PGA Trainee Ben Stowe from Royal Sydney Golf Club will finish the third year of his PGA Traineeship on a high note after winning the $60,000 National Futures Championship at Ballarat Golf Club.
After setting the course record at 7-under 65 in round three, Stowe’s final round of even par was enough to see him record a five-shot victory finishing at 9-under the card.
“It feels unbelievable, it really does, all the hard work I’ve been putting in has come to fruition,” said Stowe who will finish the final year of his PGA Traineeship as a winner of the world’s richest Trainee tournament.
“I played really well and did what I needed to do. Frazer (Droop) and the boys kind of battled a little bit on the front-9, Frazer made a really strong charge at me at the end so I had to keep my wits about me, but I’m ecstatic I got it done.”
Stowe began the final round with a four-shot buffer which admittedly played on the 24-year-old’s mind. After nervously teeing up on the 1st, he was quickly able to settle into stride around the Ballarat Golf Club course.
“It was in the back of my mind and last night I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been on a golf course on the first tee this morning, but it didn’t really come into play today.
“I stuck to my game plan like I did all week and hit really good shots to give myself lots of opportunities to make it hard for the guys to catch me and got the job done.
“I can’t wait to get back to Royal Sydney, I was on the phone to my PGA Pro coach Michael Smyth last night and he said just to keep doing my thing and it should be good enough and it was.”
Following the completion of his PGA Traineeship, Stowe is looking to ply his trade on the international scene with a tilt at the Asian Tour Qualifying School as well as his home Tour, the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“I’m planning on heading over to Asian Tour Qualifying School and hopefully get through that then I’ll play ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Qualifying School in December,” added Stowe.
“Hopefully I play well enough to get status somewhere and just keep progressing and keep the hard work going.”
Along with his Futures title, Stowe also receives automatic exemption in to the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort.
It’s not the first time the Trainee has teed it up in first class events after making his debut on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia in 2017.
“I pre-qualified into the NSW Open last year and then I was super fortunate to get into the Australian Open the week after that just off my Trainee category last year.
“Playing the Australian Open was awesome, crowds everywhere and mixing it with Jordan Spieth and Jason Day, hitting balls next to them on the range I was a bit star struck.
“So the Australian PGA Championship won’t be completely new to me, my prep will be the same, I’m really looking forward to it for sure it’s an unreal opportunity.”
Finishing in second place was 2017 champion Frazer Droop who shot 1-over 73 to finish at 4-under the card, Cooper Eccleston finished third at 3-under the card.
To view the full leaderboard, visit pga.org.au.
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