O’Riley & van Wyk in the hunt after 1st Round

Dean O'Riley, opened with a one over par 71 in New Zealand Stroke PlayBoth Dean O’Riley and Nicol van Wyk recorded first round scores of 71, one over par, to finish near the top of the New Zealand Stroke Play Championship leaderboard at the end of play today.

Leading the 72 hole championship, which is being played at the Titirangi Golf Club, in Auckland, is Peter Spearman Burn of New Zealand. He recorded a four under par 66 to lead by one from Ben Taylor and Mathew Perry, both of whom are also from New Zealand.

O’Riley and van Wyk, who are five shots off the pace, are lying in 14th place along with three other players.

Teeing off early this morning, in cold conditions, made worse by a steady breeze. Not only did the weather play its part in making good scoring difficult but so to did the O’Riley and van Wyk themselves. Both, starting from the 9th hole, dropped shots early in their rounds. “Dean was 4 over par at one point in his round,” said Enver Hassen, the South African Golf Association President and team manager.

Nicol van Wyk, also opened with a one over par 71Adrian Ford finished on 3 over par, 73. “He was one under par but playing hole 15 he recorded an 8,” said Hassen. Apparently Ford hit is drive over a ravine into some trees. He decided to hit a provisional ball thinking his original ball may be lost. He hooked his provisional ball, which finished short of where his original ball came to rest, or so he thought. He played his provisional ball only to find his original in a position further from the hole than where his provisional had come to rest. He eventually got his provisional ball, now the ball in play, onto the green in 6, two putts later the 22 year old Durbanville Golf Club member recorded an 8, four over par.

Steve Ferreira, the only other South African participating, according to Hassen, battled through his round finishing with a commendable 75, five over par, putting him in 34th place tied with a host of other golfers.

Tomorrow the second round will be played after which there will be a cut to the 72nd placed player and ties. On current form all four South Africans look set to make the cut. Those making the cut will contest the final two rounds.

The top 32 on conclusion of the New Zealand Stroke Play Championship qualify for the New Zealand Amateur Championship, a match play event. The South Africans, assuming they all make the cut, will then be playing for a spot in the Amateur Championship.

New Zealand Stroke Play Championship
First Round Results
Titirangi Golf Club (Par 70)
(All players New Zealanders unless stated otherwise)

66 – Peter Spearman Burn
67 – Mathew Perry, Ben Taylor
69 – Sam An, Leonard Morgan, James Hamilton, Scott Johnson
70 – Steven Hayes, Scott Arnold (AUS), Adam Church, Steve Ha, Tim Leonard, Daniel Pearce
71 – Fraser Wilkin, Nick Gillespie, Dean O’Riley (RSA), Blair Riordan, Thomas Spearman Burn, Nicol van Wyk (RSA), Sean Hawkins

South African players scores:
73 – Adrian Ford
75 – Steve Ferreira.

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