A fast finishing Daniel Valente has secured a two shot victory at Murray Downs Golf & Country Club to kick start his week on the Murray River of the Ladbrokes PGA Pro-Am Series.
Blustery conditions greeted the field for the 27th Annual Murray Downs Pro-Am at the picturesque Murray Downs Golf & Country Club.
Players were faced with tight pin positions on the undulating and slick greens and a strong breeze made scoring difficult.
Tour veteran Scott Laycock was the best of the morning players, posting a 1-under 71 with Matthew Buff on 1-over 73 and Michael Isherwood 2-over 74 the next best.
The overcast and drizzly morning conditions cleared just as the afternoon players took to the course, however the breeze did not abate and low scores were hard to find.
Laycock was soon joined on 1-under by Ashley Hall, Aaron Cox and Tom Power Horan before Andrew Kelly fired a blistering 4-under 32 on the back-9 to join them.
With only a few players left on the course it looked certain that 1-under was to be the winning score but Daniel Valente fired 4-under in his final five holes to win with a 3-under 69.
Valente made a good par save from behind the 2nd green before making a strong birdie on the par-4 3rd.
A minor hiccup on the 4th and a soft bogey was the motivation Valente needed to close the round out in style.
He birdied the 6th and followed it up with a sensational eagle on the short par-5 7th to move to 3-under and the outright lead.
“A few of the boys came straight from Darwin last week so it was good to back onto some bent grass greens that we are a bit more accustom too,” said Valente.
“This was my first time here and I love it, the course is in great condition and I love the layout”
This continues a strong run of form for Valente who was the last man into the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, Asian Tour and European Tour tri-sanctioned Fiji International a few weeks before and a surprise at the top of the leaderboard after Round 1.
“I was fourth reserve on the Sunday night, so I cancelled my flight and then three guys pulled out and the Challenge Tour guy didn’t take up his spot so I was in. I got there in time and managed to get off to a great start and it was a great experience over there” added Valente.
The Ladbrokes PGA Pro-Am Series moves onto the Stuart Appleby Cohuna Pro-Am on Thursday.
The course where Appleby grew up honing his game is a favourite of the local Professionals and the event is always well supported by the local community.
The Murray River swing then culminates in the 61st Border Open at Barham on the weekend where the PGA Professionals will do battle for a share of the $25,000 prize purse.
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