Jordan Ayre has bounced back from a horror start to his final round to claim the NSW Country Championship at Bathurst Golf Club.
The ACT-Monaro representative bogeyed three of his first four holes to put himself all but out of contention for the title, but in a testament to his resilience, Ayre stayed in control, turning the shocking start into a second consecutive one under par 70.
Ayre was a relieved man post-round.
“I got off to an awful start, bogeying three of my first four holes, and after that, there was only one way to go,” Ayre said.
His two-under total was enough to take out the Championship by a shot from Reid Brown of Wingham and Bathurst local Reece Hodson.
With the much-needed rain thankfully holding off, the result was anyone’s to win at the halfway point of the final round. No fewer than nine players were in with a chance to take the title; however, it was the 25-year-old from Royal Canberra who stood tall in the end.
“It got a bit breezy which made controlling your ball a bit hard,” Ayre added. “But in the end, I was very happy.”
Ayre finished his studies last year and has been testing his game against Australia’s best amateurs over the previous few months. He was in contention at last month’s Keperra Bowl before fading in the final round.
“I finished my degree in accounting at the end of last year, and I’ve been playing some of the major amateur golf events this year.
“I’ve been playing solid golf, so hopefully, I can keep the form going, and we will see what’s on the horizon next year.
The win also guarantees Ayre a start in this month’s AVJennings NSW Open at Twin Creeks. Ayre admitted qualifying for the NSW Open had been an important personal goal since completing his studies last year.
“Josh (Armstrong) just pipped me last year, so to win a spot this year is nice,” he smiled.
Golf Illawarra claimed the Bruce Devlin shield for the best team score with a combined 582. They won by three shots from the local hopes, Central West.