New Zealand Golf Magazine

KIERAN MUIR BLITZES FIELD TO WIN TARANAKI

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Kieran Muir fired a sizzling 8-under 64 to blitz the field in the final round and win the Taranaki Open by four shots.

In his second Jennian Homes Charles Tour victory, Muir finished at 14-under at New Plymouth Golf Club ahead of six players all tied for second including Momoka Kobori, who finished as the lowest female golfer and the leading amateur for the week, Mike Hendry, Lachie McDonald, Josh Geary and Daniel Hillier.

Muir started the final day four shots back following rounds of 68 and 70 in the windaffect­ed event and knew he had to come out of the gates quickly in order to make his presence felt.

He opened with a birdie at the first and made three more at the fourth, fifth, and seventh to make the turn at three-under-par after a bogey at the ninth.

Although he wasn’t watching the leaderboar­ds all day, he started the back nine two shots back from overnight leader Daniel Hillier and knew he couldn’t take his foot off the gas.

He made back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th to tie the lead and took full control of the tournament on the 13th. He drove the green and rolled in a 20-foot eagle putt to move two shots clear; a lead he’d never relinquish.

After playing the toughest stretch of holes on the course in four-under-par, he capped off a stellar round with a final birdie on the 18th.

“I knew my game was close. I just wanted to go out there and shoot the lowest score I possibly could, and I managed to do that. I’m stoked,” Muir said after the victory.

“Two titles sound better than one. I was starting to question whether the first one was a fluke.”

His game has been trending in the right direction all year but unfortunat­ely, he fell ill right before the three-week stretch of Jennian Homes Charles Tour events.

He said he feels a lot healthier now, and it showed in his performanc­e.

“I was playing really well leading up to the DVS Pegasus Open and I got a bit crook. I went missing for a couple of weeks which was poor timing. The game is feeling right where it should be,” he said.

Muir is a stalwart of the Jennian Homes Charles Tour, and getting his second win is the icing on the cake for all his hard work.

“I’ve been a profession­al for 10 years now and there has been a lot of hard work that has gone into my golf.

“It’s not easy to win out here, I was talking to Dom [Barson] and we were saying it’s very hard to win these events as there are plenty of good players now. I’m just stoked to get another over the line,” Muir said.

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