After qualifying 13th following Saturday’s stroke play Simon Hawkes came out on top to win the inaugural RACV Goldfields Super 6 on the Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series.
Hawkes made the match play final after defeating top seed Ashley Hall with a nearest to the pin knock out. Hawkes and Hall were all tied in the semi-final match following their 6th hole and headed to the 60 metre shootout hole. Both made par and returned to the tee for one shot to keep their tournament alive.
Hall went first and when his attempt finished on the back edge of the edge, but off the putting surface, all Hawkes needed to do was keep it on the green.
“I honestly thought Ash had me out there today, he had all the momentum late in the match and I just got lucky when his ball finished off the green,” said Hawkes.
Hawkes’ opponent for the final match was rookie Professional Anthony Marchesani. Marchesani was the giant killer of the match play section, on his road to the final he took down the in-form Cameron John before knocking out the highly fancied Matthew Millar with a 3&2 victory. Marchesani then took down Tim Wood in a 1UP win to move into the semi final against David McKenzie, the last man to win a Professional event at the Creswick layout in the 2013 Victorian PGA Championship.
Marchesani faced a battle with McKenzie that gave him no easy wins, a birdie on the 4th hole broke the deadlock and another on the short par-5 5th hole saw Marchesani move into the final.
The final was another tight affair, the first hole was halved in pars and the second was halved in birdies. Hawkes made a brilliant up and down out of the right-hand side bunker on the 3rd to halve another hole. Marchesani made a great save of his own on the next after leaving his approach short in the front bunker.
Both players hit enormous drives down the 5th hole leaving just under 100 metres into the par-5 green. Both players missed their eagle attempts and conceded the birdie returns.
Marchesani’s drive on the 6th and last hole found the left-hand trees and he was forced to lay up 25 metres short of the green. Hawkes’ approach found the back edge of the green leaving him a tricky 15 foot putt down the hill. Marchesani’s chip finished 10 feet under the hole and his clutch putting was again tested.
Hawkes rolled his first putt just shy of the cup and with a concession was in for four. When Marchesani’s putt finished an inch outside the hole on the high side Hawkes had claimed the win, the 14th of his burgeoning professional career.
“It was a tough day out there and I’m a little wrecked,” said Hawkes after the final and pressure filled day, something he’s not accustomed to in pro-ams.
The Super 6 match play format, the same as the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth which is set to be played next month on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia was a hit for both the Professionals and the amateurs.
“We had guys losing their matches today but still coming off the course happy. They simply love the match play format,” said Heath McLeod, Tournament Coordinator for the PGA of Australia.
“The whole event had a great feel about it. The amateurs played alongside the Professionals in knock out matches of their own and there was some great camaraderie amongst them.
“The PGA Professionals were helping them with tactics and tips during their matches throughout the day and they got the chance to see some great high pressure golf up close,” added McLeod.
The RACV Goldfields Super 6 is the first of a series of Ladbrokes Pro-Am’s in conjunction with RACV this year. The RACV Goldfields course will be in the spot light again next weekend when it plays host to a Ladbrokes Legends Tour event featuring Peter Senior, Peter Fowler and Mike Harwood.
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