Four-birdie run helps Bateman snatch narrow win at Pro-Am

Harry Bateman
Harry Bateman
In an ideal warm-up to the 100th New Zealand Golf Open, Harry Bateman, of Masterton, came from behind to snatch victory at the fourth annual Invitation ProAm at The Hills Golf Club last weekend.

The field was a strong one - most of the top New Zealand pros were there, plus leading amateurs. Bateman with consecutive rounds of 66, won by one shot from recent New Zealand Open winner Jordan Zunic, of Australia.

After 13 holes in the second round, Bateman trailed Zunic, who had scored a hole in one on the par three fourth, by three shots, but caught fire with a blistering finish of four consecutive birdies from the 14th, then finishing with a comfortable par on 18 to edge out Zunic.

He adds his name to a winner's list including Daniel Pearce, New Zealand Open champion Michael Hendry and Queenstown's own James Anstiss, who won last year showing his talent and launching his professional career. Anstiss was unable to defend his title, as he was busy at the Australasian tour school, where he finished second.

However, in a nice touch he arrived back in time to attend the prizegiving.

Ben Campbell, another professional from Queenstown, was also unable to play because he was involved in playing the final event on the Asian tour.

The Hills general manager Brendan Allen said the event tried to support up-and-coming players and amateurs played against professionals.

As part of the event, $2000 was raised for Wakatipu Junior Golf.

In the first round, Hills member Stephen Montgomery, a 14-handicapper, aced the difficult 10th hole with a superb shot to the 145m pin.

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