The 2016/17 ALPG domestic season got underway today at the 2016 Anita Boon Pro-am, with local hope Jenna Hunter and Gold Coast Professional Ali Orchard tied for the lead after shooting 2 over par rounds of 72.
On a typical Auckland spring day, the strong winds provided a tough test for the players and it was a matter of who could stay the most patient in the testing conditions at the North Shore Golf Club.
Local favourite Jenna Hunter who was playing at her home course was delighted with her round in the brutal conditions, finishing strongly with birdies at her final two holes.
“Course knowledge was both an advantage and disadvantage today in these conditions.’ said the 27-year- old who finished 2nd in this event in 2013.
‘With the wind, anything could happen, I just aimed for the middle of the fairway and focused on putting’‘I was shaving the hole all day and finally on the way home the ball fell. I was just patient in the tough conditions"
The 25-year-old Orchard credited her attitude and patience during an up and down round which included 4 birdies, 4 bogeys and a double bogey at the par 5 10th hole
‘I was mentally positive out there today. We had to be because it was such a grind. Once the birdies started to fall I felt I was on a good roll"
Alone in third place at 3 over par is Kiwi Liv Cheng, who has come off an up and down season on the US Symetra Tour. Cheng, who is in her third year as a professional is a tough competitor, and with one ALPG victory under her belt at the 2015 Brisbane International she could easily find herself in contention come tomorrow afternoon.
With 16 players within 5 shots of the lead heading into the final round and windy conditions once again expected to play a part, the tournament is wide open with patience again expected to play a key role.
Tomorrow’s final round of the Anita Boon Pro-am will start at 12:45pm, where 35 professionals will compete for a share of the NZD$40,000 prizemoney on offer.
Apart from the generous prizemoney on offer, this event is also the first qualifying event for ALPG's major tournaments in 2017, including the ISPS Handa Women’s Open.
On a lighter note at the annual “Trans-Tasman Trophy” which has become a highlight of the event in recent years, the Australian “Thong” Team consisting of Hayley Bettencourt, Lauren Hibbert, Vicky Thomas and Ali Orchard will take a 5 stroke lead into tomorrow’s final round over the Kiwi “Jandal” Team represented by Hanee Song, Cathryn Bristow, Renee Fowler and Jenna Gainford.
About the Anita Boon Pro-am
The Anita Boon Pro-Am is held annually in honour of former New Zealand player, Anita Boon, a passionate proponent of women’s golf and a great player in her own right, who passed away from ovarian cancer in 2009.
With the assistance of loyal sponsors KFC and Coca-Cola, the tournament continues to raise funds for the New Zealand Gynecological Cancer Foundation
For completed 1st round scores go to http://alpg.com.au/tournament.php?id=4774&pid=1150
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