Date: October 14, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Olsen surges for first national title

Kym Olsen isn’t wasting time making waves in Australian senior golf.

And having turned 55 this winter, the Victorian rode one of them all the way to his first national championship on Thursday.

Olsen, a member of The National, posted a superb two-under-par 70 around Adelaide’s mighty Kooyonga Golf Club, romping away to win the Australian Men’s Senior Amateur Championship by four strokes.

Canadian David Schultz, who’d led after the first 36 holes of the 54-hole event, continued his steady form with a final-round 75, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the rampant Olsen who finished at +5.

Highlighting the duo’s dominance on a wonderful day for golf, third place went to defending champion Greg Rhodes, but at +14, he was nine shots off the pace of his fellow Victorian.

Olsen, who contested the 2013 US Senior Open on the Champions Tour, began the day one shot behind Schultz and Sydney’s Stefan Albinski.

But an opening birdie soon erased the deficit and another on the fifth drew him back level with Schultz, who briefly drew swords to defend the lead with a birdie of his own on the fourth.

But the Canadian star couldn’t find another birdie and his second bogey on the ninth was the beginning of the end.

Olsen birdied the 15th to push three clear and despite bogeys on the 14th and 17th, had a margin sufficient to quietly celebrate his clinching birdie on the 16th.

“I’m very proud to win a national championship,” beamed Olsen, who won the Queensland senior title in July just weeks after his birthday made him eligible to compete.

Albinski, a three-time champion, had a day to forget with eight bogeys and two doubles against just two birdies as he crashed to fifth at +16 with an 82 just 24 hours after his dazzling second-round 68.

Fourth on +15 overall was Kiwi Michael Barltrop.

So dominant was Victoria that Olsen wasn’t in its four-man team that romped to a 12-shot win over New South Wales in the simultaneous state teams event.

Victoria, represented by Mark Abeyaratne, Gordon Claney, Ian Frost and Rhodes, finished on 698 with NSW second on 710 and Queensland third a further shot back.

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