Former NZ Open winner adds NZ PGA to his tally

Brad Kennedy of Australia with his NZ PGA Championship trophy. Photo: Simon Watts BW Media.

Brad Kennedy of Australia with his NZ PGA Championship trophy. Photo: Simon Watts BW Media.

A blemish-free final round carried Brad Kennedy to victory in the New Zealand PGA Championship in Auckland.

The Australian carded a five-under par 67 for his last 18 holes at the Remuera Golf Club to win by two shots from Josh Geary of New Zealand and another Australian, Nevan Basic.

Kennedy, winner of 2011 New Zealand Open, had scores of 70, 65, 64 and 67 to finish at 22 under par. It was his first win for three years.

“It feels fantastic,’’ Kennedy said.

“I haven’t won since 2013, it’s been a great week and I am really glad I could do the double here in New Zealand.”

Kennedy birdied his first hole on the final day and never looked back afterwards.

“I was able to get off to a good start and I knew I had to do that today,’’ he said.

“The back nine was playing pretty tricky with the breeze swirling. None of us played the back nine as good as we could have and fortunately Josh made a bogey on 17.

“That gave me a little bit of leeway coming into the last. I managed to birdie the last so it’s a great feeling to win again.”

Kennedy is a regular on the Japan Tour and will be heading back there this year.

“It’s a great start for me this year, and I’ve got two months off before the Japan Tour starts. To win anywhere is just a great effort, there were some quality players here “s week so to come over and win in New Zealand, it’s like my backyard now.

“Obviously all the locals were gunning for Josh, and making lots of noise, but I just kept doing my own thing. Being over in Japan and being on tour for a long time now, you try to use that as a bit of an advantage, it was a great tussle out there.”

Geary’s hopes of victory were virtually dashed when he scored a bogey on the 17th hole. But he was not despondent afterwards considering he finished 20-under par with scores of 68, 65, 66 and 69.

“To come out and shoot 20-under and to just lose is not really a bad week,” Geary said.

“Brad played really solid, he didn’t give us an inch. I did what I could, I didn’t quite have my A-game but I was still able to shoot some good numbers.

“Missing as many fairways as I did this week I did really well, so I’m still proud of what I achieved here for how I played.”

New Zealand’s second highest ranked player in the world, Ryan Fox, gave the locals plenty to cheer about when firing a seven-under on the last day to finish the tournament fourth on 19-under 269.

A shot back fifth was another Kiwi, Michael Hendry, and James Nitties from Australia.

Holden marketing general manager Marnie Samphier was pleased with the way the tournament went.

“It has been a wonderful few days, with more people coming out, bigger crowds this year, high quality golfers and lots for people to do,’’ Samphier said.

“The look and feel makes this more than just a golf tournament, it’s a great event for the whole family to enjoy.’’

RESULTS:

POS,COUNTRY,PLAYER,TOT,THRU,RND,R1,R2,R3,R4,SCORE

1,AUSQLD,Brad Kennedy   ,-22,F,-5,70,65,64,67,266

T2,AUSNSW,Neven Basic   ,-20,F,-6,68,70,64,66,268

T2,NZL,Josh Geary   ,-20,F,-3,68,65,66,69,268

4,NZL,Ryan Fox ,-19,F,-7,71,67,66,65,269

T5,NZL,Michael Hendry   ,-18,F,-4,70,64,68,68,270

T5,AUSNSW,James Nitties   ,-18,F,-2,65,68,67,70,270

T7,AUSNSW,Steven Jeffress   ,-17,F,-5,70,67,67,67,271

T7,ZAF,Dylan Frittelli ,-17,F,-4,69,65,69,68,271

9,AUSVIC,Tom Power Horan   ,-16,F,-2,68,68,66,70,272

T10,KOR,Dongwoo Kang   ,-15,F,-6,71,69,67,66,273

T10,AUSQLD,Tim Hart   ,-15,F,-1,66,69,67,71,273

T12,AUSSA,David Lutterus ,-14,F,-7,71,69,69,65,274

T12,AUSACT,Matthew Millar   ,-14,F,-6,70,71,67,66,274

T12,KOR,Hyun-woo Ryu   ,-14,F,-5,69,71,67,67,274

T12,NZL,Daniel Pearce   ,-14,F,-4,69,69,68,68,274

T12,AUSNSW,Aaron Townsend   ,-14,F,-2,67,69,68,70,274

T12,AUSQLD,Brett Rankin ,-14,F,-1,66,67,70,71,274

T18,NZL,Gareth Paddison   ,-13,F,-4,71,65,71,68,275

T18,AUSVIC,Josh Younger   ,-13,F,-2,69,71,65,70,275

T20,AUSQLD,Daniel Nisbet   ,-12,F,-6,68,71,71,66,276

T20,AUSVIC,Alistair Presnell   ,-12,F,-4,71,69,68,68,276

T20,NZL,Mathew Perry   ,-12,F,-1,73,64,68,71,276

T20,AUSVIC,Anthony Houston   ,-12,F,0,67,69,68,72,276

T24,JPN,Shintaro Kobayashi   ,-11,F,-6,75,66,70,66,277

T24,AUSVIC,Lucas Herbert ,-11,F,-5,72,69,69,67,277

T24,NZL,Mark Brown   ,-11,F,0,65,69,71,72,277

T27,AUSACT,Brendan Jones ,-10,F,-5,72,69,70,67,278

T27,AUSWA,Daniel Fox   ,-10,F,-3,69,69,71,69,278

T27,AUSVIC,Rory Bourke   ,-10,F,-1,74,67,66,71,278

T27,AUSNSW,Jake Higginbottom   ,-10,F,-1,69,72,66,71,278

T27,SWE,Daniel Chopra   ,-10,F,3,69,68,66,75,278

T32,AUSVIC,Chris Gaunt   ,-9,F,-3,70,68,72,69,279

T32,NZL,Nick Gillespie   ,-9,F,1,70,66,70,73,279

T32,AUSVIC,Ashley Hall   ,-9,F,1,71,67,68,73,279

T35,NZL,Peter Lee   ,-8,F,-2,70,67,73,70,280

T35,AUSVIC,Scott Laycock ,-8,F,-2,69,71,70,70,280

T35,AUSVIC,Kristopher Mueck   ,-8,F,-1,68,69,72,71,280

T35,AUSQLD,Taylor Macdonald   ,-8,F,-1,68,69,72,71,280

T35,AUSNSW,Scott Arnold   ,-8,F,3,68,65,72,75,280

40,AUSVIC,Anthony Brown   ,-7,F,-1,71,68,71,71,281

41,AUSQLD,Damien Jordan ,-6,F,3,68,70,69,75,282

42,NZL,Steven Alker ,-5,F,-2,70,71,72,70,283

43,NZL,David Smail   ,-4,F,0,70,70,72,72,284

44,AUSVIC,Jack Wilson   ,-3,F,5,70,67,71,77,285

T45,AUSQLD,Jake McLeod   ,-2,F,1,70,70,73,73,286

T45,AUSSA,Brad Moules   ,-2,F,5,70,67,72,77,286

47,AUSNSW,Rohan Blizard   ,-1,F,1,70,71,73,73,287

T48,AUSVIC,Ryan Lynch   ,0,F,0,69,72,75,72,288

T48,AUSNSW,Adam Stephens   ,0,F,2,73,68,73,74,288

T48,NZL,Hayden Beard   ,0,F,4,72,69,71,76,288

51,AUSNSW,Josh Whitehouse   ,1,F,0,72,69,76,72,289

52,AUSVIC,Daniel Valente   ,5,F,6,73,67,75,78,293

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