Kieran Muir Blitzes Field to Win Taranaki Open

Kieran Muir wins Taranaki Open (NZ Golf)
Kieran Muir wins Taranaki Open (NZ Golf)

Kieran Muir has 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 wind-affected 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’d cap 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 this week, 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.

Final Scoreboard

-14 202 Kieran Muir (Omokoroa) 68 70 64

-10 206 Michael Hendry (PGA New Zealand) 70 70 66, Momoka Kobori (Rangiora) 69 71 66, Lachie McDonald (Marton) 67 69 70, Josh Geary (PGA New Zealand) 68 66 72, Daniel Hillier (PGA New Zealand) 65 69 72

-9 207 Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora) 70 67 70, Woonchul Na (PGA New Zealand) 66 69 72

-8 208 James Anstiss (PGA New Zealand) 66 70 72

-7 209 James Hydes (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 70 71 68, Luke Toomey (PGA New Zealand) 67 72 70

-6 210 Fraser MacLachlan (PGA New Zealand) 74 70 66, Tae Koh (Windross Farm Golf Course) 70 71 69, Chang Gi Lee (PGA New Zealand) 69 71 70

-5 211 Luke Brown (PGA New Zealand) 70 75 66, Fraser Wilkin (P, PGA New Zealand) 69 72 70

-4 212 Harry Bateman (PGA New Zealand) 74 68 70, Mark Brown (PGA New Zealand) 68 73 71, Dongwoo Kang (PGA New Zealand) 71 70 71, Joshua Bai (Akarana) 70 71 71, Mako Thompson (Maraenui) 72 69 71, Sung Jin Yeo (PGA New Zealand) 69 70 73

-3 213 Daniel Pearce (PGA New Zealand) 71 73 69, Troy Ropiha (PGA New Zealand) 74 70 69, Jordan Loof (PGA New Zealand) 74 69 70, Sam An (Titirangi) 69 69 75

-2 214 Tara Raj (Wanganui) 73 70 71

-1 215 Gareth Paddison (PGA New Zealand) 74 75 66, Tyler Wood (Palmerston North) 75 71 69, Grant Moorhead (PGA New Zealand) 70 73 72

Even 216 Kit Bittle (Gulf Harbour Country Club) 77 69 70, Inia Logan (Cromwell) 71 74 71, Kerry Mountcastle (Masterton) 73 72 71, Douglas Holloway (PGA New Zealand) 71 72 73

+1 217 Cameron Jones (PGA New Zealand) 76 71 70, Dominic Barson (New Plymouth Inc.) 73 73 71, Mark Hutson (PGA New Zealand) 77 68 72, Matt McLean (Harewood) 71 72 74, Mason Lee (PGA New Zealand) 71 70 76

+2 218 Kunaal Singh (Whitford Park) 71 75 72, Kevin Koong (Muriwai) 72 71 75

+3 219 Ethan Jones (Manaia) 73 73 73, Taylor Gill (PGA New Zealand) 74 70 75

+4 220 Samuel Jones (Manaia) 74 75 71, Sam Vincent (Riverside) 69 75 76

+5 221 Zachary Lewis (New Plymouth Inc.) 73 76 72, Jesper Bengtsson (North Shore) 73 76 72, Mitchell Kale (Tauranga) 75 72 74, Logan Hooper (North Shore) 71 75 75

+7 223 Hanee Song (P) 73 77 73, Joseph Doyle (Kaitake) 76 73 74, Jonathan Mackay (P, Cromwell) 77 70 76, Fletcher Broderick (Inglewood) 73 73 77

+9 225 Chris Charlton (New Plymouth Inc.) 75 75 75, Jamie Reid (Fitzroy) 74 75 76, Benjamin Joseph (Inglewood) 78 70 77, Caleb Symes (Manaia) 75 73 77, Laura Hoskin (P) 72 74 79

+11 227 Caleb Andreoli (Manaia) 78 73 76

+12 228 Jordan Anderson (Stratford) 78 73 77

+14 230 Liam Harvey (Westown) 80 70 80

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