The weather gods played kind as Lester Peterson flew away with his first NSW Senior Amateur title in an exciting final day at the Island Golf Club, Nambucca Heads.
On a day when Huey threatened to end proceedings at any minute, Peterson held his nerve to win by three shots from his final round playing partners, Ken Brewer from Concord, and Stonecutters Ridge representative Matt Taylor.
The Bardwell Valley Life Member was thrilled to add the title to his cabinet, commenting he now had ‘the Trifecta’ under his belt.
“I’ve one the NSW Amateur, the Mid-Amateur and now I’ve won the NSW Senior, so I’ve done the trifecta.
“It’s nice to win.
“When I came into the seniors, everyone thought I would come in and win straight away, but I’ve had a few injuries over the last few years, and I haven’t played as much, so it didn’t happen,” a smiling Peterson said.
Earlier, the day began with a torrential downpour as the sun rose, forcing play to be delayed by two hours. In Peterson’s mind, however, the weather and the delay was a clear advantage.
“I thought at the beginning of the day if I could shoot two or three over someone was going to have to shoot a really good score to beat me, and it wasn’t going to happen today.
Peterson’s playing partner, Concord’s Ken Brewer almost put paid to that assumption when the leading group finally got away at 1.50pm, returning an impressive even-par 35 to Peterson’s front-nine 37 as the afternoon winds strengthened.
Suddenly, the lead was only one.
The resurgence of Brewer, sadly, was only short-lived. A couple of quick bogeys after the turn and a misbehaving putter on the back nine cruelled his chances.
When the Concord member watched his par putt slip by on the 15th to give Peterson a three-shot lead again, the tournament was all but over.
“Ken played well on the front nine, but once again as long as I could match it with him on the back nine, I could do it.”
First-round leader Matt Taylor toiled all day, near enough to contend but never close enough to challenge. The big truck driver from Stonecutters Ridge had his chances, but when he missed a makeable par putt on 16, his day was effectively over.
The result was a foregone conclusion by the 18th with Peterson able to finish with a three-putt bogey even though Brewer holed a birdie bomb from the front of the green.
It was a relief for the spectators watching as the final putt also dropped, as the heavens that had threatened all day finally opened.
Peterson was relieved too, at the end of the day.
“It’s a hard day for everyone. I didn’t play much different from yesterday, but early on, my birdie putts missed. Yesterday they didn’t.”
The victory guarantees Peterson a start in the 2018 NSW Men’s Senior Open at Thurgoona Country Club in October.
Peterson, who made the cut in last years inaugural championship, is intent on ensuring he will get one over his brother, Martin, who took bragging rights last year, when he was pipped a shot.
“Yeah, it will be good.
“I’ll have to beat my brother this time. I let him win last year.
“He won by one. I was well in front with a round to go, but he shot under par, and I had four or five over.
“Boost his confidence. He’s won a couple of senior events since then,” Peterson smiled.