Rangiora’s Momoka Kobori and Hororata’s Dominic Brettkelly both sit atop of the standing after the first round of qualifying at the 118th New Zealand Amateur Championship held at Poverty Bay Golf Club.
Kobori hasn’t had a problem riding her good momentum into the country’s most prestigious amateur championship.
She began the day off the first tee and opened with a birdie to immediately get on the front foot.
She backed that up with birdies at the fifth, seventh and eighth before making a bogey at the ninth to make the turn in three-under.
Kobori added a further birdie to her card at the 12th and signed for 68.
She said all aspects of her game are coming together nicely.
“I managed to keep the ball in play pretty much the whole day and I hit lots of greens and holed a few putts,” Kobori explained.
“The whole day went pretty smoothly which was nice. Everything seems to be coming together really nicely at the moment.
“It can be hard to get every aspect of the game to come together all at once and I’m happy there isn’t an aspect of my game that is underperforming at the moment. It feels really good.”
She said the key to the week will be to not get ahead of herself, and take each shot as it comes.
“I just want to continue playing my own game and control all of the things that I can control.
“I’ve tried to play with that mindset over the last few events and I’ll do the same this week.
“I’m looking forward to getting back underway tomorrow and hopefully the weekend as well. I haven’t played in a matchplay competition in a long time so I’m really looking forward to that.”
Her fellow Cantabrian Brettkelly fired a flawless round of seven-under 65 to sit two shots clear of Zachary May, Tyler Wood, and Jayden Ford in the Men’s section of the competition.
Teeing off the first, Brettkelly quickly got into his work. He made birdie at the first and made two more at the fifth and ninth to make the turn in three-under-par.
He then made back-to-back birdies to start his back nine at the 10th and 11th and did the same at the 13th and 14th to get to seven-under for the day.
He said it was a solid day at the office.
“I got off to a steady start. I birdied both of the par 5’s and played very conservatively off the tees,” Brettkelly said.
“I just tried to play smart golf, it’s not the best round I’ve ever played but it was tactically pretty good.
“I hit a couple of really nice shots in close and added them up at the end.”
He said he’s made leaps and strides mentally coming into the week.
“I’ve been struggling mentally on and off the course, for a few years and in the last three or four months I’ve started to feel my golf game and my confidence start to come back.
“It’s nice to get a good round and it’s been feeling decent in the last few events, but this is the best I’ve felt mentally.”
The top 32 men and top 16 women qualify for the NZ Amateur matchplay after the second round of qualifying tomorrow.