Kelsey Bennett has literally beaten the ‘lockdown buzzer’ to claim the Northern Territory Amateur Crown in Alice Springs over the weekend.
The Mollymook tyro arrived in the red centre early last week, just hours before the border to NSW was closed.
“I got here on Monday (last week) like 12 hours before the NT government shut the border.
“Had I missed, it would’ve been turn straight back around or two weeks in quarantine.”
Just getting to the airport in Sydney by itself last week took some military-like planning and precision.
“My uncle drove me up (to the airport), and basically we had to drive directly in and directly out. The last stop on the way up and first stop on the way out was at Kiama. He couldn’t even stop for fuel,” Bennett added.
Despite the logistics involved in simply getting to the first tee on Thursday, Bennett kept her composure and was never headed, carding rounds of 74, 74,76 and 84 to record a comfortable win over local hope Kate Buckland.
“I played some pretty solid golf over the first three days despite the conditions.
“It was honestly like a hurricane; hot northerly winds, almost 60km/h. Different golf to what I am used to, definitely.
“I really had to battle those first three days, then when the wind dropped on the final day, I felt so exhausted I did kind of struggle to keep my head in the game,” she added.
The win was Bennett’s first win in three attempts in the Northern Territory, after finishing runner-up to Queenslander Cassie Porter in 2018 and 2019. It’s also her second major title for the year, following her victory in the Tasmanian Open back in February.
Photos: Jo Hansen