Mouth-watering opening matches at New Zealand Amateur Championship

The first round of matchplay at the 118th New Zealand Amateur Championship offers some enthralling battles for the first leg of the knockout stages of the tournament.

Dominic Brettkelly backed-up his opening round of seven-under 65 with a three-under 69 to take the number one seed at 10-under par heading into the matchplay. He’s set to face the number 32 qualifier Jesper Bengtsson.

He got off to a good start making birdie at the first followed by a bogey at the second. He then made three birdies on the trot at the fourth, fifth, and sixth holes to get to three-under for the day. He made two bogeys to round out his opening nine and would make the turn at one-under par.

Brettkelly made two more birdies at the 15th and 18th holes to close and finish at 10-under and secure his spot for the matchplay.

Although it “wasn’t flash,” he’s excited for tomorrow.

“It was a good number in the end, but it wasn’t very flash. I didn’t play quite as well as yesterday but scrambled well and holed a few good putts. I’m really happy with the number.

“I don’t think much will change for me. I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing and try and not change the game plan too much and make sure I beat the person in front of me,” he explains.

Brettkelly has been working hard at his mental game of late, and it seems to be paying dividends.

He’s had his battles mentally, and says he has no expectations for the week and is going out there to have fun.

“Today was a much better day for me mentally. Every day is hard but it’s nice to be out on this beautiful course on a beautiful day like today; it was a good day and I had a lot of fun.

“I’ve got no expectations for the week. I’m just trying to enjoy my golf at the moment and if I win come the end of the week then that’s awesome. I’m just focusing on playing well but if someone plays better than me and beats me that’s ok as well,” Brettkelly says.

One of the most exciting first round matches sees the second-seed Kerry Mountcastle play the defending champion Samuel Jones.

Mountcastle fired a blistering eight-under 64 alongside his opening round of two-under to rocket up the leaderboard and share the medalist honours with Brettkelly and Kazuma Kobori.

Mountcastle has been to the big dance himself where he fell just short in the final to Charlie Smail back in 2018.

He says he can’t wait to get underway for the matchplay portion of the event.

“I’m feeling pretty good. I know I need to play some good golf as Sam has been there and done that last year, but I’ve made it to the final too, so I know what needs to be done to get there again.”

“Even though it’s matchplay I’m not going to approach anything differently. What will happen will happen. Sometimes you meet people on a good day, and that’s ok. Hopefully my golf can match or be better than theirs, and I get the job done,” he says.

Mountcastle has also won the New Zealand Strokeplay back in 2018 and looks forward to the opportunity of having his name on both trophies should things go his way this week.

“It would be pretty special to have both of them under my belt; I’m not too sure how many people have done that, but it’d be pretty special to be able to do that,” he says.

Kazuma Kobori also finished as co-medalist and will play Joshua Bai in the first round.

Women’s medalist Momoka Kobori is faced with a mouth-watering matchup against Darae Chung in her opening match of the tournament.

She fired a second round of two-under to finish at six-under for the qualifying rounds to snap up the top spot by one over Tara Raj. Chung finished in 16th spot following rounds of 78 and 77 to finish at 11-over par.

Kobori is looking forward to testing herself against one of the best female players in the country.

“I’m actually really looking forward to it. She’s a great player and one of the top-ranked players in the country and I’m looking forward to testing myself against her.”

The women’s medallist had a tidy second round to lock up the top position. She made eight pars and a birdie at the fifth on her opening nine to make the turn in one-under par.

She then made two more birdies at the 10th and 13th holes to get it to three-under for the day but dropped a shot at the 16th to fall back to two-under.

She says it was a solid day on the course and will need to continue her good form into the matchplay starting tomorrow.

“It was really solid for the most part and I didn’t make any mistakes that were costly for the most part. I just tried to plod my way around and make my pars and I’m happy with how I played today.”

“I haven’t qualified as the top seed before so it’s nice to come back over here after being away and to be able to do that,” she says.

The top 16 women progress to the matchplay which gets underway at 10.45 tomorrow morning.

The top 32 men get underway from 7.30am.

