England’s Richard Finch will always remember Queenstown fondly after claiming his first win as a professional at the 2007 New Zealand Open.
Finch had to survive some late flutters when he overshot the 18th green, with his ball landing in the lap of an elderly spectator.
His drop wasn’t much of an improvement from the deck chair the ball ended up in, but he chipped and then put beautifully to save par for the hole and the round.
Finch sank an 18-foot putt on the final hole to win by three shots from Australians Paul Sheehan and Steven Bowditch and was then given a ceremonial champagne shower on the 18th green. Finch shot a 14 under par total of 274 (73-65-64-72) to win the tournament.
Finch is currently a member of the European Tour. He has been a member since 2005. Finch earned his card through Qualifying School in 2004. In his rookie season, he finished 60th on the Order of Merit but missed out on the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award, which went to Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño of Spain. His best finish in 2005 was as joint-runner-up in the Telecom Italia Open.
Finch One further victory during the 2008 European Tour season took Finch to his best finish of 20th on the Order of Merit.
Since 2008 his best finish has been as runner-up; in the 2010 Avantha Masters, the 2010 Open de Andalucia de Golf, the 2011 Nordea Scandinavian Masters and the 2013 Alfred Dunhill Championship.