New Zealand's Daniel Pearce has overcome losing an eight-shot lead to fight back and win the 2017 Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship in a sudden death play-off over Canberra’s Matthew Millar.
Starting the final round at Toowoomba’s City Golf Club with an eight-shot lead, Pearce looked to have picked up where he left off with a birdie on the 1st hole.
However his round came unstuck with four consecutive bogeys starting from the 5th hole, which gave his pursuers some chance of catching him over the closing stages of the tournament.
An eagle on the 10th returned Pearce to the top of the leaderboard giving him the confidence to regain his composure on the back nine.
"I hit a fantastic drive up there on 10 and only had 100 or so metres in and managed to hit a wedge in nice and close, that really steadied the ship for me," Pearce said.
A bogey, however, on the 18th hole saw him finish at 19 under and tied with a fast-finishing Millar, who carded a six under 64 – including a 72nd hole bogey of his own – to force a playoff with Pearce.
"I once had a playoff in a pro-am back home which I lost, so 50 percent now in my career is not too bad!" Pearce laughed.
"He (Millar) is a great golfer and he's been playing some fantastic golf the last couple of years especially around Australia so to be up against him was always going to be tough, I knew he'd come out firing.
"It's nice to beat a player of that quality."
It took Pearce three extra holes to emerge victorious after he made par and Millar bogeyed the par-4 18th.
This win gives Pearce exemption on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of this season and 2018 – security he said he's happy to have for the first time in his career.
"I haven't been exempt going in to a year before so it really helps. Winning is winning, it's awesome for the confidence,” added Pearce, who has been forced to go to Qualifying School in each of the past four years.
“Hopefully I can build on this and have a really good year and jump on to a main Tour somewhere," he said.
Players on the PGA Tour of Australasia will return to action on May 4 with the playing of the SP Brewery PNG Golf Open at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club.