In the end they did it very differently, but Jacqui Morgan and Steve Toyne have claimed the Men’s and Women’s NSW Senior Amateur Championships at Shoalhaven Heads Golf Club today.
After starting the day with a commanding eight shot lead, it looked like being all but a walk for Morgan as the day began.
It didn’t take long for the Monash Country Club tyro to extend her lead to ten, and even though she dropped a couple on the outward nine, she still managed to turn for home with a seven shot buffer, and things still looked set to go to plan.
Jane Wall, Morgan’s playing partner, was still around, and looking for a break.
Then after the pair traded back-to-back bogeys early on the back (the course’s front nine), it was thenWall stepped up a gear with birdies on the 14th & 15th (the 5th and 6th), seizing her chance.
Morgan dropped another shot on the 16th (her 7th) and then inexplicably double bogeyed the 17th (8th) to leave her just a shot in front with one to play. To the gathered spectators, it was suddenly game on.
Thankfully for the Monash member it was all academic in the end, and when Wall could only bogey the par-five last, the championship, Morgan’s seventh, was locked away.
“Close in the end, but what can I say, It’s my seventh senior crown. Lucky seven as they say,” she grinned..
The men’s final round, in contrast, provided a drama-packed final nine worthy of a title fight.
Warren Gorton, who started the day with a handy four shot buffer, seemingly had no answer for the fast finishing Queenslander Steve Toyne, who was a model of consistency as the afternoon wore on.
After pegging back the lead to two shots after the front nine, Toyne made his move on the par-five 13th, grabbing a share of the lead.
When Toyne drove the green and two putted for another birdie on the short par four 14th it meant the lead had swapped hands for the first time in almost 30 holes.
It was the par-three 15th, however which brought Gorton’s run to an end with an untimely triple bogey. Suddenly the Queenslander had a four shot buffer. Despite a bogey on the 16th, he consolidated it on the way back to the clubhouse to eventually win by five.
Toyne, already a winner of several national senior amateur titles, was thrilled to pick up his first NSW Senior Amateur Crown.
“It feels really good. The last time I played (the NSW Senior) Stefan Albinksi beat me at the finishing post by a shot at Narooma.
“I am thoroughly enjoying this and relishing the victory.”
Toyne added he was surprised to have won so easily in the end.
“Warren had a four shot buffer, and I thought it was going to be uphill, but I knew If I could hit greens in regulation I was going to be in with a chance.
“I managed to make a few birdies and it put the pressure on him.”
This week’s win also guarantees Toyne a start in the NSW Senior Open at Thurgoona later this year.
“I’ll be there, my oath I will,” Toyne grinned ” I played against all of those guys back in the eighties up in the Atherton Tablelands. All those guys used to come up, so I’m looking forward to it.”