Wellington professional Gareth Paddison is excited about his chances this year. Photo supplied.
Wellington professional Gareth Paddison has bittersweet
memories of the NZ PGA Championship in 2013 at The Hills in
With nine holes to play, the 33-year-old was the talking
point of the tournament after he made five birdies in
succession to close out the front nine.
But it all came unraveled in two holes when he made a bogey
on the 12th and then a double bogey on the par 5 13th which
ruled out his title hopes.
Paddison eventually finished in a share of third place
alongside Josh Geary and four shots back from the playoff
between Michael Hendry and Australian Scott Strange which the
Kiwi won to defend his title.
Now, one year on, Paddison is thrilled to see the New Zealand
Open Championship return to Queenstown and is excited about
his chances in the tournament, which will be staged at The
Hills and Millbrook on February 27 to March 2.
''I definitely feel like I have unfinished business at The
Hills,'' Paddison said.
''I was going really well and then I made a bogey on the 12th
and that sort of killed my momentum and then on the 13th I
blocked my second and hit it the one place on the golf course
you definitely don't want to hit it.
''It was pretty disappointing to play so nicely and then see
it all come unstuck on a couple of bad swings. I hope I am in
contention again and will be better from that experience.''
The mistakes on the back nine and also his poor finish to
round three, where he missed birdie putts on the final three
holes, are his standout memories from the week.
''I walked off the 18th after the third round with a bitter
taste in my mouth because I knew I had missed some great
chances. I was playing much better than my scoring reflected
and I only missed out by four shots.
''People talk about the mistakes I made but I also played
really nicely in that final round. There were a lot of
positives to come from that week.''
Paddison, who finished sixth on the PGA Tour of Australasia
Order of Merit in 2013, is a former European Tour player and
is seeking to qualify for the Japan Tour or the Web.com Tour
in the United States this year.