It probably wasn’t the way Greg Rhodes imagined it, but all that matters is that he’s the Senior Australian Amateur champion.
The popular Coomealla golfer took a seemingly comfortable three-shot lead into the final round at Manly Golf Club today.
But without a birdie on his card as the wind lifted a gear from the opening two rounds, Rhodes faced a series of challenges before winning the national title for the first time.
Rhodes, a prolific winner around the Sunraysia district, fired a 79 to finish four over and cling to victory by a shot from hard-charging Sydneysider Mark Pearson (73).
Perth’s Trevor Hughes was another whose final-round 78 wasn’t exactly as planned, but he finished third a further shot back.
Penrith’s David Limbach fired a fine even-par 71 to vault into the mix, but ran out of time and finished T4 with outgoing champion Gordon Claney (78) at eight over.
And the biggest charge of a rollercoaster final round came from three-time former champ Stefan Albinski who shot the only sub-par round of the day with a 70 to highlight four in a tie for sixth at nine over, including Steve Toyne (75), Ian Frost (76) and Peter Hannah (79).
Capping a great week for Rhodes was that he piloted Victoria home in the concurrent interstate teams stroke event.
Rhodes’ Victorian team, into which he was a late inclusion when Barry Tippett withdrew, shone to fire 660 (best three rounds of four counted per day), with Frost, Claney and Guy Krall the other members of the winning team.
Western Australia was second with a total of 675.
Next year’s event will be held at Kooyonga in Adelaide from October 11-13.