Kennedy to rethink golf retirement plans

Capturing a second New Zealand Open title has left Brad Kennedy pondering whether to follow through on his retirement plans.

BRAD KENNEDY of Australia walks onto the green during Golf Open at Millbrook Resort in Queenstown, New Zealand.
BRAD KENNEDY of Australia walks onto the green during Golf Open at Millbrook Resort in Queenstown, New Zealand. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Seasoned Australian Brad Kennedy will consider shelving his retirement plans after a dream finish to the New Zealand Open reminded him how sweet it is to win.

Kennedy, 45, gave an insight into the pressure on top professionals to turn close finishes into wins after his two-stroke victory near Queenstown.

The final-round 63 at Millbrook Resort left compatriot Lucas Herbert in his wake and uncorked waves of relief after a series of near-misses for Kennedy in Japan and Australia over the past four months.

The Queensland father of two had begun to seriously consider the end of his pro career but victory on Sunday and a subsequent rise to a career-high world ranking of 101st will prompt a re-think.

"I'd always said 2020 was my last year," Kennedy said.

"I've been playing 25 years on tour and wanted to get home and spend some more time with my kids and my wife.

"But who knows now.

"If I can still do it at 45 then who knows what's going to happen.

"I'm going to take this moment and soak it up."

After sampling his first win on the Asian Tour, Kennedy has the option of chasing a second at this week's Malaysian Open.

However, he hinted that he'd instead spend his time at home on the Gold Coast, recuperating from a dramatic three weeks.

Kennedy dropped four strokes in his last three holes at the Queensland PGA Championship to squander a healthy lead.

With that collapse still fresh in his mind, he produced an identical third placing at the Queensland Open a week later.

"I was gutted after the Queensland PGA and I actually didn't want to play last week," he said.

"I felt mentally destroyed by what happened.

"To do that (win the NZ Open) under that sort of pressure and to overcome that, I'm just really proud of what I've done."

Kennedy's also won the New Zealand Open in 2011 and made him the first Australian multiple winner of the event since Bob Shearer in 1981.


AAP