Christchurch, New Zealand: Oscar Cadenhead etched his name into golf’s record books when he triumphed in the inaugural Faldo Series New Zealand Championship.
Playing off a handicap of +2.4, the big-hitting Cadenhead proved too powerful for his rivals, sauntering to a six-stroke success at the Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch.
Following rounds of 72 and 71, Cadenhead underlined his class with a closing bogey-free 69. With a three-round aggregate of four-under-par 212 the current Clearwater Golf Club champion had the distinction of being the only player in the 60-strong field to finish in red figures.
In so doing he ensured himself a ticket to the ninth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, an R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills Shenzhen in March.
Also flying the New Zealand flag in China will be Tadhg Campbell, Dominic Brettkelly and Momoko Kobori.
Left-hander Campbell finished second overall to Cadenhead but topped the standings in the Boys’ Under-18 Division thanks to a brilliant closing five-under-par 67. Campbell’s low round for the tournament contained five birdies and an eagle at the second hole.
Meanwhile, Brettkelly and Kobori emerged victorious after tense sudden-death play-offs.
Brettkelly tied for top spot in the Boys’ Under-16 Division with Jake Meenhorst and finally prevailed on the third extra hole.
In the Girls’ Division, Kobori and South Island Stroke Play champion Brooke Hamilton were locked together at the top of the leaderboard on 220. At the first extra hole, Kobori produced one of the shots of the tournament, a six-iron approach from 140 metres that nestled close to the flagstick to set up a winning birdie.
Andrew Bell, General Manager at Clearwater Golf Club, said: “The event ran perfectly. There was great weather and great enthusiasm from the players and their supporters. The first appearance by New Zealanders at the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final is now eagerly awaited.”
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “We’re delighted to have added the Faldo Series New Zealand Championship to our schedule.
“Based on reports I’ve heard from the event at Clearwater Golf Club I think we can expect a strong New Zealand challenge at Mission Hills.”
Supported by The R&A and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2014-15 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months and is made up of 19 championships.