Campbell and Douglas reign in Shoalhaven

It was a win for a returning son and a first-ever championship for a late arrival to the sport as the 2019 Srixon Mid Amateur Championship wound up at Shoalhaven Heads Golf Club.

In a result that was a little more expected than most, Chris Campbell held on to his overnight lead to claim the men’s division while Adele Douglas battled through injury and nerves to claim her first state title.

Chris Campbell gets his final round underway in the 2019 Srixon Mid-Amateur Golf Championship at Shoalhaven Heads Golf Club.

Campbell’s win was a return to his amateur roots following what many would say was an accomplished professional career. It included a win on the lucrative Japanese Tour and an appearance in the 2005 British Open at the home of Golf, St Andrews.

While today may have seemed just a walk for the 43-year-old, it became a battle shortly after the start of his round courtesy of a couple of dropped shots and a mini charge from the never say die Mark Hale, who made a couple of birdies to open proceedings.

Chasing Pack

Colin Mitchell also made things interesting with an eagle on the ninth hole to draw within two, but both challenges fizzled out; Mitchell with a couple of disastrous holes in the middle of the back nine, and Hale, whose putter went cold after yesterday’s course record 65.

Mark Hale watches the result of a shot late in the third round of the Srixon NSW Mid-Amateur at Shoalhaven Heads

If there was any doubt about the result today, however, Campbell calmly put them to rest with a birdie on the tough par five 13th, then followed it up with another on the reachable par four 14th to bolt out to a lead of five.

After that, it was merely a formality, and with a tap in birdie on the 17th Campbell’s buffer up the last was five. A par on the last and Campbell was back in the ranks of Golf NSW Championship winners.

Familiar Feeling

“It’s just nice to be out there competing and having fun,” the usually reserved 43 year-old from Port Kembla Golf Club said after the win.

“You still get the nerves going coming down the stretch, but I haven’t played for so long.

 Asked about it feeling any different to playing in the pro ranks, Campbell was quick to admit not thinking about the dollar signs was a welcome change.

“There are added stresses and more commitment in the pro ranks, but out here there’s no practice and less responsibility, but I still want to do well.

“The stress here is do I trust my game?”

“I trusted it today, just a little bit,” he smiled.

Campbell’s win also assures him of a start in the 2019 AV Jennings NSW Open to be played in November at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club.

Ironically, it’s a tournament he has only played in once since his amateur days.

He is looking forward to the challenge, and a ‘return’ to the familiarity of a PGA Tour event, albeit without the pressure of earning a wage hinging on the performance.

“I haven’t played in it since 2004, so I will probably go up and have a practice round. I will get myself ready.

“It might feel a bit odd, but I will try and get myself as ready as I can for it. Hopefully, I won’t hit any spectators,” he smiled.

Douglas makes it a first Mid Am Crown.

Bonville’s Adele Douglas is in disbelief after taking out the Women’s Division of the Srixon NSW Mid-Amateur Golf Championship at Shoalhaven Heads Golf Club on the NSW South Coast yesterday.

On a testing afternoon, Douglas won by four shots from Killara Golfer Jan Crichton, with Moore Park Golfer Gemma Dooley rounding out the placegetters.

Nerveless – Adele Douglas controlled the nerves to hold on to win her first Srixon Mid-Amateur Crown.

Douglas had begun the day with a three-shot lead, but a case of nerves and a stiff north-easterly breeze made the task a tough one. Her lead was soon erased, and when they arrived at the back nine, Douglas was a worrying shot behind.

Overnight Lead

Douglas had begun the day with a three-shot lead, but a case of nerves and a stiff north-easterly breeze made the task a tough one.  Her lead was soon erased, and when they arrived at the back nine, Douglas was a worrying shot behind.

Still, she held her nerve and stuck to her game plan of simply finding fairways and greens to wrest back her lead over the closing holes.

Despite being assured she had won, Douglas was still pinching herself in disbelief post-round.

“It’s been a week of firsts for me,” she smiled. “My first major championship, my first course-record.”

“I just can’t believe it really.”

Asked about celebrations, Douglas said it was going to be a quiet one.

“I am driving back to my mum’s at Gosford,” she quipped. “Sorry, no champagne.”

For her win, Douglas also gets a start in the 2020 Women’s NSW Open to be played at Dubbo Golf Club.

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