Austin Bautista has Thursday’s NSW Open in his sights after successfully defending his Federal Amateur Open.
While the 19-year-old won by a convincing nine-stroke margin in 2015, he didn’t have it quite as easy this year, snatching a one-stroke victory over Queensland's Charlie Dann.
The reigning NSW Amateur Champion was leading eventual second placegetter Dann by two shots with four holes to play when a wayward tee shot on the 15th led to a double bogey, dragging him back to level-pegging with the Queenslander.
Bautista made amends on the 17th however with a clutch birdie to take a one-stroke lead into the final hole, and after Dann could only make a bogey on the last, Bautista calmly two-putted for par to claim victory.
Bautista said it was the advice of his caddie, 2015 Federal Club Champion Harry Brazil, on the 15th that saved what was a double bogey from being a whole lot more.
“Harry’s advice calmed a tense moment and got me back in the space I needed to be.
“It feels great to win again, It was a long day, though, 36 holes and it was really cold.
Bautista’s attention is now focussed on Stonecutters Ridge and putting in a solid performance.
“My game feels good. It’s exciting going into an event like this. The pro events are far bigger and jam-packed with better players.”
“I played the Australian Open last year, and I’m ready to back myself against them. I’m out there to beat the field,” Bautista smiled.
In the women’s event, it was 16-year-old Amelia Garvey from New Zealand who took out the inaugural Federal Women’s Amateur Championship.
Garvey went into the final round with a four-stroke lead which was enough for her to take the victory over Grace Kim from the Avondale Golf Club in Sydney. Unfortunately, Queanbeyan’s Chloe Thornton fell out of contention with a third round, ten-over-par 83.
Garvey flies back to her home town of Canterbury on Monday and straight into the end of year exams.
Winners of the four titles in 2016 were:
Federal Junior Medal Girls – Celina Yuan
Federal Junior Medal Boys – Joshua Armstrong
Federal Women’s Amateur Champion – Amelia Garvey (NZ)
Federal Amateur Open Champion – Austin Bautista
For the full leader board go here – http://www.federalgolf.com.au/cms/federal-amateur-open