Date: October 29, 2012
Author: Golf Queensland

Bettencourt, McLeod win QLD Amateurs

Hayley Bettencourt (Mandurah) has added the Queensland Women's Amateur title to her Stroke Play Championship won earlier in the week at Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club.

With a blistering start, Bettencourt jumped to a four hole lead through seven holes over Ali Orchard (Surfers Paradise), yet more excitement was to come. A perfectly struck iron to the par-3 8th landed in the centre of the green, fed down the slope and into the hole, to record Bettencourt's second ace for the week.

Orchard's valiant attempt to halve the hole looked on line, yet came up two feet short.

As the wind picked up, Bettencourt's approach play was sublime, with the resulting tap-in birdies giving Orchard no chance to peg back the lead before the half-way break.

After the morning's round, Bettencourt was 6-up but Orchard never felt out of the match and knew that a few birdies of her own would put the pressure back onto Bettencourt.

Orchard clawed back to four down through 27 holes but Bettencourt's response to Orchard's charge was clinical. Whenever Bettencourt looked in trouble, her short game salvaged the required pars to maintain her lead.

A crisply struck hybrid to 10 feet, set up a two putt birdie on the 30th hole, matched by Orchard when she holed her six foot attempt.

When Orchard was unable to get up and down from the greenside bunker, Bettencourt had won.

In the Queensland Men's Amateur Championship, Jake McLeod (Hills International, QLD) won a battle of attrition to take home the 2012 Championship over Luke Humphries (Pymble, NSW) at Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club, held 25-27 November.

McLeod started strongly and was 3-up, yet let slip golden opportunities to extend his lead on the second nine. Humphries was patient, pegged back the lead and heading into the final 9 holes, the match was all square.

Conditions were not conducive to low scoring, however the match was of high quality with each player proving why they were deserved finalists.

When McLeod won the 28th, 29th and 31st holes, it seemed like a bridge too far for Humphries to square the match again.

Humphries, however, had other ideas and after a few errant shots from McLeod, Humphries found himself only 1-down with three to play.

McLeod steadied himself and looked to have taken back the initiative when he hit a great tee shot into the tricky par-3 16th. Humphries took two chips from an awkward position to leave a four foot putt for bogey, which he duly made.

Needing only two putts to be dormie 2, McLeod pushed his first putt slightly long and missed the returning putt, to bring life back into the match.

After halving the 35th hole and watching McLeod hit his second shot on the 36th to within 10m, Humphries needed all of his resolve to hit a precise approach to 5m. After making birdie, Humphries had come back to level the match and send it to extra holes.

Both players were decidedly nervous as they missed opportunities to win on the first play-off hole, and so play continued to the par-5 2nd.

Humphries found the fairway bunker with his tee shot and McLeod pounced on the slight opportunity by reaching the green in two shots and putting the pressure back on Humphries.

With the thoughts of missed putts still lingering, McLeod quelled his nerves and holed the one metre putt for birdie and the Championship.

It is McLeod's second state title after claiming the Northern Territory Amateur previously.