04 Nov 2019 | Amateur golf |
Doey delivers in epic NZ Amateur final
Doey Choi is taking the New Zealand Women's Amateur crown back to Australia for the first time in 19 years.
The regulation 36-hole final wasn’t enough to separate Choi and Caryn Khoo who were tied after regulation play at Remuera Golf Club in Auckland.
They needed two extra holes for a winner to be decided, and par was good enough for the Sydneysider to claim the one of the biggest wins of her career thus far.
“This feels really good,” Choi said.
“This is probably one of my biggest victories. I’m really happy to get this one over the line.” Choi trailed for much of the day and her largest deficit was three with just nine holes to play.
But she won the 28th, 29th, and 30th holes to pull square and set up a tense finale.
Choi, the No.1 in the champion New South Wales Interstate team, binned a monster 10m putt for birdie on the 36th to put enormous pressure on Khoo, who had a 2.5m birdie putt of her own that looked likely to have been for a win seconds earlier.
But the Kiwi remained calm and rolled in her putt to extend the match.
The pair traded pars up the first playoff hole until Khoo found the greenside bunker with her approach to the 38th, while Choi found the green to turn the screws.
When Khoo couldn't get up and down out of the sand, two putts were enough for Choi.
“This one is big for my family and friends back home,” Choi beamed.
“I could feel the crowd cheering on Caryn as she was the last Kiwi girl standing. I just tried to block it out and play my own game.
“I was up early, but Caryn won a few holes after that and I was down for the rest of the day. I fought back really hard on the last to claw my way back into the match which I was able to.
“I haven’t been hitting it that well the whole week, but I scrambled really well so I’m over the moon with the result.”
Choi becomes the first Australian winner of the storied event since fellow NSW golfer Carlie Butler (now Hoysted) at Huapai, north of Auckland, in 2000.
– NZ Golf
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