Teater Demsey Prugh lead New Zealand Open


Nationwide TourQUEENSTOWN, New Zealand ' Americans Josh Teater, Todd Demsey and Alex Prugh shot 7-under 65s on Thursday to share the first-round lead in the New Zealand Open.
Teater had six birdies in a seven-hole stretch at The Hills to reach 9 under in the event sanctioned by the Australasian and Nationwide tours, but dropped two strokes on the par-4 18th after hitting into two bunkers.
The day was totally different to the first few days we were here, said Teater, the 29-year-old former Morehead State player in his first season on the Nationwide Tour. Yesterday morning at the pro-am I thought I played pretty well and shot close to even.
Teater, coming off a seventh-place tie last week in the New Zealand PGA Championship at Clearwater, played in the morning session before afternoon wind made scoring difficult on the course beset with cold conditions earlier in the week.
Today it felt like a different game, not really the wind to account for, Teater said. I was hitting pretty decent, pretty close, using the slopes on the greens to get close and then making some putts.
Demsey had seven birdies in his bogey-free morning round. The 36-year-old former Arizona State star played the PGA Tour last season.
I just played real steady and made a couple of putts, Demsey said. I missed a few opportunities, but made a couple, too, so Im pretty happy with how I played.
Prugh, the 24-year-old former Washington star in his second season on the Nationwide Tour, birdied five of the last six holes in his bogey-free afternoon round.
American Martin Piller, Australias Stephen Dartnall and South Koreas Han Seung-su opened with 67s, and New Zealands Steve Alker, the New Zealand PGA winner, topped a large group at 68 that included Americans Jim Herman, Jim McGovern, Chad Collins, Vance Veazey and Justin Hicks and Australian veteran Peter Senior.
New Zealand amateur Danny Lee, the Johnnie Walker Classic winner last month, shot a 71. Also the U.S. Amateur champion, the 18-year-old Lee plans to turn pro after the Masters. Born in South Korea, he moved to New Zealand at age 8.
New Zealands Bob Charles, back in the field after tying for 23rd in December 2007 at The Hills, opened with a 73. He will be 73 on Saturday. The first left-hander to win a major championship when he took the 1963 British Open, Charles won the New Zealand Open as an amateur in 1954 and added titles as a pro in 1966, 1970 and 1973.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - New Zealand Open
  • Full Coverage - New Zealand Open
  • Golf Channel Airtimes