14 Nov 2022 | Amateur golf |
Stubbs steals NZ Amateur trophy
By Golf New Zealand
Australia’s Jasper Stubbs has won the New Zealand Amateur Championship after an amazing week at Otago Golf Club.
The world number 483 beat two-time finalist Mitchell Kale in today’s final 6&5 to win his first national amateur title and his first overseas.
He was ahead right from the opening hole, making a birdie to settle his nerves. He won the next with a par and went 4up early after another birdie at the fourth and a par at the fifth. Kale managed to claw a couple back before the turn, and they went into the final nine holes of the morning round with a two-hole difference.
Stubbs kept his foot on the gas, making birdie at ten and pars at 11 and 18 to stretch his lead to five going into the afternoon.
After a short break, Stubbs picked up right where he left off. He lost the 21st to a Kale birdie but got that shot back at the 23rd after another birdie to restore his 5up lead. The pair traded blows all the way to the 31st, where Stubbs put the nail in the coffin by draining a 30-foot slider from across the green to put the pressure on Kale, who needed to hole a downhill slider of his own from eight feet to keep the match alive.
The putt sat on the lip, meaning Stubbs had captured the first big title of his amateur career, a feat he is proud of.
“It’s pretty amazing. The weather didn’t hold up for us, but I was glad my game was able to for the 31 holes that we played.
“This is my first big amateur win, my first International win, to be able to take the trophy home this week means a lot.”
Stubbs played solidly all week, qualifying third after the stroke play rounds.
He beat all the locals on his way to the final, beating local Duncan Croudis in the opening round, Sebastian Kyle in round two, Tom Lee in the quarterfinals, and William McLauchlan in the semis.
Stubbs said his golf went from strength to strength all week, culminating in a great performance on one of the biggest days in his young career.
“I played really well. I made a few bad swings here and there, but for the most part I was keeping myself in it and making a lot of pars. In the end, that was all I had to do.
“Mitch also played great, hats off to him for an amazing week and he gave me a tough run for a lot of day. I’m just super stoked to get this one across the line.”
The Australian contingent head home on Monday to play in the Tasmanian Amateur starting next week.
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