Mel Reid had a gut feeling something special was going to happen this week – then fate stepped in as she defeated Solheim Cup teammate Sandra Gal to claim the 2017 Oates Women’s Vic Open trophy.
Seconds after Gal almost chipped in, the Englishwoman calmly rolled in a four-foot par putt on the 18th green and jumped for joy at claiming her sixth Ladies European Tour title and her first ALPG win.
But there were other emotions at work for Reid this week.
Reid, whose mother was killed in a car accident in 2012, revealed during the trophy presentation that there were signs all week at Thirteenth Beach that its was going to be a good week.
“I don’t know, I had a good feeling about this week, there’s just been a few things,” Reid said.
“I didn’t wanna mention to anyone at the start of the week, but it was my Mum’s birthday this week on Tuesday so I just thought that something good had to happen.
“Then we were warming up on the putting green and my Mum’s favourite film was Dirty Dancing and they were playing the theme.
“I just said to Benji my caddie, ‘I’ve got a feeling, I’ve just got a feeling about this week mate, it’s fate’.”
Gal charged at Reid for most of the final round along with Victoria’s Su Oh and American Angel Yin all vying for the lead.
Reid, the 54-hole leader buy two strokes, slipped out of the lead after dropping three shots in four holes on the front nine.
Gal kept chipping away and the lead was eventually hers alone with her fifth birdie of the day, this time at the par-3 17th hole.
After making birdie on the par-5 14th, Reid grabbed a third birdie of the round at the 16th hole to draw level with Gal.
In extra time, Gal hit the first mis-hit of the play-off when she missed the 18th fairway with her drive and was forced to chip back to the fairway, while Reid launched her second toward the green to set up a good birdie opportunity.
Gal missed the green with her approach and, despite almost holing her chip shot, the pressure valve was released on Reid and brought the curtain down on a “brutal” day for scoring.
“It was honestly brutal out there, it was one of the toughest winds I’ve ever had,” Reid said.
“Just a true test of golf, it brought a lot of character out there today.
“I remember back to Turnberry, it was one of the best rounds I’ve ever shot … when the British Open was there.
“It really was a brutal test and fair play to Sandra, what’d she shoot today, 4-under? That’s an incredible round of golf.”
Oh, matched Reid’s final round of one under 72 to finish two shots out of the playoff, finished tied third with playing partner Yin.
- Story and images Golf Victoria