West Australian Jarryd Felton made a miraculous play-off birdie to win the Lawnmaster Horizon Golf NZ PGA Championship from Victorian Josh Younger and Kiwi Ben Campbell.
Felton, Campbell and Younger all finished at 14 under 270 at the end of four rounds, forcing a trip back to the 18th tee of the Manawatu course for a playoff.
Felton drove wide from the tee but his recovery was first class, leaving him within birdie range. He calmly holed the putt and when Campbell missed his, Felton was the champion.
“I didn’t hit too good of a tee shot, I think I got pretty lucky actually. I capitalised and made the putt, I don’t think the Kiwi fans were too happy,” laughed Felton, who carded a four under 67 to make the play-off.
“I came in to the week not feeling so confident but the more rounds I played around this course I started to grow in confidence and to win is a great feeling.
“I didn’t get too far ahead of myself; I could’ve had some really good scores the first two days but lost a couple of balls up trees early.
“I didn’t let it affect me because I knew there were a lot of other people walking back to tees.
“I just kept playing my game, I knew there was plenty of birdies out here as shown by the scores so I was able to keep it going.”
This is Felton’s second win on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, his first came in 2015 when he won the NSW PGA Championship in just his fifth start as a professional.
The 21-year-old said this win is his biggest achievement to date in his young career.
“It ranks pretty high this one, I’ve had a lot of things going on mentally the last few months so to win is really good,” said Felton, who had missed three cuts from his past four starts.
The win gives Felton full exemption on the PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of 2017 and all of 2018.
“Obviously we’re trying to keep our job at the end of the year, I finished really well in the money list last year, 18th I think on the Order of Merit, so I got a pretty good exemption category this year,” he said.
“Now I can kind of, not necessarily relax, but if I don’t play too well I’ve still got exemption all of next year.”
Campbell was awarded the Sir Bob Charles trophy for finishing the leading New Zealander in the field.
“I obviously would’ve much rather have both trophies, but silverware is silverware,” Campbell said.
“It was a bit disappointing; I hit the ball really well today I just struggled with the putter all day.”
The PGA Tour of Australasia now heads to the Millbrook Resort and The Hills course in Arrowtown, near Queenstown, for the ISPS Handa NZ Open starting on Thursday.