Lachlan Barker from The Glenelg Golf Club has defeated fellow clubman Sam Earl on the 35th hole to win the South Australian Amateur Championship 2&1.
It was Barkers first state title and being only 16 years old, its likely to not be his last.
Hosted by Kooyonga, the morning round was played in sunny conditions with a light breeze and after 18 holes Barker was 3up.
“At the start of the day there weren’t many people around and it was very quiet, it was actually a good environment to start the round." Barker said.
“The first nine I got off to a good start, I was bogey free and made a couple of putts and I was 4up after nine, so it was the perfect start.
“Then on the back nine, Sam started playing some better golf and I let a couple go and it got back to one at one stage, but then I finished the round off strong winning 16 and 17 and ended up 3up at the turn”.
After a short lunch break the players continued along in prefect conditions.
“I tried to stick to my game plan for the whole week, which was to play the percentage shots and hit greens in regulation and I knew if I did that, the putts would fall eventually so I stuck to it and it worked for me.”
The score got back to square after 31 holes with Earl starting to make his move.
“Early in the second round Sam was solid, he only had one bogey so he was 2 or 3 under and I wasn’t keeping up and it was back to square on 13, but then I answered back on 14 and put one stiff, which was a good feeling”.
“I was feeling nervous on 16 tee (34th) but when I hit my approach into the green it calmed me down and I knew I could hole the putt, which I did, which was good”
Barker moved to 2up with two to play and won when both players agreed to pick up with short par putts on the 17th green.
“Its good to win my first ever ranking event. I’m very pleased with that. I’ve played this event the last two years and missed the cut both times, so its my first made cut”.
“Over winter I haven’t really been playing a lot of golf, it’s sort of being building up, working in the gym, doing physio with the Golf SA High Performance Team and I was lucky enough to go to a Golf Australian Camp in August, where I gained access to some great people to build up my game to where it is now, ready for tournament golf.”
It was a big day for Glenelg Golf Club with the Club represented by both finalists and Jenny Lee in the women’s final.
“Three of the four finalists were from Glenelg, that was really special. Playing Sam it was good to see two Glenelg players in the final. Of course I wanted to win, but I wouldn’t have been that disappointed to see Sam go on and win. And it was great to see the support from the Glenelg people, there were a lot of Glenelg Members out walking around”. Barker said
Those thoughts were echoed by Glenelg Golf Club General Manger David Brand.
“The Club is very happy for Lachy and Sam and Jenny for making the final. It’s another indication of how strong our golfing program is progressing. We have spent a lot of time over the past few years putting together a world’s best practice program for our members through our Golf Operations team led by Shane Robinson and Gareth Jones”. Brand said.
Barker has performed exceptionally well in the match play format in recent times, only losing one match for Glenelg during the Pennant season, he won his last five matches of the junior interstate series and won two from four in the senior series.
“I’m so appreciative of everyone who has been involved with my golf lately. Golf SA, Glenelg Golf Club, Willunga. There were a few Willunga people out supporting today aswell which was good to see. I’m still a member out there, I have dual membership. I would like to especially thank my parents driving from Willunga four to five times a week and that’s two trips, there and back. My family have been a huge help”.
Barker has a solid schedule over the next few months up until the Australian Amateur in January.
“Hopefully this can kick off a big summer of golf for me. I’ve got Keperra Bowl coming up, followed by the Aaron Baddeley Australian final and then after that I’m probably going to focus on school a bit with year 11 exams. If all is well I will hopefully play the Dunes at the end of November and the Greg Norman Junior Masters before Christmas.”
Barker is coached by SA State Coach Gareth Jones who has been offering his support to his pupil.
“Gareth is over in Japan at the moment and has sent me a couple of messages over the week to rev me up, it’s been great working with him.”
Barker is the first Glenelg member to win the South Australian Men’s Amateur Championship since Ben Tuohy in 2003.
CLICK HERE for the tournament event page on the Golf SA website.