Aaron Wilkin has claimed the Dubbo regional open in a dominant display of golf at Dubbo Golf Club.
The Queenslander carded back-to-back seven-under 65 to cruise to a three-shot win from in-form Queenslander Charlie Dann, who closed with a 66.
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Overnight leader Jordan Widdicombe, perhaps feeling some final group pressure, remained in the hunt all day but struggled to convert his chances over the last nine holes until it was too late.
Widdicombe’s closing one under par effort was still impressive for a young player unaccustomed to the pressure of professional tournament play.
It was the Wilkin, with family roots firmly embedded in the nearby village of Yeoval, who was the man of the moment.
After starting the final round two back, the Queensland gun soon had his nose in front. An eagle on the second was followed with birdies on the 3rd and 4th to get his nose in front. From there, he was never headed.
A second eagle for the day on the ninth saw the lead get out to three, and despite a withering challenge from Daniel Gale, and towards the end, Charlie Dann, three more birdies and just one bogey (on the 11th) was enough for Wilkin to claim an emphatic victory.
“I played pretty well to be honest. The hole out on two always helps,”
“I had a chip on the 14th, I mean, I had a little bit of luck, but I played well,” Wilkin smiled post-round.”
Wilkin admitted he felt comfortable in the final group, aware of what the overnight leader was doing while remaining conscious of the scores of those in front.
“I knew what he (Jordan) was shooting, and I knew what other guys were shooting too]. The course was set up to go low.
“It’s good ,but bad too. You have concentrate on what other are shooting. I just tried to do my own thing to be honest.”
The win came in front of a good-sized gallery, something Wilkin said was great to experience after the restrictions of COVID and in no small part to the Yoeval connection of his grandmother.
“It was good. I didn’t know all of them, but a lot were Nan’s family and friends. I left here when I was ten, so it’s been a long time.
“To do it in front of Nan too, that was special. She’s had me in Yeoval for the week, so I’m pretty happy.”
The win also guaranteed Wilkin a place in the NSW Open.
“Jordan (Widdicombe) said Concord is in great shape, and I’m ready to push this win into that one.”
Although a small consolation, Widdicombe’s finish did guarantee his place in the 2021 NSW Open at his workplace, Concord. Also Qualifying for the NSW Open was Troy Moses, whose closing six under 66 was enough for a tie for 5th and the third and final place for next month’s championship.