16 Mar 2015

NZ Open winner completes incredible comeback

8:44 am on 16 March 2015

Yesterday's New Zealand Open win completed a remarkable comeback for Australian golfer Jordan Zunic, whose career was in jeopardy little more than a year ago.

Australian golfer Jordan Zunic celebrates at the NZ Open.

Australian golfer Jordan Zunic celebrates at the NZ Open. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Zunic hit a dramatic birdie on the 18th hole to win the New Zealand Open by one shot in Queenstown.

The 23-year-old was level with his fellow countryman David Bransdon on 20 under par heading to the final hole.

His second shot hit the pin and came to rest nearby, giving him a comfortable birdie putt for the win.

Zunic says when he hit it, it felt perfect and he was very happy when it landed.

"I'm still in disbelief. I'm trying to pinch myself to say this really happened. I knew I was playing well, but playing well and winning are two different things and I'm over the moon."

Harry Bateman was the best placed New Zealander, seven shots back, while Josh Geary finished nine shots back.

It completes an incredible comeback for Zunic, who only turned pro in January.

His career was on the line a year ago, after he fractured his elbow in three places in a near fatal car accident in the United States.

"It was tough coming back from that. I didn't know if I could get back to my best. I didn't know if I'd even be able to play golf again when it first happened."

Now Zunic can look forward to exemption on the PGA Tour of Australasia for the rest of the season and the next three years as well as three starts on the Japan Tour this year.

"I just can't wait to start the journey - this is only the beginning."

To cap things off, Zunic and his playing partner Maryanne Marlow also won the Pro-AM teams event.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's Joshua Munn claimed the Bledisloe Cup for the leading amateur at the Open.

The 24-year-old, who was the only amateur to make the cut, finished in a share of 23rd place at 10-under-par.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.