Date: August 14, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Eccles leaves run too late

Geelong’s Ben Eccles was left to rue a stretch of early bogeys today as his chance to win the Canadian Amateur Championship slipped by.

Eccles, who led after the opening two rounds, was in the final group today with eventual winner Billy Kennerly and Canadian Patrick Murphy, with a plan to attack and put pressure on the American’s four-shot buffer.

True to his word, Eccles made a fine birdie on the second and Murphy played his part with birdies on the first and third.

But that’s where the pressure dropped.

Eccles uncharacteristically made six bogeys in an eight-hole stretch from the fourth and the horse had well and truly bolted.

To his credit, the Victorian Interstate team captain charged home with four late birdies to fire a 73, but to Kennerly’s credit, the Georgian went with him and steadied for a six-shot victory at Weston Golf and Country Club near Toronto, Ontario.

A series of great scores in the preceding groups packed the leaderboard late in the round, with Eccles finishing tied sixth at four under, eight from the winner but only two from second place.

The Gold Coast’s Kade McBride fired a steady 72 to finish T13 at two under, while his fellow Queenslander Maverick Antcliff continued his rollercoaster ride with six birdies, four bogeys and two doubles en route to a 74 and a T25 finish at two over.

Amazingly, Antcliff, of Beaudesert, fired 19 birdies and an eagle for his week, but his inconsistency cost him a far higher finish.