Matthew Millar breaks through at NZ PGA
Matthew Millar has won his first title on the PGA Tour of Australasia with a grinding victory in tough conditions at the Holden NZ PGA Championship in Auckland.
Starting the final round two ahead of the field, Millar shot a one-under 71 to win by three shots with a total of 18-under 270.
Matthew Millar (Credit: Simon Watts/BM Media)
“I am so relieved, gee it was tough out there today,” said Millar. “Remuera certainly showed its teeth. The wind was strong, blowing in different directions. All of the players certainly found it difficult, I know I did, but I am absolutely thrilled.”
It was a special victory for the 38-year-old from Canberra after 16 years plying his trade as a professional. He has been on a roll of late with top-ten placings in his past three events and was overjoyed to have finally sealed the deal with a trophy on Sunday.
“I’m so happy and when I think about it, it ticks a box for me off the goal list,” added Millar. “Why has it taken me so long? I wish had that answer, but I am over the moon.”
With vivid memories of final round fireworks at the Queensland PGA, where Millar finished runner-up after Kiwi Ryan Fox’s blistering final round 62 two weeks ago, Millar closed out his round in style with a birdie on the final hole.
“When I missed the short one at 13 after putting what I thought was the perfect line, I thought then ‘I wonder where I stand?’ Especially with the way Ryan Fox had been finishing the last few weeks, there’s lots of par-fives out there.”
“I am very happy to have finished with a birdie on the last.”
Runner-up position was shared by three players at 15-under par, including New Zealander Josh Geary and Australians Kristopher Mueck and Geoff Drakeford. Rounding out the top-5 at 12-under were Jared Pender (NZ), Azuma Yano (JPN) and Ryan Fox.
The Tour moves on to the South Island and the spectacular Queenstown region for the NZ$1 million BMW New Zealand Open from 12-15 March at The Hills Golf Club and Millbrook Resort.
NSW’s Dimitrios Papadatos is the defending champion and the tournament is again partnered with the Japan Golf Tour Organisation, with over a dozen players from Japan entered. Apart from the obvious spoils of victory, the added incentive of three starts on the JGTO in 2015 lies in wait for the victor.