Clearwater Bay Open: Nick Voke blasts out of the gate in windy conditions
New Zealander hits five-under-par 65 with Italian Cristiano Terragni and Swede Oskar Arvidsson one shot back
New Zealander Nick Voke came out of the gate strong at the Clearwater Bay Open, shooting a five-under-par 65 to secure a first-round lead on Thursday.
Voke is followed by Italian Cristiano Terragni and Swede Oskar Arvidsson, who both shot four under par at the Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club.
Voke eagled the par-five 18th to finish the day, a decisive statement from the 23-year-old Kiwi heading into Friday’s second round. He is No 327 in the world and is New Zealand’s fourth-ranked player.
“I’m pretty stoked to be honest as it was very challenging out there,” he said. “The course was playing very tricky and the wind just makes it all the more difficult.
“I played some really smart golf and I was executing some good shots, plus a nice little eagle on the last.”
Voke was the only player to eagle the 550-yard dog-leg left 18th hole.
“It’s a very difficult driving hole and off the tee there’s a bunker about 330 yards to carry, plays downhill 25 [yards], so 305 yards with this wind,” Voke said.
“I thought it might be touch and go, so I tried to hit a little fade from left to right, but I hit it dead straight and I’m thinking, ‘Oh no, please do not go in’, but flew it by miles.
“I had 163 yards in, hit a seven-iron to 12 foot and holed it, so a good way to end.”
Hong Kong golfer Motin Yeung finished the day one over, shooting a 71 and finishing tied for 32nd.
Yeung said while his driving was fine, he is impressed with his short game of late.
“My putting was really, really good today,” he said. “I saved some long pars but I also missed a couple easy birdies on the par-fives and those birdies could have taken me to under par so hopefully tomorrow I’ll catch those opportunities and have a lower score.”
Yeung needs a win to 100 per cent secure his Web.com Tour card for next year. He said he still has eyes on the top prize at the event, which runs until Sunday.
“I think I was pretty comfortable playing here, it’s my home course so I enjoyed the day a lot and overall it was pretty windy so you have to be patient, if you hit a bad shot, just try to recover it and the course fits my eye pretty well,” Yeung said.