Webster sets course record at Holden NZ Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2005 New Zealand Open | Round Four | 13 Feb 2005
English professional Steve Webster played sensational speed golf at Gulf Harbour this morning to set a course record of 62, 10-under par, in the final round of the $1.5 million Holden New Zealand Open golf championship.
After shooting the worst third round score of 80 on Saturday, Webster, 30, found himself at the tail of the 79-strong field and first off by himself today.
He initially planned to go out by himself but fellow Englishman Simon Hurd, who had been the tournament’s first reserve, offered to accompany him and his invitation was accepted.
They set off at 7.34am and three hours later Webster holed a superb 8m birdie putt on the 18th green for a 62 which erased the names of five players from the record books. American Scott Verplank and Swede Patrick Sjoland had shot 63 at the 1998 World Cup and in the second round of the championship this week that number was matched by Niclas Fasth (Sweden), Richard Green (Australia), and Miles Tunnicliff (England).
The 10-under score represented Webster’s best in a tournament _ he had previously fired a nine-under par 62 at the Telefonica Open in Spain four years ago. The 62 also equalled the best score at any New Zealand Open. Australians Rodger Davis, in 1986, and Paul Gow, in 2000, achieved that at The Grange and Paraparaumu Beach, respectively.
Even more amazing was that Webster did not hit a ball on the range or have a practice putt before teeing off. He chucked five balls into a small carry bag and set off at pace.
“I hit it straight left off the first tee and down the bank and thought ’here we go’ in a recall of his horrendous 80 in the third round when he was five-over par after as many holes.”
“But it was sitting all right and I hit No. 7 iron into about 15 feet, rushed it 6 feet by but made that putt. Then I made a putt at the next and just got going. I was nine-under after 12 and hit some great shots down the hard stretch without making the putts.”
Webster knew he had to hole his long birdie putt at the last for the record and after due consideration of the line with his caddy, he slotted it in the middle – “I knew it had a good chance 6ft out.”
Webster said he started off playing skins with Hurd, but that was called off after four holes and his caddy was also “about 80 quid” in debt to him after he bet Webster could not finish inside the top 70. They figured he needed to shoot 67 or better.
Webster said the harder he tried in the third round the worse it got.
“Today I went out to have a laugh and joke and play like I used to as amateur. It’s a crazy game. If you don’t try you think you’re not giving yourself a chance but if you try too hard it doesn’t work out. I really don’t know what to do now, I might just retire on a high.”
Webster said he had loved his trip Down Under and would return next year.
Source – NZGA