Anita Boon ProAm
Sarah Kemp from Australia shot a steady second round 73 in testing conditions at North Shore Golf Club in Auckland last month to cruise to a fourshot victory at the annual Anita Boon Pro-am.
Kemp started the final round
with a commanding 7 shot lead over the rest of the field after shooting a magnificent opening round of 8 under par 64, and the result was never in doubt as the 31-year-old did what she needed to do, playing smart golf in the cold and windy conditions to claim a four-shot victory over talented 21-year-old Kiwi Hanee Song.
Kemp started from the 3rd hole in the shotgun start, and was rock solid over the opening holes making 5 straight pars to start her round. A bogey at the short par 4 8th hole, her first dropped shot of the tournament put her back to 7 under par before a birdie at the par 4 11th hole steadied the ship.
Another dropped shot at the difficult par 3 14th hole was no cause for concern for Kemp as her lead was still 5 shots, and her experience shone through over the final holes as she parred in for a comfortable win, the 11th of her ALPG career.
Kemp has struggled for much of the 2017 season on the US LPGA Tour and was clearly relieved and delighted to get the win, her first since claiming the BWAC Yamba Pro-am in Australia earlier this year.
"I went out today just trying to shoot under par today knowing that if I could do that in these conditions it would be hard for anyone to catch me. I am really pleased that I managed to get the job done, I still hit my driver pretty much everywhere today and didn't really make any mistakes. I am definitely playing much better now and finally making a few putts, I feel that the confidence in my game is slowly returning."
Kemp crucially broke a run of missed cuts on the LPGA Tour at the Indy Women in Tech Championship in Indianapolis after re-shafting her irons and putting a new putter in the bag. She followed that up with a solid week at the PTT Thailand LPGA Masters where she finished in a tie for 23rd place.
“I put new shafts in my irons and a new putter in the bag 2 weeks ago and it has made a huge difference. It is basically like using a new set of clubs”
Kemp picked up the winner's cheque of AUD$4500 and then turned her attention to the McKayson New Zealand Women's Open in an attempt to turn her 2017 LPGA season around.
"I am really looking forward to LPGA Women's Open, I am totally prepared I have gloves, hand-warmers and a beanie and am ready to go. My coach John Serhan will be on my bag next week which is awesome"
Serhan is also coach to NSW amateur player Travis Smyth, and was recently on the Smyth's bag when he defeated a field of high-class professionals at the Northern Territory PGA Championship in early September.
Kemp will be hoping Serhan's run of luck can continue and that he can bring his female charge home next week at Windross Farms.
Hanee Song shot a best of the day 2 under par round of 70 to finish alone in second place at 3 under par, while American Brooke Baker finished third a further 6 shots back at 3 over par.
Talented New Zealand rookie Munchin Keh finished alone in 4th place at 4 over par, while Tania Tare, more famous for her incredible array of trick shot videos and social media following, finished at 5 over par in a tie for 5th place with former Anita Boon champion Australian Stacey Peters.
The annual Jandal -Thong Trophy, which is a fun team's match between the players from Australia and New Zealand held concurrently with the Anita Boon Pro-am was won by the NZ team for the first time in 3 years.