27 Mar 2012 - Source: NZ PGA
Picking a winner just got a lot harder heading into this week’s New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship in Arrowtown.
Several players have emerged as genuine title contenders, after showing some superb form over the weekend.
Australian Nick Cullen has stormed into contention after winning the OneAsia and Japan Tours’ co-sanctioned Indonesia Open in Jakarta on Sunday. The 27-year-old claimed his maiden professional victory by one shot, ahead of New Zealand’s David Smail who had led for the opening two rounds. Fellow kiwi Michael Long was just one shot further back in a share of third.
All three will line up in the opening round of the New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship on Thursday.
Another player to keep an eye on could be amateur star Vaughan McCall. The 20-year-old became the first Southland golfer to win the New Zealand Strokeplay Championship, with a five shot victory at the Hastings Golf Club at the weekend. McCall is one of only two amateurs invited to play in the professional field at The Hills, along with New Zealand teammate Ben Campbell.
Others who are likely to be oozing confidence are Gareth Paddison, Adam Crawford and Scott Arnold, who have all picked up wins on the Australasian Tour in the last few months.
Tournament Director Michael Glading is thrilled with the form of the field, which is looking to be one of the strongest line ups to play in New Zealand in recent years.
“Not since Tiger prowled the fairways of Paraparaumu Beach have we seen such a strong international line up and so many Kiwis in form. This weekend should be a fascinating contest with so many players capable of taking the win.”
The players will get a chance to get a feel for the course with practice rounds over the next two days with the first round of the tournament to get underway on Thursday morning.
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