Originally created 02/28/05

O'Malley wins New Zealand PGA



CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand - Australian Peter O'Malley made a 25-foot birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole to win the New Zealand PGA on Sunday, ruining a comeback attempt by countryman Steven Bowditch.

O'Malley's only other victory on the Nationwide Tour came in this event in 2002, when it was the Clearwater Classic. The event is co-sanctioned by the Australasian PGA and the Nationwide Tour.

O'Malley was 15 under going to the 18th hole, but missed a 2-foot par putt at the last to fall into a tie with Bowditch at 274.

The pair played the 18th hole four times. Bowditch saved par from a bunker on the second extra hole to extend the playoff.

"I still don't know how it didn't go in," O'Malley said of his final putt in regulation. "I was still thinking about it on the first hole of the playoff but I was more relaxed the next two times. It's great to come back to win. I played great all week."

Bowditch began the day six shots off the lead but tied the course record with a 9-under 63 at the Clearwater Resort. The 21-year-old Bowditch, coming off a win at last week's Jacob's Creek Open, had nine birdies between the third and 14th holes and was the clubhouse leader at 14 under.

"I felt in a great mood when I woke up this morning, which was unusual for me, and I played accordingly," Bowditch said.

Americans Jerry Smith (70) and Johnson Wagner (72) shared third place at 11 under, three strokes out of the playoff.