Date: November 14, 2014
Author: Golf Australia

Champs time their runs perfectly as leaders falter at Mid-Amateur

, as life itself, is all about timing.

And for newly crowned Australian Mid Amateur champions John McMiles and Katrina Jones, the saying has never been more apt.

The pair came from the clouds to win their respective divisions yesterday as the field battled sweltering heat at Lynwood Country Club in Sydney’s north-west.

McMiles had begun the final round seven shots adrift of runaway leader Paul Bucan, of the Royal Fremantle Golf Club, but stormed home to win his first national title by a stroke.

The Liverpool Golf Club member immediately fired in four birdies to pull level by the time they turned for the final nine when Bucan made a calamitous double-bogey seven up the ninth hole.

McMiles, 38, later admitted to sneaking a peak at the leaderboard at the turn – and that’s when the fun really began.

“I did realise at that point that I was suddenly level with Paul … I hadn’t really expected to be there after where we started and he’d been playing so well,” McMiles said.

“Then we just played an up-and-down sort of back nine and I think we exchanged the lead three times (amid) a few mistakes.”

McMiles made three bogeys and a double on the back nine, but was able to mix in two birdies at the critical junctures.

Bucan, however, after eight birdies in his first 44 holes, couldn’t find one at all on the back nine and a bogey on the par-five 16th meant he relinquished the lead for the last time.

McMiles calmly parred the final hole for a 71 and a one-shot victory over the West Australian on a total score of 218, while Royal Canberra’s Andrew Tharle fired a 74 to finish third on 222.

“We both battled up the 17th, but I was really happy to play a solid 18th and get the win – I’m really happy and excited to have done it.”

A very similar drama unfolded in the women’s event.

Queenslander Jones began the day five shots behind overnight leader Gemma Dooley, but made birdies on the 16th and 17th hole, turning up the pressure on the New South Welshwoman with an equal tournament low 74 to finish at 236 for the three rounds.

And just as Jones, who also won the title in 2011, caught fire, Dooley cooled off – dramatically.

Dooley, made a double-bogey on the par-four 11th hole, and couldn’t recover with three more bogeys in succession immediately afterwards and another on the 16th to lose the outright lead for the first time since round one.

She finished with two pars for an 80 and 237 overall, but it was not enough to reel in Jones, with Lynwood member Catherine Coates (77) a further four shots back in third.

In the state teams event, Queensland (Damien Jordan, Brett Monahan and Katrina Jones) and New South Wales (Jay Wooster, John McMiles and Gemma Dooley) were joint winners.