For the second year running Hororata Golf Club’s Dominic Brettkelly was eliminated from the New Zealand Amateur Championships by the tournament winner.
On Friday Brettkelly, 17, went into the 18th holes at Russley one up in his round of 16 match with championship favourite and eventual winner Daniel Hillier from Wellington.
On the 18th Hillier chipped in for an eagle, taking the match to a playoff. He then claimed victory with a birdie on the 19th hole of the match.
“I knew I was a massive underdog but I didn’t feel any pressure. I knew if I could get under his skin and put some pressure on then I’d be a decent chance,” said Brettkelly.
On the first two days of the championship Brettkelly shot rounds of 74 and 71 to be in a tie for 18th, qualifying him for the top 32 players, who progressed to the match play elimination section of the championship.
On Friday morning he defeated Harewood’s Scott Manyweathers in a marathon match which went 23 holes before a winner was found. This left Brettkelly with just a 20 minute break before teeing off to play Hillier in the next round.
On Friday alone Brettkelly played a titanic 43 holes at Russley.
“It was a pretty long day. I wasn’t hitting my driver straight so I made life hard for myself but it was a really cool experience, there were a lot of people that came out to watch the match with Daniel,” said Brettkelly.
Last year Brettkelly was defeated in the round of 32 by eventual champion Louis Dobbelaar.
Brettkelly will travel to Invercargill this week to represent Canterbury at the Men’s South Island Interprovincial.