Todd ties Nisbet and Kodai #NZOpen99

Thu 01 Mar 2018

Todd ties Nisbet and Kodai #NZOpen99

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Queenstown, New Zealand, March 1: Asian Tour member Jarin Todd of the United States enjoyed an encouraging start  by firing a nine-under-par 62 at the Millbrook Resort to share the first round honours with Japan’s Tatsuya Kodai and Australia’s Daniel Nisbet at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open on Thursday. 

Todd’s 62 was the lowest score he has posted since turning professional 2010 and it gave him a one-shot lead over the Australian trio of Travis Smyth, Andrew Dodt and Andrew Martin. 

Dodt and Martin had earlier grabbed the clubhouse lead when they signed for matching 64s at the par-72 Hills course in the morning.

Thailand’s Poom Saksansin and Pavit Tangkamolprasert as well as recent Asian Tour winner Paul Peterson of the United States are among a host of players bunched in a share of 11th place, three shots off the lead. 

Todd, who is playing in New Zealand for the first time in his career this week, was quick to adapt to the playing conditions. Although he admitted he di not drive the ball well, the 31-year-old took advantage of his accurate short game to put himself in a commanding position.

Nisbet will meanwhile continue to adopt an aggressive approach as he seeks to return to the winner’s circle for the first time since his last professional win in Hong Kong in 2016.

Ends.

Did you know?

  • Jarin Todd posted two top-10s at the Shinhan Donghae Open and Resorts World Manila Masters in 2017. He ended the year in 49th place on the Order of Merit.
  • Todd went to the Asian Tour Qualifying School in 2014, 2015 and 2017. He finished inside the top-40 twice in 2014 and 2017.
  • Daniel Nisbet missed the cut at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open last year after rounds of 73 and 68.
  • Andrew Dodt enjoyed a tied-sixth finish at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open last year and his last victory on the Asian Tour came at the True Thailand Classic in 2015.
  • He finished runner-up to Robert Gates of the United States when The Hills last hosted the New Zealand Open in 2010.
  • Andrew Martin’s best result at the New Zealand Open came in 2014 when he finished tied-eighth. He also enjoyed a tied-eighth result at the Indonesia Open on the Asian Tour last year.

Players’ Quotes:

Jarin Todd (Usa)

I didn’t drive it very good. I started on 10 and I almost made it on both par-three so that gave me some good momentum going into the back nine and I rolled in some putts. I got a little lucky on the par-five when I hit a bad drive but was able to make par. The conditions are perfect which is why there are so many low scores. I am looking forward to playing The Hills tomorrow. I had a blast in my practice round there on Tuesday. It should be fun.

The greens were really good. They are rolling great. I met Michael Glading in Indonesia and he was handing out flyers. I saw the pictures and it looked awesome. My ranking on the Asian Tour last year was good enough to let me in. The scores are going to be low again tomorrow unless we get some bad weather. I have to stay patient, keep the ball in play and have some good looks. When I hit bad shots I got some decent breaks and I hit some good shots too. My lowest tournament score is nine-under so I wanted to get to 10 today but didn’t quite. This is ideal scoring for us guys. The fairways are running but not too much. The greens are holding. If you play good shots you are going to get rewarded.

Daniel Nisbet (Aus)

It was a pretty solid day, just keeping bogeys off the card. It is always a goal to go bogey-free and then get a couple of close ones which were a bonus. The par-three 16th is usually my nemeses but I hit it into two inches today. It was nice to walk off that hole with a two and instead of a lot more than I usually do. It is a daunting hole. It is my first day to birdie it. It is a tough hole. Most days at The Hills it is usually a couple of club wind into that hole and it is a pretty tight little green. I had a couple of par-fives coming home and had two-putt birdies. In this weather a lot of the guys are going to tear this course up. The wind gives that course a lot of strength and there wasn’t any today. The course is in great condition, the greens are good so if you can knock it close it is easy to make birdies. Tomorrow is a fresh course, out nice and early. I am hitting the ball well off the tee. I am not being super-conservative, I am being a little more aggressive. I have been playing well the last few weeks so I thought I would go for a few more pins today.

Tatsuya Kodai (Jpn)

Today was a perfect round. Although I felt I could have finish even better. I enjoyed playing with this pro-am format. I’ll be playing at Millbrook tomorrow and I’m going to continue to aim for another low score. I’m going to be aggressive and attack the pins tomorrow.

Andrew Dodt (Aus)

It was a slow start, the conditions were a bit easy and I was only one under through 13 holes so I was starting to get a little anxious thinking I needed to start making some putts soon. I got a little hot from the 14th, birdied 14, 15, 16, driver three wood on 17 to 10 feet and birdied the last. Maybe I was trying to force it a little bit too much early, because you know that conditions are easy, you should be making birdies and when you’re not you try and force it a little bit. I just tried to relax and a little less was more, let it come to me rather than go and chase it and it clicked into gear on 14.

I hit probably four or five shots inside eight feet in the first nine holes and made one, so it could have been four or five under early on. I just stayed patient, tried to let go a bit and did that well on the back nine. It’s all playing well, it’s not going to get any easier than it is right now. You had to put the foot down today. The greens are pure, where you hit the putt that’s where it will stay. I haven’t been making the greatest starts, so I wanted to really make sure I did a good job of that today.

It’s nice to have three rounds in a row now at Millbrook. I played well here last year, I like both courses and I like New Zealand in general. It’s nice to get off to a good start, but I think conditions are supposed to stay the same for the rest of the week, so it’s foot down, make birdies. There’s an event on in South Africa this week but I like to try and play my minimum four on the Australasian tour, and being an Asian Tour event too, I like to cover my bases. It’s a great event, great scenery, great country. It’s a pretty easy decision to come here.

Andrew Martin (Aus)

All the boys give me a bit of grief about how well I play at The Hills. I just feel really comfortable on the course, everything suits my eye. It was a pretty stress free round for me, I know my lines and I was hitting good shots in to give myself lots of chances to drop a few putts.

Ends.