Nick O’Hern has shown some of his younger rivals he is just as competitive as ever, taking out the Mercedes-Benz Gold Coast Sanctuary Cove Professional Shootout following a final hole playoff against Jake McLeod.
Played on The Pines golf course at Sanctuary Cove and starting with 19 players on the first hole, it was Michael Sim who jumped out of the blocks to hole his second shot from 102m and safely make it over the first hurdle.
Gold Coast-based Professional Steven Jeffress, was the first to bow out of the competition after making bogey on the 1st and going on to lose a chip off.
Defending champion Adam Blyth, Sanctuary Cove local Brad Kennedy and New Zealander Mike Hendry were eliminated on the following holes before young Japanese Tour player Dylan Perry exited on the 5th.
David Bransdon took a double-bogey on the 6th to head home early with Matt Millar, Cory Crawford and European Tour winner Sam Brazel all failing to get through to the back-9.
They may have played against each other for Mars Bars for most of their lives however the stakes were higher on Sunday when good mates Jake McLeod and Anthony Quayle duelled it out in a 10th hole chip off with McLeod prevailing.
Peter Senior was the next to go as the stars continued to fall with Michael Sim eliminated on the 12th hole.
Terry Price hit it in the water on the 13th and was sent home as a result while Nick O’Hern almost holed it during the 14th hole chip off in the process of eliminating South Australian, Adam Bland.
Having started the round at 8:30am, the longer the day went on the more it looked as if some of the young blood may show their stamina, even more evident when Olympian Marcus Fraser made bogey on the 15th hole and was eliminated as a result.
Deyen Lawson has already recorded two hole-in-ones on the European Tour this year though on the par-3 16th hole at Sanctuary Cove, Lawson was eliminated after all players made par and a chip off was required.
With two holes to play, that left New South Welshman Travis Smyth, Nick O’Hern and Jake McLeod and when McLeod found the water on the par-5, many thought the other two would progress.
McLeod, however, holed a putt from 12 feet forcing yet another chip off of which Smyth was the one to exit on this occasion.
As a big crowd including nearly 200 golf buggies surrounded the 18th hole, McLeod found the water off the tee again leaving the stage to be set for O’Hern to hole a 10-foot putt and take out the 2019 title.
“It was a really long day out there,” O’Hern said.
“I was really surprised at how many people were out to watch from the first tee shots this morning but it continued to grow even bigger during the day created a really great atmosphere to play in.”
“The standard of play today from all of the boys was really good. There weren’t too many times you could relax and given I was in six chip offs today, it certainly adds to the pressure.”
O’Hern takes home just shy of $17,000 of the $50,000 total prize pool indicating it was always the goal.
“I thought if I could just get to the back-9 I would be in with a chance,” O’Hern added.
“It is a bit like matchplay down the last few holes and given I love matchplay, it came very naturally.”
Paul Sanders, Executive General Manager of Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club, said they are really pleased with the outcome of the event.
“The main purpose of the event is to provide a golfing spectacle for our members and we feel in just the first two years the event has some real presence in the local community,” said Sanders.
“Nick has been around the club the last few days with a book night talking about his book Tour Mentality on Friday, playing with the members and an evening function yesterday, and then the great display today so we are all really pleased to see him win.”
“They believe the event has plenty of potential and we look forward to working with all of our loyal sponsors to ensure the event continues to grow and evolve.”
A full list of the holes players were eliminated on can be found below:
|Hole 1||Steven Jeffress|
|Hole 2||Adam Blyth|
|Hole 3||Brad Kennedy|
|Hole 4||Mike Hendry|
|Hole 5||Dylan Perry|
|Hole 6||David Bransdon|
|Hole 7||Matt Millar|
|Hole 8||Cory Crawford|
|Hole 9||Sam Brazel|
|Hole 10||Anthony Quayle|
|Hole 11||Peter Senior|
|Hole 12||Michael Sim|
|Hole 13||Terry Price|
|Hole 14||Adam Bland|
|Hole 15||Marcus Fraser|
|Hole 16||Deyen Lawson|
|Hole 17||Travis Smyth|
|Hole 18||Jake McLeod|
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