Date: November 23, 2012

Rio Watanabe retains Champion of Champions

Any day would be a good day to defend the Champion of Champions title, but for Rio Watanabe from Yarra Yarra, it was simply perfect.

The venue was set at Settlers Run, a challenging Greg Norman design. The course was in great condition, with ideal temperatures and hardly a breath of wind.
Playing against another strong young golfer in Reanna Matthews from Commonwealth (3rd qualifier) was not easy, particularly in a 36-hole final. With the match squared after 6 holes it looked as if this game could go either way, but by the time they reached the 18th hole, Rio had gained some precious ground and was 4 up.
Reanna kept battling and her consistency allowed her to keep up with Rio for most of the opening nine of the second round of the 36-hole final. With nine holes to go in the match, Rio was 3 up and still within Reanna’s reach. Rio’s experience might have given her an edge and despite Reanna’s best efforts, Rio managed to retained her title by winning three & two. Congratulations to both players for their quality golf that spectators truly enjoyed!
The Champion of Champions trophy started in 1929 and it has some of the legends in Victorian golf engraved on it such as Burtta Cheney, Mona MacLeod, Joan Fisher, amongst others. Recent back to back winners of this title were Elissa Orr (Commonwealth) 2007 & 2008 and Bree Elliot (Yarrawonga) 2009 & 2010. Both players are now on their way to becoming successful professional golfers. Will Rio follow their path?
Golf Victoria extends special thanks to Amstel and Settlers Run for hosting this prestigious championship, all the volunteers that assisted and spectators that attended the event.

Click here to see progressive scores throughout the day of this 36 holes final.

Click here to see full results from the Championship.