Kennedy defeats Parry in NZ Open playoff
Brad Kennedy capitalised on an 18th hole blunder by fellow Australian Craig Parry to win the New Zealand Open in a thrilling play-off.
Parry had a second NZ Open title in his sights when he went to the final hole with a two-shot lead and 5-under for his round.
Brad Kennedy (Credit: Anthony Powter)
Even when 2002 champion tugged his tee shot left into the rough the 45-year-old seemed certain to add a 24th title to a resume, which includes wins on every major Tour across the world.
Parry pulled his approach shot into the water on the 18th and recorded a double bogey, paving the way for a play-off with Kennedy after they both finished at 7-under-par.
Kennedy only broke through for his first Australasian tour win last year at the WA Open and said he didn’t want to give Parry a chance to force an extra playoff hole.
“I backed him to hole that putt, so I knew I had to make it,” said Kennedy of his winning stroke.
“Which is probably a good thing that I didn’t try and two putt it. I felt, well, if you are going to do it, hole it on your own terms.”
“To make a birdie when it counted – that’s why we play golf.”
Kennedy pocketed AUD$72,000 for his efforts, adding to an already impressive year for the Queenslander, who produced some consistent play this season on the Japanese Tour.
New Zealander, Josh Ceary, finished in third position at 6-under-par.
Australian Rohan Blizard capped off a solid week with a one-under 71 to claim fourth position at 5-under-par. The former Australian Amateur champion is already a winner this season on the Australasian Tour at the Western Australian Open.