Jamie Arnold has won the 2019 Socredo Bank Tahiti International Open in dramatic style, surviving a three hole sudden death play-off to record his first International Open victory.
After 72 holes, Arnold walked off the 18th green at 8-under par thinking he had claimed the title, however a course record 7-under par round of 63 by New South Welshman Jay Mackenzie ensured the Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series tournament was far from over.
The events forthcoming could only be seen to be believed as both players rolled in 30-foot birdie putts on the first playoff hole to keep the title alive.
On the second hole, Mackenzie had one hand on the trophy, hitting his approach to inside eight feet however Arnold’s putter was running hot when he went on to hole a 40-foot putt.
“Standing over the putt, I thought I could make it. I kept telling myself I hadn’t come here to run second, I stayed confident the whole time,” recounted Arnold.
Mackenzie would hole his eight-foot putt to force the playoff to a third hole where the ever-consistent Arnold recorded a regulation par to claim the title.
In his acceptance speech, Arnold gave praise to his family.
“A lot of credit for this week has to go to my support crew. I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my partner Kim and son Luke. Also my father Colin and coach Col Swatton, they have been instrumental in my success.”
For Arnold, golf is definitely in the genes. His father Colin is the Head Professional at Cronulla Golf Club in Sydney while his brother Scott is also an accomplished Tour player.
For the next month Arnold will be refining his skills at his home club of Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta before heading home for the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia season.
“I’m heading back to the US for a few weeks but then will be back for the Australian summer. I’m really looking forward to it, can’t wait to get home.”