NZ Open: Rd 1: Love the travel and playing tournaments, says teen Joohyung
Joohyung Kim (KOR) First round 64 (-7)
The wind was swirling all day and it was tough. But I managed myself really well and gave myself lots of good chances and made some good putts too. I’ve been very fortunate to play well and I’ve also been working very hard. It’s nice to know that I can still post a good round after a month’s break. It’s a tough day and I’m glad I managed to do well. For tomorrow, I just have to play without any expectations and play the way I did today. A lot will also have to depend on the wind too. I’m really enjoying myself as a professional golfer. Being only 17, traveling and playing in tournaments like the New Zealand Open, it’s really a huge honour.
Ben Eccles (AUS) First round 65 (-6)
It’s pretty awesome. I said to my best mate who’s caddying for me that I just want to enjoy the week whether I get in or not and we got in yesterday morning so it’s a big bonus and to play like I did today was just awesome. I feel like my game has turned a corner in the last three or four months. I’ve been working pretty hard on some stuff so I’m excited for what’s coming. I’ve played this event three times before and I made the cut twice. I just love the place, it’s just amazing. The golf course is playing a bit harder this year with the rough up. It’s nice to get around like that. We’re off in the morning so hopefully we’ll get the better of the weather again. I think it’s the harder of the two courses (The Hills) so it’s going to be a bit of a test but I’m looking forward to it.
Wade Ormsby (AUS) First round 65 (-6)
It’s been a fantastic few days here already. You kind of forget how beautiful it is down here in Queenstown. Mike’s (Hendry) been putting pressure on me for a while to come down here and it was nice to make it happen. I had a great day out there today so I’m pretty happy with the positive start. I felt like we could have gotten the wrong side of the draw there pretty quickly so it was just a matter of hanging on early. I made some great up and downs on two and three and it was just a matter of hanging on. I started making some birdies back down the wind there on five, six, seven or seven, eight and nine. So that got a bit of momentum going and then I played nice around the back. The game feels pretty good, I putted nicely so I’m happy. I had a nice run at the end of last year. I didn’t finish off that many tournaments but obviously, Hong Kong I had a win there, Australian PGA, that one stung quite a bit but I feel like I’ve got a bit to prove to myself and I’m working pretty hard at the moment even though the last few weeks haven’t been great. I had two weeks off, I’ve rebooted, worked hard last week and it’s nice to come back here and punch out a number in round one.
Brad Kennedy (AUS) First round 66 (-6)
It was a totally different breeze to what we are used to. A totally different golf course. Luckily, I didn’t have a practise round this week, so I just went on what I know and it was a whole new experience. Sometimes there was a four or five club difference between a couple of rounds last year and this year. It was fun, I even got a chance to get home in two on 17, so that was fun. I just love coming to New Zealand. Especially knowing that you’ve won twice in New Zealand, it’s always a special feeling.
Zach Murray (AUS) First round 68 (-3)
I’m a little bit disappointed. I got to the toughest hole on the course when the wind picked up. I doubled there but managed to battle through. I played really nice today and I feel good after the jet lag coming back from Mexico. A lot will have to depend on the weather tomorrow. The weather controls it a lot out here. I haven’t played in a weather like this in Queenstown before so it was a little different today. The ball gets knocked around a fair bit. And you’ve just got to sort of take it as it comes. I haven’t been back to The Hills since last year. I didn’t get a practice round out there so I’ve just got to try and stay in it all week and hopefully the energy levels are up by the end of it.