Making his first start as a Nationwide Tour member, Titleist Brand Ambassador Robert Gates
sealed a one-shot victory in the Michael Hill New Zealand Open over fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Andrew Dodt
. Gates finished at 14-under 274 for the tournament, and became the 13th player to win in his Nationwide Tour debut. He began the 2010 season with full exempt status on the Nationwide Tour after finishing T-42 at the 2009 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, and the win extends his status on the Tour through 2011 and additionally gives him full exempt status on the PGA Tour of Australasia through 2012 should he wish to accept membership.
Gates led from the first round of the Nationwide Tour season-opener and had extended his lead to six shots by the 8th hole in the final round, but some wayward shots combined with birdies from the Australian Dodt saw the pair equal at 14-under with two holes to play. Dodt found trouble on the 71st hole, however, and his double-bogey gave Gates his two-shot margin back heading to the final hole. Through the green in two shots, Gates made a clutch three-footer to get up-and-down for par after Dodt had made birdie, thus securing the one shot victory.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Robert Gates with the Michael Hill New Zealand Open trophy.
What's in Robert Gates' bag at the Michael Hill New Zealand Open:
Ball: Pro V1x
(9.5°, UST Mamiya ATTAS 9X)
(13°, Fujikura ZCOM Pro95 X)
(4-PW, True Temper Project X 6.5)
Wedges: Vokey Design
Spin Milled C-C 252.08, Spin Milled C-C 256.14, Spin Milled C-C 60-V (all wedges with True Temper Project X 6.5)
Putter: Scotty Cameron
Tour Newport Fastback