Date: November 04, 2018
Author: Justin Falconer & Jack Lucas

Jordan, just, for third Tour win

Jordan Zunic has erased the memories of twelve months ago at Royal Pines and this time will leave Queensland a champion, after winning the 2018 Isuzu Queensland Open at Brisbane Golf Club. 

The New South Welshman needed all five strokes of his overnight lead in order to claim the T.B. Hunter Cup, Zunic making par up the last to hold off his main challengers Steven Jeffress and Rhein Gibson.

Zunic's buffer slowly evaporated throughout the day, the 26-year-old managing to keep his cool late in the day for his third ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia title.

Zunic signed for a closing 2-over 73 to finish the week at 11-under, with Gibson holding down second place on the standings at 10-under after a 3-under 68.

Jeffress finished in outright third at 9-under for the tournament after a 1-under final round.

An emotional Zunic spoke to the press after winning, revealing this victory was exceptionally sweet.

“This one was a little different for me, I lost my grandma a couple of weeks agp," said Zunic.

"I told my fiancé and caddie Olivia this week would be in memory of her, it really means a lot.

“Funnily enough it was like my own Happy Gilmore moment where he was saying 'grandma' over the ball, I literally said to myself going into that par putt that this was for her.”

Standing on the first tee this morning with a five-shot lead, Zunic got off to a flying start with birdies on his opening two holes. 

That was where the good start ended however with a run of four bogeys over the next seven holes. He finished his round at 2-over 73 for a tournament total of 11-under the card claiming a one-shot win over Rhein Gibson.

“What a tough day, I got off to a good start with those first two holes but then my putter went cold, I was missing some short ones and the wind picked up a lot as well,” said Zunic.

“That was the hardest day we’ve had all week, I wasn’t hitting fairways on certain holes and I had to scramble around this golf course which is very difficult.”

A birdie on the 17th got the New South Welshman to 11-under while in front of him Gibson had just checked into the clubhouse at 10-under.

A wayward tee shot on the 18th saw him in the trees to the right of the fairway forcing him to punch out for his second shot. He chipped onto the green with his third before standing over a 12 foot par putt for the championship.

The hard work was done for Zunic in the third round, his 6-under 65 giving him a five-shot cushion that ultimately held up under pressure from the chasing pack.

“I just kept saying to Olivia I’ve just got to hang on, having that five shot buffer coming into today was obviously the difference, it allowed me to have a pretty poor day and it allowed me to stay in the tournament,” added Zunic.

“Not one point out there did I give up, I just kept telling myself to keep grinding, after the 16th when I made that bogey, I just had to hang in there.

“Even though my putter wasn’t good today it certainly made up for itself on those last two holes.

“I’m over the moon, I’m glad I got the job done, I’m just exhausted.”

Zunic now has a full card on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia until the end of 2019 which takes a little pressure off on his trip to Spain to attempt to qualify for the European Tour via the final stage of qualifying school.

“It’s such a bonus for me this week because my New Zealand Open winner’s exemption was going to run out at the end of this year so I had to keep my card this year.

“Missing the NSW Open and Australian Open would’ve been a huge hit for me on the money list so winning this week takes care of Australia next year.

“I can purely focus on Europe next week and hopefully come back with a card. I’ll play the Australian PGA Championship this year though, I’ve got some unfinished business there.”

In his first professional event, Doug Klein finished outright fourth on 7-under, Matthew Millar and Adam Blyth share fifth on 6-under.

New South Welshman Blake Windred capped off a sensational week after finishing as low amateur in a share of 8th at 5-under for the tournament.