Elizabeth Elmassian of NSW has held on for victory after an enthralling final day at the Bowra & O’Dea 72 Hole Classic at Lake Karrinyup.
Mount Lawley’s Hannah Green pushed the winner right to the final hole with a late surge, but Elmassian held on for a 1 stroke victory sealed by a 5 foot putt on the last.
It’s a huge win for the 19 year old from NSW, beating a field that included seven of Australia top 10 ranked golfers, including Australian Number 1 Shelly Shin who finished tied for 4th.
With 8 holes to play, Elmassian’s lead was five however a birdie from Green on 11 and a bogey for Elmassian on 12 whittled that lead down to three to give Green some hope.
Green struggled with the putter early but turned it on from the 13th hole with an impressive 25 foot birdie putt to put the pressure on Elmassian, who has a similar putt just to save par.
A miss would have been a disasterous two shot turnaround on one hole for the leader, and she expertly sunk the putt under pressure to keep her advantage at 2.
“I hit my first shot in the trees and I knew I had no chance to get it on the green so I chipped it out, hit it on the green,” said Elmassian of the 13th hole.
“I thought to myself – you haven’t gone for any of your putts, you’ve been leaving them center cup all day if it goes in it goes in, so I went for it and I was rewarded for it.”
After a birdie on 16 put Green within a shot which they took into a nailbiting final hole.
The pair split the fairway with their drives and left themselves 20 feet for birdie, however Green’s approach was unlucky not to stay on the top tier and much closer to the pin.
While Green saved par with a tap in, Elmassian was left to sink a 5 foot putt to win the championship.
“I really had to have a strong mindset on that putt. Hannah made a 4 and I knew I had to make it or it was going to go into a playoff.”
Elmassian didn’t leave anything to chance, practicing for almost three hours on the putting green after her third round, fittingly on close putts.
“Yesterday I wouldn’t go until I knocked 50 golf balls in a row from 5 foot, and it’s obviously paid off!”
“I was here for around 2 and a half hours or something like that!”
As a member of The Australian Golf Club in Sydney, Elmassian joins four time champion Edwina Kennedy as a winner of the WA Strokeplay.
“Edwina is a future captain at The Australian (Golf Club) and we’re very close friends. She sent me a very good message yesterday telling me to play each shot at a time, and I think she’s going to be over the moon.”
“It’s an absolute privilege, it’s pretty exciting. I’m speechless about the whole thing, there are so many legends that have won this event so to win it’s really encouraging.”
Hannah Green walked off the 18th with her head held high after a stirring comeback. Her second place finish was enough to secure herself 2nd in the standings of the Karrie Webb Series where the top two golfers throughout the Series earn $10,000 of funding, a start in the 2016 Australian Open and an expenses paid trip to the US Open to experience the event with Webb.
Karrie Webb, arguably Australia’s most successful golfer, is a previous winner in 1993 and and last year’s champion Su Oh webt on to win the 2015 RACV Ladies Masters in just her second pro tournament.
The Mid-Amateur and Seniors division were both won by Lake Karrinyup members, with Peta Robers winning the mid-amateur on 260 and Sharon Dawson winning the Seniors on 244.