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Pearce wins the New Zealand Open

New Zealander Mahal Pearce posted his first win as a professional Sunday when he shot a 2-under-par 70 to claim the US$360,000 New Zealand Open golf tournament by two strokes.

Pearce, who began the final round tied for second, two shots behind the leader, swept to the lead when he completed his outward nine in four under par on the par-72 Auckland Golf Club course.

He finished with a 10-under-par total of 278 while Brett Rumford of Australia was second after a 68 Sunday.

Australians Nathan Green, after a 67, and Chris Downes, who led going into the final round, finished tied for third on 281. Downes had a 75 Sunday.

American Darrell Kestner finished in a tie for fourth with four others after a final-round 73, while countryman Michael Pearson finished in an eight-way tie for ninth after a 66.

Former U.S. PGA champion Wayne Grady of Australia shot a 74 and Michael Campbell of New Zealand a 75 to fade from the leaderboard. They were among the group tied for ninth, six strokes back of Pearce.


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