David McKenzie wins in China

BY Bruce Young | 2014 Lanhai Open | Wrap | 08 Jun 2014

CHENJIA TOWN, China—As a soon-to-be 47-year-old, David McKenzie is at the age where it might occasionally cross his mind if he will ever win again. The veteran from Australia stopped that thinking at the Lanhai Open, though, as he played steady—sometimes spectacular—golf all week, capturing his first PGA TOUR China Series title by five strokes over Steve Dartnall.

Holding a three-shot lead going into the final round, McKenzie expected a battle over the last 18 holes. But that didn’t materialize during the final round at Lan Hai International Golf Club’s Links Course. McKenzie’s final-round 69 was his fourth consecutive round in the 60s, and he made only one bogey Sunday (at the par-4 15th)—only two bogeys over his final 47 holes.

“I actually thought [a win] would be soon,” said McKenzie, who has a mini streak going now, with two victories in as many years. He won the Victorian PGA Championship on the PGA Tour of Australasia a year ago.

“I just didn’t think it would come as soon as this," he added.

The victory was worth ¥216,000 (approximately U.S. $35,000) and moved McKenzie’s season earnings total to ¥237,450, good for fifth place on the order of merit. His five-shot margin of victory is second only to J.H. Wang’s 10-stroke win in the Series’ first event, the Mission Hills Haikou Open.

Facing a six-stroke deficit when the day began, Dartnall started too far behind. And despite some early round heroics, he ultimately had too much ground to make up. Even after making three quick birdies to start his final round, Dartnall still trailed McKenzie by three shots. Any chances Dartnall had of winning ended when McKenzie birdied No. 7 to Dartnall’s par to move back ahead by four strokes. After that, the pair matched scores over the next six holes (par, birdie, birdie, par, birdie, par). A Dartnall bogey at No. 14 ended his chances for good.

McKenzie will play the PGA TOUR China Series’ Beijing Open next week then re-evaluate where he will play the remainder of the season, admitting the victory, “quite possibly will change my schedule.”

Bryden McPherson 5th, Jamie Arnold (9th) and Matthew Perry and Brett Drewitt rounded out the Australasians inside the top ten.

Drewitt leads the Australasians on the PGA Tour’s China Series money list in third position.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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