Nathan Barbieri and Grace Kim have claimed their maiden Avondale Amateur Crowns in a thrilling afternoon of golf at Avondale.
For Kim it was an impressive win on her home court in front of an adoring gallery of members. While for Barbieri, it marks his first World Ranking event title after a year of near misses on the international stage.
Kim carded rounds of 66, 70, 71, 70 and was at her impressive best in a see saw battle which saw the lead change a number of times.
A shot down with three to play she drew on all her experience to triumph by two over the courageous Japanese challenger.
“Really happy with the win,”
“The last six holes were very tight.
“It was mentally draining, I knew I needed to make pars and birdies.”
Despite several national and international wins to her name, Kim described the feeling of winning on her home course as
” I’m flying high, managing to do it at home too.
“The members have done so much for me here, so being able to win this is special.” she grinned.
For Barbieri, the win was a huge weight lifted from his shoulders after a couple of near misses in 2019 at the Australian and NSW Amateur Championships.
His final round five-under 66 was good enough for a three shot margin in the end over the impressive Englishman Benjamin Schmidt. Victorian Andre Lautee and Japan’s Ren Yonezawa were third, another three shots back.
Barbieri was ecstatic with the result – his first major men’s Amateur title after the round.
“I’m still numb.
“I’ve been so close so many times, today was my day.
“I knew needed to shoot a good score. It’s not like I had to shoot square, I had to go low, and I did.”
Barbieri admitted to some final round nerves and added the heat also took it’s toll during the round.
“I drank a lot of water and stayed int he shade as much as I could.
“I took advantage of the holes hit with good shots too.
Asked about a celebration post round, Barbieri grinned.
“You bet so!”