Campbell Rawson has won his first ISPS HANDA Tour of Australasia event after securing the Victorian PGA Championship in a titanic finish.
Rawson edged out European Tour and Olympian Marcus Fraser by a single stroke, following a five under 64 performance to finish 10-under-par for a total of 270 for the tournament.
The New Zealander withstood a fast-finishing Fraser, who was twice the joint leader, before Rawson broke clear to secure the Jack Harris trophy, named after the golf legend who won six Victorian PGA Championships.
The 31-year-old hopes today’s breakthrough can take his career to new heights.
“I’m pretty excited. I can’t wait to celebrate a little bit. Now I’m really focused on some of the bigger events I’ll get exemption to and hopefully can put up some good performances there,” Rawson said.
Rawson, who’s been a Professional golfer for five years, narrowly avoided the cut following rounds of 70 and 71.
He finished Friday one over the card and scraped through to the weekend’s action.
Rawson has never finished in the top 10 at a Tour of Australasia event.
He vaulted to contention following an eagle on the second. He calmly slotted consecutive birdies on eight and nine to hold a handy three-shot lead by the turn.
Rawson said a key focus to his maiden victory was to combat his biggest competitor – his mind.
“I’m an over-thinker, so all day I’ve told myself not to try not to think. I just focused on playing and letting it happen,” he said.
“I knew I was hitting it well. I’ve been hitting it well for a couple of weeks now and I knew the putts were rolling on a really good line. It was just a matter of getting out of my own way not over-complicate it.
“I probably haven’t had a more nervous two-footer than I’ve had on the last, especially after missing one earlier in the day. I’m overwhelmed to win.”
Australia’s next crop of Professionals is evidently strong following the performances of two of its most promising stars.
David Micheluzzi, who was in the final group today, and debutant Blake Collyer proved that have the metal to compete with the country’s best.
In his second Professional event, Micheluzzi, 24, finished tied for seventh, while Collyer, who shot 10-under to be the overnight leader following round 2, was fourth.
Mark Brown rounded out the top five, tying with Andrew Dodt at 4-under.