Aussie Price wins second New Zealand Open
by Associated Press
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) -- Australian veteran Terry Price held off the determined challenge of U.S.-based New Zealand amateur Brad Heaven to win his second New Zealand Open golf title at The Grange on Sunday.
Price, 43, shot an even-par 70 over the 6,533-yard layout to maintain the one-stroke lead he held overnight and to reclaim the title he first won in 1993.
He was dogged at every footstep in the final round by the 23-year-old Heaven, who plays under scholarship at the University of Toledo and who was never further back than second throughout the tournament.
``I'm sorry to spoil his party today but I'm sure one day I'll be sitting back in my rocking chair and watching Brad win New Zealand Opens,'' Price said.
Heaven, who matched Price's last-round 70, briefly grabbed a one-stroke lead Sunday when he birdied the 10th after an even-par outward nine while Price was 1-over after the first 10 holes.
Price sealed the tournament when the birdied the 13th, the toughest hole on the course, to draw even then parred the 14th when Heaven three-putted for bogey.
Although he bogeyed the 14th, Price played the last four holes in even par to hold onto his one-stroke advantage.
Heaven showed the ability and composure which carried him to a share of the first-round lead and to an outright lead after the second round.
Bogeys at the 14th and 15th stalled his comeback but he birdied 16 to briefly draw level at 8-under and to keep pressure on his experienced rival until the final hole. Price regained the lead when he drove the 16th green and two-putted for birdie.
``I obviously gave myself a pretty good chance today,'' Heaven said.
``I wanted to get into contention on the back nine and I did that but I hit a couple of wrong clubs in the middle there and that was it. Terry's a great player and he just hung in there.''
Heaven, who was attempting to become the first amateur to win the New Zealand Open since 1955, returns to the United States on Monday to resume his college studies.
``It's back to the snow in Ohio and back into class from tomorrow. There's not much rest,'' he said.
Australian Peter Senior shot the day's low round of 65 to move into a third-place tie with New Zealand's David Smail at six-under-par. Both are former champions.