under 63 in the first round equalling the course record first set by Jason Day in 2002. In his next two rounds he had solid par 72s. Munn, who plays out of Manawatu, had a first round of 65, followed by a two-under 70 and a par round today. Kimsey, who plays out of the Woodhall Spa Club in Lincolnshire, was the only one of the trio to break par today, finishing with a one-under 71 to go with his earlier 67 and 69. Also right in contention is the runner up last year and the year before Cameron Smith who had a three under 69 today to follow his 72 and 67. Smith, who plays out of Royal Queensland and was one of the pre-tournament favourites, has a three round total of 208, eight under par. Twenty-one year old New Zealander, Vaughan McCall, who practices on a South Island country course where sheep mow the fairways, had a blistering five-under 67 today. The best round today was carded by Queenslander, Viraat Badhwar, who had a brilliant six-under 66 to bring his three day total to six-under 210. Badhwar started with a bogey on the first hole but then had five birdies and an eagle on the 432 metres par five 16th hole. Best of the Hunter Valley contingent was former Scone golfer, Nathan Waters, who had a 69 today to follow his earlier rounds of 69 and 77 bringing his three round total to one under par 215. Waters now plays out of the Long Reef Club in Sydney. Next best local was Callan O Reilly, formerly of Toronto Club and now at Pennant Hills, who had had a 74 today following his 70 and 72. The best good luck/bad luck story of the tournament comes from Cameron Haines, of The Lakes. He had a hole in one on the difficult 166 metres par three 14th yesterday to finish with an even par round of 72. But his luck changed when he missed the half way cut by a single shot. A New Zealand golfer who practices on a South Island country course where sheep mow the fairways, had a blistering five-under 67 on the third day of The Greater Lake Macquarie Amateur Championships at Belmont today. Vaughan McCall (pictured below), 21, of the tiny farming community of Gore, showed his record equalling round in the Lake Macquarie tournament last year was no fluke when he had eight birdies and three bogies in today s round. Unfortunately, McCall crashed yesterday with an 81 after an excellent three-under 69 on the first day on Thursday. His great round today brought him back to one over with one round to play. McCall works on a dairy farm to finance his golf. My work day routine is to get up at 3 am, start work at 5 am knock off at 2 pm and then play golf, he said. His home course is Tapanui where the sheep keep the fairways mown and there are portable fences around the greens.

Friday 25 January – Day 2

Twenty-two year old Inverell golfer Brett Drewitt, who equalled the course record with a 63 at the Belmont course yesterday, was tied for the lead with New Zealander Josh Munn after a par round today in The Greater Lake Macquarie Amateur Golf Championships. Munn, from the Gore club in New Zealand, had a two-under 70 today to follow his 7-under 65 yesterday. Drewitt and Munn are both on nine under 135 for the two rounds, only one shot ahead of Englishman Nathan Kimsey who had a 69 today after his 67 yesterday. Kimsey is one of four of England s star amateurs in the field. One of the early favourites to win the title, Queenslander Cameron Smith, who was runner up last year, was back in contention after carding a 67 today to follow his even par round yesterday. He is equal third with another Queenslander Aaron Wilkin, of Wynnum Club, who had a 70 today to follow his 69 yesterday. Victorian Anthony Houston, from the Kingswood Club was alone in fourth place on 140. Best round today came from another New Zealander, Sam An, from the Titirangi Club, who finished with a six-under par 66 which included eagles on the par five 4th hole and the par four 15th. He also had birdies on 3, 5, 16 and 17 but bogied 2 and 13. Best of the Hunter players was former Toronto player Callan O Reilly who had a par round today to follow his two-under 70 yesterday. Former Scone player Nathan Waters had a 77 today to follow his brilliant 69 yesterday. The field for the weekend has been cut to 80 places plus ties (7 over par) Another highlight was the hole in one at the14th hole by Cameron Haines (The Lakes).

Thursday 24 January – Day 1

Inverell golfer Brett Drewitt equalled the Belmont course record with a blistering nine-under 63 in the first round of the Greater Building Society Lake Macquarie Amateur Golf Championships today. Drewitt, who now plays out of Sydney s Long Reef Golf Club, had seven birdies and an eagle despite a strong Southerly wind which made conditions difficult. He eagled the par five 462 metres fourth hole, hitting a driver and five iron and sinking an eight metre putt. Drewitt, who is a member of the NSW State team and the Australian amateur squad, plans to turn professional late this year. He said he hoped to get onto the US circuit, beginning with the tour school. In today s remarkable round he birdied holes 2, 3, 6, 8, 11, 16, and 17, eagled the 4th and pared the rest of the course. Drewitt began playing golf at the age of seven, following in the footsteps of his dad. He has been with Long Reef for five years. After the morning round today he led the field by two strokes, in front of New Zealand amateur, Josh Munn, of Manawatu, who had a brilliant seven-under 65. Munn birdied 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 18 with his only blemish a bogey on the par 4 13th. Two shots away on five under was Nathan Kimsey, of the Woodhall Spa Club in Lincolnshire, one of the four top English amateurs in the field. His 67 included birdies at holes 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 14, 16 and 18 and bogies at 1, 13 and 17. Former Scone golfer Nathan Waters, who now plays out of the Long Reef Club, is leading the Hunter contingent after carding a three-under 69. Also on 69 are Aaron Wilkin and Viraat Badhwar (both of Indooroopilly, Queensland), Daniel Morgan (Ocean Shores), Joshua Cabban (Concord) and Vaughan McCall (Gore, NZ). Former Toronto player, Callan O Reilly, who now plays with Pennant Hills in Sydney, shot a sound two-under 70 despite three bogeys on the front nine. He birdied 4, 7, 8, 10 and 11. Seventeen year old Zac Stolz, the son of popular Central Coast touring professional, Andre Stolz, started brilliantly with four under after 12 but fell away to finish with 73. Last year s runner up Queenslander Cameron Smith, one of the favourites to win this year, carded a sound par round of 72 and Perth s Brady Watt, a past winner, finished with a one under 71.