25 Nov 2012

Amateur wins New Zealand golf Open

6:59 pm on 25 November 2012

The 19 year old Australian amateur golfer Jake Higginbottom has won the New Zealand golf Open at Clearwater in Christchurch.

Higginbottom becomes the first amateur to win the New Zealand Open for 56 years and the first teenager to win since Sir Bob Charles in 1954.

After rounds of 72, 70 and 72 Higginbottom started the final round at 2 under par.

A string of birdies on the back 9 helped the New South Welshman post a final round score of 67 to be seven under for the tournament.

The overnight leader Mark Brown from Wellington finished in 4th place at 4 under par after a disappointing final round of 73.

The next best placed New Zealander was Richard Lee in 5th.

The Australians Jason Norris and Peter Wilson tied for second place after rounds of 66 and 68.

Both men will take home about $72,000 after spliting the prize money for first and second because as an amateur Higginbottom is unable to collect the winnings.

The 2003 champion Mahal Pearce from Dunedin finished tied for 10th with Auckland's Michael Hendry.