Jager leads New Zealand Amateur Final
BY Anthony Powter | New Zealand Mens Amateur Tour | 2009 New Zealand Amateur Championship | Grand Final | 28 Apr 2009
Matt Jager has a four hole lead over South Africa’s Nicol Van Wyk after the opening eighteen holes in the final of the New Zealand Amateur Championships at Titirangi Golf Club.
Jager has played superb golf all week during the Championship and played aggressively early this morning with a string of birdies, getting at one stage to 5-up through 13 holes.
Titirangi’s par 4, 384 metre, 16th has been Jager’s nemesis during this Championship. Yesterday he was forced to concede the hole after flying the back of the green and losing his ball in the dense rough. This morning Jager again was forced to concede the hole to Van Wyk, after flying his ball again over the green.
The error proved costly and opened the door for Van Wyk who immediately took advantage to win the next two holes. Jager’s six hole advantage had quickly been reduced to four after the morning’s eighteen holes.
The New Zealand Amateur is Jager’s first national championship final and the world number 16 continues to play confidently.
Van Wyk is a steely character and is fighting all the way to remain in the match. Yesterday, the South African needed to dig into his reserves during his match with Australia’s Scott Arnold, which Van Wyk finally won in fading light on the 21st hole.
Luckily for Jager, Van Wyk’s putter is not as white hot as it was against Arnold in yesterday’s semi-final.
Australians have experienced considerable success at the New Zealand Amateur with eleven of the last twenty winners coming from across the Tasman, with James Nitties (2003) now playing the PGA Tour arguably the most successful of recent winners.
Jager is poised to add his name to the championship trophy, however, he’ll have to overcome a very determined and tenacious competitor in Van Wyk. The afternoon session commences at 1.00pm in Auckland.