Rising star Dimitrios Papadatos has maintained a cool head over the closing holes to win the TX Civil and Logistics WA PGA Championship by a single stroke.
It was the New South Welshman’s second victory on the PGA Tour of Australasia in three months, having claimed the Oates Vic Open in February.
A final round 68 around the testing Kalgoorlie layout saw Papadatos reach 12 under (276), which was good enough to grab the title by a shot from Victorian Rory Bourke, who had an eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole to force a playoff.
It was a tough day for everyone in the field with wind gusts in excess of 40km an hour but Papadatos managed to keep his composure as the red dirt swirled across the course.
RIGHT: Papadatos gets his hands on more silverware. PHOTO: Supplied by PGA of Australia
“It was way tougher in that wind. You have to account for so many more things on every shot. On every putt I was allowing for more break and I was trying to work out where the wind was coming from because it was swirling. It was pretty difficult and very draining playing in those conditions,” said Papadatos, who saw his lead diminish to just one shot after he made a double bogey on the 15th hole.
“I thought I was still leading by a shot, I was still in a good position to win the tournament so there was no reason to throw the toys out of the cot.
“I had to stay patient and finish it off well which thankfully I did.”
The WA PGA Championship becomes Papadatos’ third win on the PGA Tour of Australasia, adding to the Vic Open earlier this season and the NZ Open in 2014.
“It’s always hard to get over the line and I was pretty lucky to do that today,” said Papadatos, who loved the Kalgoorlie course.
“The course is the reason I came here, it was a bit of hike to get here, but the boys were all saying what a great course it is.
“I was going to go straight to the UK and miss this week but I spoke to my coach, Richard Woodhouse and he said it was worth playing another event before I go.
“It worked out well. It was a good idea, and Richard is right again.”
Celebrating his victory by road tripping back to Perth, the 25-year-old is heading back to Europe next week a more experienced player.
“Even though last year I had a terrible time, I am going to go over there more ready for what is to come,” added Papadatos, who will tee it up in US Open Qualifying event at Walton Heath.
“I am definitely a better player than what I was when I went to Europe last year. I learnt a lot from that and I have done a lot of work.
“It’s a matter of getting the opportunities, I am playing well enough.”
While Bourke finished runner-up to Papdatos on 11-under the card, he was two shots clear of Victorian PGA Champion Damien Jordan and Matthew Millar.
Following his win, Papadatos has moved to fourth on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.