Kerry Mountcastle has shot a new course record on day three of the Brian Green Property Group NZ Super 6’s to snatch the top seed position heading into tomorrow’s super 6 medal match play.
Mountcastle was absolutely clinical around the Manawatu Golf Club layout firing a nine-under 63 to finish at 15-under for the tournament. He finished tied with round one and two leader Mako Thompson but claimed the top seed as he had the better third round.
Following opening rounds of 66 and 70 to be six-under, Mountcastle knew he needed a good round to solidify his spot in the top eight, let alone finishing atop the pack.
The Masterton golfer got off to a flying start making birdie at the first. He went on to birdie the third, fifth, and then made three in a row at the seventh, eighth, and ninth holes to close out his opening nine at an impressive six-under-par to be nipping at Thompson’s heels.
Mountcastle didn’t stop there making another three birdies in a row on the 14th, 15th, and 16th holes to get to nine-under. He parred his way in to shoot the new course record and snatch the top spot away from Thompson who made bogey up the last.
He said golf had never felt easier than what it did out there today.
“Today was unreal. It was the easiest round of golf anyone could ever have really,” Mountcastle said.
“I only got in trouble three times, but I managed to get out of those holes one-under and the rest of it was probably the best golf I’ve ever played.”
The Hokowhitu layout is one of the tightest golf courses around and hitting fairways is paramount to shooting good scores, which was something that clicked for Mountcastle today.
He will play the winner of James Hydes and David Klein as he gets a bye for the first match on Sunday morning.
Thompson finished tied at the top with Mountcastle but will occupy the second seed position.
After carding rounds of 64 and 66 to be at 12-under through two rounds, he backed that up with a credible three-under 68 to share 15-under with Mountcastle.
He started the day with a birdie at the second followed by a bogey at the third. He made two further birdies at the seventh and ninth holes to make the turn at two-under and be two clear of a number of players who were making a charge.
Thompson began his closing nine with a bogey at the 10th but made birdies at the 11th, 14th, and 17th holes to hold a one-shot lead going into the 18th. However, an errant drive made him have to chip out from the trees which led to a bogey.
He said he hopes he’s made his presence felt and believes he could be the man to beat heading into tomorrow.
“I’m really happy with how I held my composure out there today with a number of players making a charge,” Thompson said.
“It’ll be nice to have a sleep-in tomorrow morning. The game plan will be much the same and I hope I putt the lights out once again.
“With this format we’re almost back to square one and it’s anybody’s game again, but I know that I’m in some good form and if I keep playing the way I am I hope I’m a force tomorrow afternoon.”
The battle for the top spot wasn’t the only drama on the course today. The race for the last medal match play place was just as exciting with four players needing to go to extra holes to decide who progresses.
Luke Toomey, Sam An, Jared Edwards, and Thomas Woods needed to go back to the 18th tee to determine who would be playing tomorrow.
An progressed with a birdie on the first extra hole to setup up a date with Taylor Gill.
The first match gets underway on Sunday at 8am.
This is the first event of the 2021 Jennian Homes Charles Tour and NZ Golf Magazine is the tour’s official magazine.
Leaderboard at the end of Round 3
198 Kerry Mountcastle (Masterton) 66 70 62, Mako Thompson (Maraenui) 64 66 68 -15
200 Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora) 69 67 64, Dongwoo Kang (PGA New Zealand) 67 67 66 -13
202 Samuel Jones (Manaia) 69 68 65, Tyler Hodge (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 68 68 66, Josh Geary (PGA New Zealand) 70 64 68 -11