Thursday, February 28, 2019

 
Zach Murray of Australia
Zach Murray of Australia
Queenstown, New Zealand, February 28: Asian Tour rookie Zach Murray got off to a flying start after signing for a flawless eight-under-par 63 at the Millbrook Resort to grab a share of the opening round lead at the 100th New Zealand Open on Thursday.
The 21-year-old Australian, who came through the 2019 Asian Tour Qualifying School in December, fired eight birdies to sit atop the leaderboard alongside Japan’s Ryuko Tokimatsu and Harry Bateman of New Zealand, who finished strongly to sign for matching 64s at The Hills.
Kodai Ichihara of Japan, a two-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, reeled in five consecutive birdies in his closing six holes at The Hills to trail the leading trio by two shots in outright fourth place at the NZ$1,250,000 (approx. US$850,000) event.
After turning in 37 at The Hills, Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat made his move by sinking six birdies in his back-nine to sign for a 67 and grab a share of fifth place at the prestigious event that is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand, who leads the current Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings, carded a 69 at The Hills to tie in 25th place while defending champion Daniel Nisbet of Australia signed for a 70 at Millbrook Resort for tied-59th place.
There are a total of 152 professionals and 152 amateurs taking part in the event. The first two rounds will alternate between the par-71 course at Millbrook Resort and the par-72 course at The Hills.
A cut will be made after 36 holes and the top 60 players plus ties will go on to compete in the final two rounds at The Hills.
Ends.

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