Sam Marsters has gone ballistic this morning to tie local Otago Golf Club member for the co-medallist honours at the New Zealand Amateur while Jess Green wrapped up the number seed in the women’s draw.
Marsters continued his fine form firing an eight-under 63 to finish five under alongside William McLauchlan as the top seeds. McLauchlan backed up his fine round of 67 yesterday with 70 today and will be the number two seed heading into the match play.
Marsters got off to a hot start from the tenth, making back-to-back birdies to begin his day. The Wellington Match Play champion made further birdies at 13, 14, and 16 to make the turn in an incredible five-under.
He kept his foot on the gas over the back nine, making another four birdies and one, six, eight, and nine, with his only bogey of the day coming at five.
The Wellingtonian is coming into the week with a tonne of confidence, recently winning the North Island Stroke Play at Whakatane Golf Club and the Wellington Match Play at Paraparaumu Beach.
The 20-year-old says it was a day when everything clicked.
“It was a great day out there, and it was a nice calm morning. The wind picked up a little toward the end of the round, but I couldn’t have asked for a better round of golf.”
He changed his strategy off a couple of tees following his opening round of three over, which clearly paid dividends.
“I was a bit smarter off a few of the tees today. I hit a few more fairways and was able to have a wedge in my hand plenty. I consistently hit those wedges within ten to 15 feet and binned the putts.
“Today gives me plenty of confidence heading into the match play, especially coming from Wellington, where we play a lot of match play events. Winning the Wellington Match Play a few weeks ago has made me really confident heading into this week, so we’ll see what we can do.”
He’ll be playing Parker Aluesi tomorrow morning.
The other medallist, McLauchlan, will line up against Brett Kennelly.
Meanwhile, Jessica Green has wrapped up the women’s medallist honours by two at three over after shooting 72 and 73.
The Bay of Plenty representative recorded a birdie and three bogeys in blustery conditions this afternoon and said she’s happy with her work so far.
“I’m super happy, it’s a great start to the tournament, and I’m just hoping to carry it on throughout the rest of the week.
“Match play will bring a lot more excitement, but I need to focus on what I’m doing and make sure I’m taking it one match at a time. I’ve been working on a couple of things with my coach, which I am putting into play, and it seems to be paying off. I’m feeling really confident, I know what I can do, I just need to roll in some more putts, and I’ll be away.
“I’ve had a blast so far this week.”
Green will play Cassie Luo in the first round.
After a gusty afternoon, the top 16 women were found with no playoff required. The men needed a three-way playoff for two spots in the top 32, which Aluesi and Kennelly snapped up with two pars on 17 and 18.
The men get their first rounds underway at 8 am tomorrow, with the women teeing off in the afternoon for their first rounds at 12 pm.
New Zealand Men’s Amateur tournament information: https://www.golf.co.nz/tournament-detail?tournamentid=521=930612=306
New Zealand Women’s Amateur tournament information: https://www.golf.co.nz/tournament-detail?tournamentid=521=930613=306