Scott Laycock has gone one better than his initial goal of just qualifying for the Australian PGA Championship and won the Dan Cullen Cup in just his first appearance at the PGA Professionals Championship on Hamilton Island.
Beginning the final round just one shot off leader and 2016 champion Chris Duke, Laycock rattled off four birdies and one bogey to lead by four at one stage.
A bogey on the 17th saw him peg it up at the 18th tee with a three shot lead, he would eventually double the final hole of the tournament and when asked if nerves were kicking in, the Pakenham Golf Club Professional he was just looking to play it safe with a healthy buffer for the win.
Laycock shot an even par round to finish at 1-under the card.
“I didn’t know what I was, I wasn’t looking at the scores I just knew I was in front,” said Laycock.
“I just chipped it up the fairway and it was disappointing up the last making a double but it was just a matter of taking the big number out.
“On this course with the way the wind is blowing, it can just reach up and grab you and when I got the ball on the fairway off the tee I wasn’t going to be stupid from there so I played it as a par-5. I thought I hit a great third shot but I was just on the fringe of the green and three putted.
“It was a bit of a sour taste but all in all I played awesome today, great ball control and a bunch of really good opportunities, I felt as if I could’ve raced away but I missed really good chances on the 11th through to the 15th so it could’ve been more but I’m really happy to win.”
The PGA Professionals Championship debutant was delighted with the way he played all three rounds on the tough Hamilton Island course, shifting wind directions making life difficult for the field of 50 pros.
“I hit it really well all week, I think I only missed probably nine greens total so I had really good ball control considering the wind,” added Laycock.
“I hit a lot of good putts that were rarely off the line that I chose; sometimes that was just the wrong line.”
Along with his win and first place cheque of $9,900, Laycock will now tee it up alongside Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston at RACV Royal Pines Resort for the Australian PGA Championship from 29 November – 2 December.
He’ll now happily re-schedule his plans with a little leeway hopefully provided from Pakenham Golf Club.
“I was actually meant to work this week so the boss will be headless, we’re short staffed as it is.
“Then I had a week of pro-ams planned then into the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Q-School but who knows, if I keep controlling my ball like I did here I could go well.”
Laycock is no stranger to the Australian PGA Championship having made a number of appearances in the tournament over the years and he’s under no assumptions how tough the competition will be next week.
“Royal Pines is a different beast, it’s a hell of a lot longer and I’m probably going to have to hit driver a lot more, so we’ll see.
“I’ve got no illusions that I’m going to win, I’d just like to have a nice week.”
Finishing runner-up and joining Laycock at the Australian PGA Championship is Chris Duke who finished at 1-over the card.
Anthony Choat finished third at 5-over with Jonathan Painter and Marco Zirov rounding out the top-5 at 7-over.
Lisa Jean’s T11 result was enough for the highest finishing female and as a result earns a place in the 2019 Vic Open, now an LPGA sanctioned event.
The Vicars Shield is awarded to the leading state and is calculated on the best two aggregate scores for the three rounds of competition.
Each state nominates two professionals who have qualified at their State PGA Professionals Championship to represent their side in the Vicar's Shield, Scott Laycock and Lisa Jean were elected for Victoria and have retained the shield for the state for the second consecutive year.
The Vicar Shield was first presented to the PGA in 1930 by the late Sir William Vicars, a keen golfer and a prominent member of The Australian Golf Club, for competition between professional interstate teams.
For the full leaderboard, visit pga.org.au.
Headlines at a glance
Smith left wanting on day three of The Open
It was a ball-striking performance that could have produced anything for Cam Smith on Saturday.
Ryan Fox makes history at The Open
Kiwi Ryan Fox has made headlines in round one of The Open Championship, breaking a record that has stood for the entire 148 years of the tournament&rs...
Brave Smith and Day fly Aussie flag
A pair of gritty opening day performances from Queenslanders Cam Smith and Jason Day have kept Australian hopes of winning The Open alive.