25 Nov 2012

Australian amateur wins NZ Golf Open

7:29 pm on 25 November 2012

Australian amateur golfer Jake Higginbottom has won the New Zealand Golf Open at Clearwater in Christchurch.

The 19-year-old 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 two under par.

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

Jake Higginbottom (left) with Sir Bob Charles.

Jake Higginbottom (left) with Sir Bob Charles. Photo: RNZ

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

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

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 splitting 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.