Voke Leads Lee on Charles Tour Opening Day

Nick Voke
Nick Voke shoots an opening round of 65 to lead the Brian Green NZ Super 6’s. (Photo: BW Media // Dave Lintott)

Nick Voke has continued on his great final round from the NZ Open on Sunday into the opening round of the Jennian Homes Charles Tour after firing a 6-under 65 at the Manawatu Golf Club in blustery conditions on Thursday.

The inaugural Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Super 6’s got underway with a full field playing standard strokeplay for the first two days before being cut to 60 for Saturday and then down to 24 on Sunday.

Voke made seven birdies in his round and said his game is in great shape and is trending in the right direction.

“It was a good solid day today where I didn’t do too much wrong,” Voke said.

“It got pretty windy out there, but I managed to drive the ball really well and hit most of the fairways on a course that is very demanding off the tee.

“I managed to get the ball rolling with the flat stick too so anytime you drive the ball well and putt well, it’s a recipe for a good score.

Voke said he is excited at the prospect of playing the new Super 6 format should he be around on Sunday, and believes it brings a new dynamic to the traditional final day of a golf tournament.

“This is the second time I’ve played in a tournament with this format, but the first time I actually missed the 36-hole cut so we’re off to a good start this week,” Voke laughed.

“The goal was to sneak inside the top eight and get cracking a little bit later on Sunday.”

Along with the new tournament format, in 2020 the Jennian Homes Charles Tour will also be played as a mixed-gender event for the first time since Greg Turner’s events from 2004 – 2007.

South Korea’s Jeong Hyun Lee stole the show for the females on the opening day, carding a five-under 66 to be one behind Voke going into Friday.

Lee is in New Zealand for a month and will play events on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour before heading home.

Her opening round in her New Zealand trip finished with a hole out pitch on the 18th hole with a sand wedge from 85 metres, which was the cherry on top of a great day out on the golf course.

“I played well today,” Lee said.

“The course was very narrow, and I don’t hit my driver very far, but I hit it very straight today. The course set up well for me.”

Playing with males isn’t something she’s experienced much in her young golfing career, and she’s intrigued to see how she goes in the coming rounds.

“I haven’t played with males a lot, but I managed to learn a few things out there today.”

Lee is a shot ahead of Michael Hendry who continues his run of solid form this year. However, it was a day of what could have been for the North Harbour professional.

He made five birdies and an eagle but put three bogeys on his scorecard that all came from three-putts.

“It could easily have been seven-under today. I struggled on the greens and it was tricky in the wind,” Hendry said.

“The game feels solid but a little scrappy in places, but I wonder if that is because I had Monday and Tuesday off this week after the New Zealand Open and I didn’t get to prepare as well in the Pro-Am yesterday with the wind blowing the way it was.

“I’m hoping my game will build during the week and hopefully I tidy a few things up so I can put a few rounds together.”

Play continues on Friday.

Subscribe to receive the printed edition of NZ Golf Magazine here