30 Nov 2011

Former golf champion says there could be another NZ winner this week

1:18 pm on 30 November 2011

Former champions David Smail and Mahal Pearce are hoping for another New Zealander to join their select group in this week's New Zealand Open golf championship at Clearwater in Christchurch.

Smail, who won in 2001 and Pearce, in 2003, are the last two New Zealanders to have their name engraved on the Brodie Breeze Trophy, but both believe this week's championship offers an excellent opportunity for a fellow New Zealander to join the group.

With the championship returning to an Australasian Tour event after five years of co-sanctioning with Europe and USA, there are a healthy number of New Zealanders in the 144-strong field.

Pearce says a New Zealander has a great chance this week and has included Smail, Josh Geary and Phil Alker in his picks.

Smail says his win sparked a run of form for him as he went on to win the next week in Australia and then got second in the Johnnie Walker and a win in Japan.

He says winning the New Zealand Open made him realise he could win.

There are 50 New Zealanders in the field.