Local favourite Jenna Hunter shot a superb 2 under par 68 to take out the 2016 Anita Boon Pro-am in Auckland today.
The 27-year-old, who started the final round tied for the lead with Gold Coast Professional Ali Orchard finished the 36 hole event at even par, five shots clear of runners-up Orchard and fellow Kiwi Liv Cheng to notch up her first ALPG victory and take the NZ$6000 winner's cheque.
On another typically breezy Auckland spring day, Hunter got off to the perfect start this afternoon making a birdie 3 on her opening hole and remained patient in the tricky conditions. On the par 5 1st hole she made her 2nd birdie of the round to get back to even par for the tournament, while a further birdie at the 2nd hole saw her move into red figures for the first time.
Another birdie at the 8th hole saw Hunter open up a commanding lead, however a double bogey at her 16th hole saw her fall back to even par for the tournament. The local favourite managed to hold her nerve making par at each of her final holes to cruise to victory.
“It was not quite as windy as yesterday but it was still really tough out there, you had to stay really patient. I am just so happy that I got the job done today” said the affable Kiwi.
Hunter’s first ALPG win which was made even sweeter playing on her home course in front of family and friends.
The past few years have been a struggle for the young Kiwi after battling a chronic shoulder injury which required her to make swing changes with her coach Sam Parsons after ruling out shoulder surgery.
“I thought about having surgery but when they told me that I may never play golf again if it didn’t work out that was it, I have had to work really hard but this makes it all worthwhile”
Up until the last three months Hunter had been working full time as an assistant at North Shore Golf Club and said that having the time to work on her game recently had made a huge difference to her game,
"The last 3 months I haven't been working and have just been traveling and trying to get as much competition as I could. I went to LPGA Qualifying which didn't go that well and played a few state opens in the USA. Just having the time to practice and work hard on my game has been great. I would really like to thank my coach Sam who has been so patient and has really stuck by me. We have worked on every area of my game and I owe him a lot."
On a lighter note at the annual “Trans-Tasman Trophy” which has become a highlight of the event in recent years was won by the Australian “Thong” Team consisting of Hayley Bettencourt, Lauren Hibbert, Vicky Thomas and Ali Orchard defeating 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 final scores and prizemoney go http://alpg.com.au/tournament.php?id=4774&pid=1150
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