Aussie Bowditch sets pace at Holden NZ Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2005 New Zealand Open | Round One | 10 Feb 2005
Queensland professional Steven Bowditch ran the hottest on a day of spectacular scoring in the opening round of the $1.5 million Holden New Zealand Open golf tournament at Gulf Harbour today.
With the weather near perfect and the course likewise, the field of 156 was unrelenting in its attack with 116 players bettering the par of 72 and another seven equalling it.
But the eight-under 64 returned by Bowditch in the morning stood the test throughout the afternoon. Swedes Chris Hanell, Niclas Fasth, and Joakim Haeggman all got to that mark late in their rounds before dropping a shot near the end.
The three Swedes finished at seven-under as did Scotsman Alastair Forsyth, who birdied the last two holes to do so, and unheralded Queenslander Simon Nash, who bogeyed his first hole (the 10th) then reeled off eight birdies and nine pars for his next 17 holes.
Nine players finished on six-under while the leading New Zealander, on five-under, was Auckland club professional Stuart Malcolmson, who had seven birdies and two bogeys in his 67.
“I putted really well. I’ve played a lot here and local knowledge and that helps. It is not challenging off the tees, but you have to know the spots where to miss.”
Malcolmson, 32, was joint top qualifier at the final qualifying tournament at Middlemore last Monday when he shot a five-under 67. The once touring pro who is now content to be a teaching professional at the Ellerslie Driving Range said he had no ambition to resume a full-time playing career that he abandoned in the 1990s.
Defending champion Terry Price (Queensland) had three birdies and 15 pars in his 69, but last year’s runner-up, young Aucklander Brad Heaven, who has since turned professional, had a disastrous 77.
Tournament favourite and last week’s Heineken winner at Royal Melbourne, Craig Parry had an eagle on the par-4 first hole, six birdies and four bogeys in his 68.
Source – NZGA
Photo – Anthony Powter