Kiwi Munn takes Lake golf title

KIWI Josh Munn ran hot in the rain yesterday to win the Lake Macquarie Amateur championship at Belmont Golf Course by three shots.

Munn produced a sizzling six-under-par 66 in the final round, carding an eagle and three birdies in his five-under 31 for the back nine, after holding a three-way share of the lead on Saturday night.

The 21-year-old finished with 273, 15 under for the tournament and three shots clear of Inverell’s Brett Drewitt and England’s Nathan Kimsey.

Two-time runner-up Cameron Smith, a 19-year-old Queenslander, was a shot back in fourth.

Munn, Drewitt and Kimsey were the overnight leaders, but the man from Manawatu timed his run to perfection.

He launched the back nine with an eagle on the 437-metre, par-five 10th hole and followed with birdies on the 12th, 13th and 17th.

He finished on a high note, canning a five-metre putt on the 18th to save par, at which point he was mobbed by jubilant New Zealand teammates.

“I was so much in the zone I didn’t feel the rain,” Munn said afterwards. “This is easily my most important win.”

 Drewitt and  Kimsey  had 69s to finish on 12 under.

Delighted to have added his name to a trophy that has been won by the likes of Geoff Ogilvy, Jack Newton, Rodger David, Brett Rumford, Jarrod Lyle and Peter O’Malley, Munn said he had no immediate plans to turn professional but wanted to play against the world’s best amateurs.

He leaves in a week for South Africa to play in the Ten Nations Cup amateur event.

One of the few amateurs to win professional events on the Charles Tour in New Zealand, Munn started yesterday with a bogey on the first hole but then birdied holes two and three.

Heavy downpours flooded several greens, prompting two rain delays, but eventually play resumed.

The trio of overnight leaders remained all square through the first seven holes until Kimsey hit the front with a remarkable birdie.

He found trouble off the eighth tee and was stymied behind a tree off the fairway but pitched to within three metres and sank the putt.

He turned at 11 under, equal with Smith, who was playing in the group ahead.

Drewitt and Munn were a shot behind.

But then Munn took charge with his eagle on the 10th and was never headed.

Best of the Hunter contingent were former Scone player Nathan Waters, who finished equal ninth (284), Luke Morrison, formerly of the Waratah club (289), and Callan O’Reilly, formerly of Toronto, with 290.

 AAP reports:  John Senden’s attempt to chase down Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines was put on hold after thick fog delayed the third round of the US PGA event in California.

Just five minutes of play were recorded as the  course was blanketed in heavy fog, forcing officials to prepare for a likely Monday finish.

Former world No.1 Woods leads the tournament by two shots, having taken control with a superb seven-under-par 65 in rain-sodden conditions in the second round.

A six-time champion in the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, Woods finished at 11-under 133. Senden was four shots behind him.

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