Tasmanian Simon Hawkes has claimed a career changing victory at the Oates Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Links.
Hawkes finished regulation play tied for the lead with New South Welshman Harrison Endycott on 14-under 274 thanks to a birdie on the 72nd hole.
It took just one playoff hole for the 29-year-old to record his first victory on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia for which he earned full status this year at Qualifying School.
It’s a career making moment; Hawkes will now head to Perth for the European Tour and Asian Tour tri-sanctioned ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth. He will also enjoy playing in Australia’s largest tournaments for the next three years.
“I'm just flabbergasted right now, I kind of knew that I was playing well coming into the week,” said Hawkes.
“The thing about winning these sort of titles, they are forever, every year people are going to look at that and my name is going to be on it and they are going to be looking at my name hopefully the same way I'm looking at some of these names right now so it's just unbelievable.”
He had the chance to finish the tournament in regulation with an eagle on the 18th hole however he eventually made birdie, forcing a playoff with Endycott.
“The playoff hole was exactly like regulation, same wind direction exact same shot maybe just a little more right in regulation. Both of us probably didn't hit out the greatest shots in the bunker and then Harrison played a pretty good shot out,” added Hawkes.
“I actually felt quite calm, for me I'd achieved beyond any expectations I set myself this week and I just thought whatever happened it was going to be a bonus.”
Hawkes began the year with a goal of finishing high enough at Qualifying School to see him safely in to most fields in the 2018 ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia season.
“I went to Q-School this year hopefully trying to get as much status as possible, then I looked at trying to get into Perth by finishing top-5 there and fell short. Then my other option was to win one of the first two events and somehow it manifested that way so it's great.”
While Endycott finished runner-up, Queenslanders Anthony Quayle and Cory Crawford finished tied for third at 11-under the card.
Local hope Ben Eccles made a charge up the leaderboard with a final round of 7-under 65 to share fifth place with Steven Jeffress at 10-under the card.
Victorians Matias Sanchez and Zach Murray were the highest finishing amateurs tied for 24th at 6-under the card.
For final scores, visit pga.org.au.
For his win, Hawkes picks up AUD $117,000 and moves to the top of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.
For the full Order of Merit rankings, visit pga.org.au.
The ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia now moves to Lake Karrinyup Country Club for the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth from 8-11 February.
For the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia schedule, visit pga.org.au.
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