Date: November 12, 2017
Author: Dave Tease

Ravnjak, Garner too strong at Federal

Castle HIll’s Jordie Garner and The Australian Golf Club’s Tahnia Ravnjak have taken out the Men’s and Women’s Divisions of the Federal Open Amateur.

Garner posted a scintillating third round of seven under par 65 this morning and followed it up with a final round 70 to finish with a four-round total of 15-under par 273, good enough to win by a shot from The Australian’s Blake Windred. In third place, a further two shots back was a trio of players headed by western Australian Haydn Barron, Victoria’s Kyle Michel, and the 36-hole leader, Canberra’s Josh Armstrong.

The 18-year-old didn’t have the tournament in his keeping until his final putt. Windred, his nearest competitor, holed a monster putt to tie the scores on the last hole, and with plenty of spectators watching on, Garner had to hole a clutch 5-metre birdie to take the title.

Garner was thrilled with the win, his first victory in a national ranking event.

“It’s pretty cool to win,” Garner said.”My putting and short game this week has been ridiculously good – world class.”

“I was five under par today in my third round through nine holes, and honestly it didn’t feel like I was playing that hot,” he smiled.

After completing his HSC exams under a fortnight ago, Garner said he has been working hard on his game getting ready for a big summer of golf, beginning with the NSW Open this Thursday at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club.

“All I have done since finishing my exams has been to practice and play, treat my golf as a job. To be honest, I was more focussed on the NSW Open than this week, so it has been a good to pick up a win like Federal,”

“It sets me up nicely going into next week, I can’t wait,” He smiled.

Tahnia Ravnjak has pulled off a remarkable come from behind victory in the women’s section of the Federal Amateur after just surviving the cut overnight.

The 24-year-old from Cordeaux Heights near Wollongong started the day six shots behind the overnight leaders and carded rounds of 67 and 68 on the 36-hole final day in a dominant display of shot-making to eventually claim the title by a shot from Victoria’s Stephanie Bunque.

Ravnjak, who has only been back in Australia for just over four months after completing her studies at Campbell University in North Carolina, said it all came together this morning from the very first tee shot.

“I was feeling relaxed this morning; I smoked my very first tee shot and just knew it was going to be a good day.”

“I Said to mum; All I need to do is make the cut. I’m only six shots behind.”

Ravnjak said the key to her win was staying competitive while playing 36 holes in a day – a skill she learnt at college in the United States.

“I knew I was going to pay well. I’ve played at least twenty 36-hole-in-a-day events when I was in college,”

She also singled out the work she has been doing with her fitness trainer, Simon Bergner, since arriving home

“Since I got back, I've been working on my fitness and strength; it’s helped me get through 36 holes and have the ability to hit top quality shots at the end. It pulled me through today.”

“Simon has helped me a lot,” she said.

Sadly for the State’s amateur stocks, Ravnjak’s win at Federal will almost certainly be her last. She intends to turn professional shortly.

“It’s probably my last hurrah. I’ll be turning professional before the end of the year,” she smiled.