Men's Opening Round Draw

Women's Opening Round Draw

Men’s scores after round 2 - Thu 22 Oct 2020

134 Kerry Mountcastle (Masterton) 70 64, Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora) 68 66, Dominic Brettkelly (Hororata) 65 69

135 Tyler Wood (Palmerston North) 67 68

138 Mako Thompson (Maraenui) 72 66, James Hydes (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 71 67, Jerry (Xiangming) Ren (P, Gulf Harbour Country Club) 69 69, Tyler Hodge (P, Gulf Harbour Country Club) 68 70

139 Will O'Connor (Royal Wellington) 70 69, Ethan Jones (Manaia) 68 71, Jayden Ford (Judgeford) 67 72

140 Jonathan Mackay (P, Cromwell) 72 68, Robby Turnbull (Remuera) 69 71, Zachary May (Russley) 67 73

141 Daniel Freeman (Remuera) 70 71, Jimmy Zheng (Howick) 69 72

142 Cameron Harlock (Royal Auckland and Grange) 71 71, Shaun Campbell (Omanu) 70 72

143 Logan Hooper (North Shore) 70 73

144 Kahu Tataurangi (Remuera) 76 68, Charlie Smail (Walton) 75 69, Sam Vincent (Riverside) 73 71, Caerwyn Ross (Paraparaumu Beach) 73 71, Jaeseung Na (Whitford Park) 71 73, Trent Munn (Manawatu) 71 73

145 Joshua Morris (Taupo) 72 73

146 Matt McLean (Harewood) 74 72, Joshua Bai (Akarana) 72 74, Samuel Jones (Manaia) 70 76, Ross Allott (Waitemata) 69 77, Jesper Bengtsson (North Shore) 69 77, James Tauariki (Futures Geyserland) 68 78

147 Stephen Liu (Whitford Park) 74 73, Inia Logan (Cromwell) 72 75, Karan Nalam (Royal Auckland and Grange) 69 78

148 Kevin Koong (Muriwai) 74 74, Zack Swanwick (Napier Inc.) 72 76

149 Peter Kerekere (Poverty Bay) 75 74, Mitchell Kale (Tauranga) 71 78, Nathan Clark (Tauranga) 71 78

150 Kit Bittle (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 79 71, Hukanui Brown (Patutahi) 76 74, Tuhourangi Wilson (Karamu) 74 76, Thomas Woods (Miramar) 74 76

151 Henry Spring (Whakatane) 80 71, Sam Marsters (Miramar) 78 73, William Brown (Waikohu) 75 76, Kyle Maihi (P, Royal Auckland and Grange) 72 79

152 Cosmo Graham (Hastings) 79 73, Jack Bull (P, Onewhero) 78 74, David Kim (Akarana) 76 76, George Helsby (Royal Auckland and Grange) 74 78, Joshua Rookes (Huapai) 73 79

153 Nick Ludbrook (Greenacres) 71 82

154 Logan Madden (Morrinsville) 77 77

155 Alex Tait (Mangawhai) 76 79, Tim Neill (Matamata) 74 81

156 Thomas Donovan (Poverty Bay) 79 77, Samuel Dodds (Pupuke) 79 77, Archie Gothard (Royal Auckland and Grange) 77 79, Jamie Reid (Fitzroy) 76 80

157 Sam Reese (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 77 80, Ben Croft (Mangawhai) 76 81, Jordan Woodall (Cambridge) 75 82

158 Leonard Powell (Mangawhai) 77 81, Andrew Higham (Te Puia Hot Springs) 77 81, Ryan Rooney (Feilding) 76 82

160 Riley King (Boulcott's Farm Heritage) 77 83

162 Tom Parker (Christchurch) 78 84

165 Wilson Simmonds (Taupo) 80 85

175 Nathan Green (Whitford Park) 91 84

Women’s scores after round 2 - Thu 22 Oct 2020

138 Momoka Kobori (Rangiora) 68 70

139 Tara Raj (Wanganui) 70 69

144 Vivian Lu (Royal Auckland and Grange) 74 70

145 Yeonsoo Son (North Shore) 73 72, Fiona Xu (Titirangi) 71 74

146 Rianne Li (Akarana) 72 74

148 Kelly Wu (Remuera) 74 74

149 Eunseo Choi (Takapuna) 73 76

151 Misong Jang (North Shore) 74 77

152 Amy Im (Pupuke) 76 76, Anna An (Muriwai) 74 78

153 Sumin Kang (Wakatipu Junior) 79 74

154 Lizzie Neale (Nelson Inc.) 81 73, Aileen Du (Remuera) 77 77, Tessa Jane McDonald (Poverty Bay) 76 78

155 Darae Chung (Shandon) 78 77

158 Sieun Ha (North Shore) 78 80, Jessica Green (Futures Geyserland) 75 83

159 Zahraa Bester (Hamilton - St Andrews) 81 78

160 Caitlin Maurice (Omokoroa) 78 82

161 Shardae Bulkeley (Mangawhai) 79 82

164 Yoonae Jeong (Wakatipu Junior) 78 86

166 Esther Papuni (Pakuranga) 85 81

168 Maddie May (Russley) 80 88

174 Yewoo Hyun (Shandon) 86 88