An epic finale between Caleb Perry and Clay Nicholls played out at Rosebud Country Club this morning for the Victorian Country Championship title. The duo started the day one shot behind the overnight frontrunners Jason Johnson and Blair Christie but stellar rounds of one under-par from both saw them leapfrog Johnson and Christie to tie at a 36-hole total of two under.
With the title on the line the pair made their way to the 18th hole for a sudden death playoff. Both players hit solid drives down the 378m par four leaving them in strong positions to attack the pin. Both players failed to capitalize with Perry overshooting the green and Nicholls coming up short. Solid greenside chips from both saw them tie the first playoff hole with pars.
On the second playoff hole a slightly wayward drive saw Nicholls partially blocked out by some overhanging trees meaning that his approach shot finished to the left of the green. Perry bombed his drive straight down the middle and then hit a great shot to about 15 feet for birdie. Nicholls left his chip shot about 8 feet short of the hole so it was over to Perry for his birdie attempt. His putt narrowly missed before Nicholls' putt shaved the hole leaving him to make bogey. 17-year-old Warrnambool member Perry was left with an easy tap in to secure victory in the Men’s section as well as the Junior.
Liam Reaper walked home with the Colts title after the National member signed for rounds of 73 and 78 to place nine shots ahead of his nearest competitor.
With several districts in the running for the Junior Country Regions it was destine to be an enthralling finish. Sleeping with the lead last night and with the pressure of defending their 2016 title, South Western district held their nerve for victory this morning by warding off Western district buy just three shots. Caleb Perry fought hard for his Western team but solid performances across the board from the South Western district, especially from Harry Smith, proved pivotal. Goulburn Valley also successful defended last year’s handicap title with yet another today with a team tally of 882. The 9-man team finished four shots ahead of East Gippsland.
A big thank you must be extended to the Rosebud Country Club for their hospitality and support. Also, thanks must be passed on to the 118 competitors as well as the districts and their team managers for the continued support.
Click here to view championship results.
<image="2" align="left" />
<image="3" align="left" />