Five birdies on the back-9 saw Jack Wilson card a second round 9-under 64 to claim the title at Australia’s longest running two day Pro-Am in the 61st Border Open.
Starting the day four shots behind overnight leaders Aaron Cox and Andrew Schonewille, Jack Wilson’s quest to claim the 61st Border Open got off to a shaky start when he three putted his opening hole for Par.
“On the Par 5 you wouldn’t get in two I was able to get drive down over the bunker you wouldn’t normally carry and managed to get it on but then it was forty odd feet and a nice little three putt to start,” said Wilson.
Cox capitalised on this small error and after a huge drive himself down the 2nd made eagle and moved to 11-under. He was soon joined by Schonewille after he made solid birdies on his opening two holes.
Wilson then got his round back on track with birdies on 6, 7 and the short Par 4 9th to make the turn at 8-under three shots behind outright leader Schonewille who had dropped back to 11-under after bogeying the 9th.
Overnight co-leader Cox was back to 9-under after giving back his early gains with bogeys on 5, 6 and 9.
Pre-tournament favourite Ashley Hall was on the move. After starting his round with a birdie on his opening hole, the 16th he followed up with birdies on 2, 5, 6 and 9 plus an eagle on the 7th saw him now on 9-under with his last six holes to play. The big hitting Hall still had two short Par 5’s to come and great chances for eagle to bridge the gap.
With the leaders now all on the back-9 the crowds were building and the players were treated to the best weather conditions of the week. Wilson continued to press with birdies on 10, 12, 13 and 14 he looked to have emerged as the eventually champion. After knocking his tee shot on the short Par 3 18th close Wilson tapped in for his fifth birdie off the back-9 to be at 13-under with just one hole to play.
“With no wind to contend with, the putts started to drop but it was the ball striking that got me around out there today.”
Wilson made a great birdie on his last to close out the round, after pulling his drive left into the trees he was faced with a difficult approach.
“I had a bit of a gap and 94m to the hole. I had to hit it up pretty high and I just thought I have to try and make the most of it and I managed to pull it off, it was six feet below the hole and perfect birdie putt up the hill,” Wilson added.
With that birdie Wilson closed out his round on 9-under par equalling his best ever round. Finishing the Tournament on 14-under Wilson looked to have done enough to claim the title.
Hall could only manage birdies on the 12th and 14th and with a costly bogey on his last hole this saw him finish the Tournament on 11-under in a tie for second place with Cox who finish 2-under for the day.
Wilson, who grew up just down the round in Echuca was happy to be closer to home after a tough time in the recent ISPS HANDA Tour of Australasia events.
“We’ve just come off a month on Tour and it wasn’t great I was probably disappointed with my results then you get to come up here and play golf courses that are a fantastic as these.
“It’s great to come up here and support these events and if I’m in Australia I’ll continue to come up because this is one of the best golf courses we get to play.”
The Border Open capped off a great week of the Murray River swing in the Ladbrokes PGA Pro-Am series. Now in its 61st year this event is the longest running two day Pro-Am in the country. It has become an annual golf trip for many with some groups of amateurs travelling to Barham to play in it for well over 30 years.
It provide a great boost for the local economy too with many of the hotels booked out 12 months in advance and the local bar’s, restaurant’s and cafe’s swarming with golfers over the weekend.
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