McKenzie fires final-round 69, cruises to five-shot win at Lanhai Open
June 08, 2014
By PGA TOUR China Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- David McKenzie's four rounds in the 60s led him to a five-shot win at Lan Hai International Golf Club.
LANHAI OPEN: Final leaderboard
CHENJIA TOWN, China -- As a soon-to-be 47-year-old, David McKenzie is at the age where it might occasionally cross his mind if he will ever win again. The veteran from Australia stopped that thinking at the Lanhai Open, though, as he played steady -- sometimes spectacular -- golf all week, capturing his first PGA TOUR China Series title by five strokes over Steve Dartnall.
Holding a three-shot lead going into the final round, McKenzie expected a battle over the last 18 holes. But that didn’t materialize during the final round at Lan Hai International Golf Club’s Links Course. McKenzie’s final-round 69 was his fourth consecutive round in the 60s, and he made only one bogey Sunday (at the par-4 15th) -- only two bogeys over his final 47 holes.
“I actually thought [a win] would be soon,” said McKenzie, who has a mini streak going now, with two victories in as many years. He won the Victorian PGA Championship on the PGA Tour of Australasia a year ago.
“I just didn’t think it would come as soon as this,” McKenzie said. On his way to victory, McKenzie didn’t make any mistakes starting his final round. Yet, the birdies weren’t coming, either.
“The round today, I got off to a bit of a slow start. My playing partner (Quincy Quek) birdied two of his first three holes. I had to stay patient and wait and believe that I would make birdies at some point in the round,” McKenzie said after Quek’s second birdie dropped McKenzie’s advantage to one stroke. Finally, at No. 7, McKenzie made his first birdie of the afternoon. Another one at the par-5 ninth followed, and he made the turn at 2-under and 15-under overall. His final two birdies of the day came at No. 10, a difficult, breaking 11-footer, and at No. 12. “Those gave me some breathing room over the rest of the round,” McKenzie said.
The victory was worth ￥216,000 (approximately U.S. $35,000) and moved McKenzie’s season earnings total to ￥237,450, good for fifth place on the Order of Merit. His five-shot margin of victory is second only to J.H. Wang’s 10-stroke win in the Series’ first event, the Mission Hills Haikou Open.
“I didn’t putt as well as I had earlier in the week, but when it was important that I make some putts, I did,” McKenzie said, noting specifically par saves on Nos. 14 and 16. “My putting wasn’t as good today, but it saved me when I needed it.”
Facing a six-stroke deficit when the day began, Dartnall started too far behind. And despite some early round heroics, he ultimately had too much ground to make up. Even after making three quick birdies to start his final round, Dartnall still trailed McKenzie by three shots. Any chances Dartnall had of winning ended when McKenzie birdied No. 7 to Dartnall’s par to move back ahead by four strokes. After that, the pair matched scores over the next six holes (par, birdie, birdie, par, birdie, par). A Dartnall bogey at No. 14 ended his chances for good.
Quek, who began the day in second place, three shots behind McKenzie, made birdies on two of his first three holes and looked ready to make a charge. He couldn’t keep his momentum going, however, and was 4-over during his final 15 holes to finish third, eight strokes behind McKenzie.
McKenzie will play the PGA TOUR China Series’ Beijing Open next week then reevaluate where he will play the remainder of the season, admitting the victory, “quite possibly will change my schedule.”
In two previous PGA TOUR China Series’ starts, New Zealand’s Mathew Perry had never shot better than 72. This week, at the Lanhai Open, Perry, a native of Hamilton who makes his home in Melbourne, Australia, opened the tournament with rounds of 75-72-73. Then in the final round, he changed his script and shattered his personal-best, firing a 7-under 65 that included eight birdies and a bogey. He went from 4-over and tied for 45th through three rounds to 3-under and tied for 10th -- his best career Series’ finish. Perry’s 65 matched Singapore’s Quincy Quek for Lanhai Open low-round honors.
Ray Beaufils, tied for eighth going into the final round, had to withdraw during his round with a neck injury.
Todd Baek earned his third PGA TOUR China Series’ top-10 in as many starts, with his tie for fifth at the Lanhai Open. He shot weekend rounds of 69-67 to move up the leaderboard, and his top-10 performance goes with his tie for sixth at the Mission Hills Haikou Open and the tie for 10th he had at the United Investment Real Estate Wuhan Open. Baek, who finished solo third at the Series’ second Qualifying Tournament in March to earn his playing privileges, did not play in the Buick Open, the Series’ second tournament.
The Links Course’s par-5 third hole played to a stroke average of 5.21 in the final round and was above-par in each of the tournament’s four days. There were 29 scores of double bogey or worse there this week. Lanhai Open winner David McKenzie was 2-under on No. 5, with a pair of birdies in the second and third rounds and pars the other days. McKenzie was 9-under on the Links Course’s four par-5s for the week. He birdied the par-5 12th every day.
Amateur Ze Cheng Dou from China was low amateur at the Lanhai Open, the third time this season he’s earned that honor. His tie for fifth was also his second top-10 finish to go with his runner-up performance at the Buick Open when he finished three strokes behind winner Sam Chien. Sunday, Dou shot a 72 Sunday after opening 70-70-70.
Ted Oh played 39 consecutive bogey-free holes going back to the second round but saw the streak end on his 72nd hole when he bogeyed the par-5 18th Sunday. Oh shot a final-round 70 and tied for fourth.
Bogey-free rounds (5)
First Round (3): Ray Beaufils, Steve Dartnall, Seong Kim
Second Round (1): Mahal Pearce
Third Round (1): Ted Oh