CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – Australian teenager Jake Higginbottom became the first amateur to win the New Zealand Open since Harry Berwick in 1956, closing with a 5-under 67 for a one-stroke victory Sunday.
The 19-year-old Higginbottom also become the second amateur winner in the last three Australasian Tour events. Fellow Australian teen Oliver Goss won the Western Australia Open on Oct. 28 at Royal Perth, beating Brady Watt — also an amateur — on the fifth hole of a playoff.
Higginbottom finished at 7-under 281 on the Clearwater course. Australia's Jason Norris and Peter Wilson tied for second. Norris shot a 66, and Wilson had a 68.
After making four birdies in a five-hole stretch to take the lead, Higginbottom bogeyed the par-3 16th to fall in a tie with Wilson and Norris. The amateur birdied the par-4 17th to reclaim the lead and closed with a two-putt par on the difficult par-4 18th.