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.’’
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