Zunic battles in the Pacific

AFTER his scorching form to win the Northern Territory Open, Jordan Zunic had a rough ride in the first round of the South Pacific Championships in New Caledonia.

Climb: Jordan Zunic faces a big challenge at the South Pacific Open after a five-over first round, to be 11 shots off the pace. Picture: Christopher Chan

Climb: Jordan Zunic faces a big challenge at the South Pacific Open after a five-over first round, to be 11 shots off the pace. Picture: Christopher Chan

Zunic started with a birdie, but then recorded four bogies and a double in his opening nine holes, before scrambling to finish five-over.

The Port Kembla talent is 13 shots off leader Jake McLeod and faces a fight to make the cut when play resumes on Thursday.

It’s a stark contrast to his remarkable win in Darwin, where he claimed his second professional crown, starting with a blistering seven-under round of 74 on his way to a two-shot NT Open triumph.

With a $140,000 prize pool and official world ranking points on offer, Zunic will be desperate to ensure he is closer to the leaders and among the action for Saturday’s final round.

“I have never been to Noumea before and it’s classified as such a beautiful island so it was a no brainer for me, I just wanted to come and see it for myself,” Zunic said.

Zunic made his mark on the Australasian Tour last year, when he won the NZ Open. 

He was tied for 22nd at the Korea Open earlier this month and has his sights set on a big summer, having finished a top 10 finisher at the Australian PGA tournament last year.

Meanwhile, fellow Illawarra golfer Lincoln Tighe finished tied for 36th in his second tournament in China.

Tighe was tied for 10th behind Zunic at the NT Open and is set to compete at the Fiji International a $1.5 million tournament starting next month.

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