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McLauchlan And Green Off To Positive Start At New Zealand Amateur

William McLauchlan and Jessica Green have put themselves in a prime position for making the New Zealand Amateur match play following the first day at Otago Golf Club.

McLauchlan, a local Otago Golf Club member, has pleased the many Otago supporters with his fine four-under 67 to lead by a couple over Kevin Koong and Liam Judkins.

He also leads a national event for the first time.

The 19-year-old began with five pars from the tenth before making two consecutive birdies at 15 and 16. After turning in two under, he made another birdie at the first before making another five pars in a row. He finished with a bogey at seven and back-to-back birdies at eight and nine to sign for the best round of the day.

McLauchlan says he’s more than happy with his start to the event.

“I played really solidly today and just made one bogey on my third-to-last hole of the day, but aside from that, I hit almost every green in regulations and holed a couple of putts. It feels great.”

He also says being a member here has its advantages, as he wasn’t caught out by any of the course’s subtle undulations.

“There are quite a few bumps around the greens and places where you can’t miss it, especially with these firm greens. I’ve seen this course plenty of times, so it certainly helps that I’m a member here.

“I love the feeling [of being at the top of the leaderboard]. It’s a bit different, and hopefully, I can keep it going for the rest of the week.”

Jessica Green leads by one over Rebekah Blackwell-Chin and two over 2017 champion Silvia Brunotti.

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Green, who plays out of Te Puke Golf Club, also started off the tenth and went out in even par after bogeys at ten and 18 with a couple of birdies sandwiched in between on 12 and 13.

She bogeyed the first and second but got those shots back at three and five. She finished her remaining holes in one over to shoot 72 in the opening round.

Green says her game plan won’t change, and she’ll continue to have fun on a great golf course.

“I have no expectations, and I’m going to come out this week and make sure I have fun because that’s when I play my best golf.”

The opening round got off to a hiss and a roar, with another local player, Josh Tasman-Jones, hitting the perfect shot on the 12th to record his first hole-in-one.

The top 32 men and 16 women will progress to the match play following tomorrow’s second round, which gets underway at 8 am.

NZ Men’s Amateur leaderboard & tournament information: https://www.golf.co.nz/tournament-detail?tournamentid=521&competitionid=930612&clubid=306

NZ Women’s Amateur leaderboard & tournament information: https://www.golf.co.nz/tournament-detail?tournamentid=521&competitionid=930613&clubid=306

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