Fuller, Bennett claim Tassie Open crowns

David Tease
February 28, 2021

Josh Fuller continued his hot streak while Kelsey Bennett made it a double for the New South Wales crew at the Tasmanian Open today at Kingston Beach.

Fuller, 19, came to Hobart off the back of a victory in the Concord Cup in Sydney over three rounds, and he barely broke stride in carding four rounds in the 60s to win the men’s title by five shots at 14 under.

He shot rounds of 68-66-69-67 in his win.

South Australian Jack Buchanan played in the final group and was the closest competitor to Fuller at nine under par. When Buchanan went eagle-birdie to start the back nine today he had moved within three shots, but Fuller moved away again.

Buchanan shot 68 and did nothing wrong, but he had conceded four shots at the start of the day and it proved to be too much to cover.

“Just stay patient, try to hit a lot of greens, try to put the pressure back on them to make birdies,” Fuller said of his method today. “It was nice to see one or two putts drop in on the way in. That’s all I wanted to do.”

“That’s the first time I’ve had four rounds under par before, so this was really nice,” said Fuller, who has never represented New South Wales and as such, presents as a late bloomer.

“Something just clicked for me last week, I’m not sure what it was.”

The teenager lives on the family farm at Huntlee in the Hunter Valley and plays out of The Vintage, and while he has the option of staying on the farm, his future looks different. “I want to be a pro,” he said. “Hopefully in a couple of years.”

He will tee it up in the Riversdale Cup in Melbourne this week.

The 21-year-old Bennett’s domination of the women’s event was even more comprehensive; she started with a 10-shot lead and kept it through the final day, ultimately shooting a 68 to finish at eight under par, after earlier rounds of 73-68-67.

She was 10 shots ahead of another NSW player, Belinda Ji.

“I was happy with it,” said Bennett, who lives at Mollymook on the south coast.

“I definitely went out there and I thought to myself, ‘let’s have another under-par round. I’ve done it the last two days’. So I was really happy to shoot three under again. I was really consistent. I had two bogeys which I was disappointed about, but I kept it consistent.”

It was her second win in a senior world ranking event, after this year’s NSW Stroke Play medal, and she has been a part of winning NSW teams and was twice runner-up in the NSW Amateur.

Avondale’s June Song shot the low round of the day, a 67, to finish third and make it a NSW trifecta.

The Senior Men’s Tasmanian Open was won by Shayne Walker of Launceston Golf Club and the women’s Senior Tasmanian Open went to Tammy Hall of Prospect Vale.

Golf Australia (Tasmania) golf operations manager Stuart Eaton heaped praise on Kingston Beach for the presentation of the golf course, as well as the many volunteers who made it a memorable week.

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