Emerald Lakes’ Lindsay Ross has endured an almost 24-hour wait to claim the biggest win of his career, taking out the Srixon Mid-Amateur Championship at a drenched Horizons Golf resort, while Gemma Dooley converted her opening round lead into a historic fifth Srixon mid-am crown at Pacific Dunes today.
With only one round able to be played in the men’s division due to torrential rain over the opening two days, Ross carded a three-under-par 69 to win by a shot from Camden Lakeside’s Jason Webb; the pair completing their rounds late yesterday afternoon.
It was a three-way tie for third, with Michael Williams of Moore Park, James Ponder of Cromer and Shelly’ Beach’s Sean Herden finishing at one under.
With the round cut into two, several familiar names had chances to claim the crown when the rain-delayed round was completed.
Camden Lakeside’s Luke Arthur came within a whisker of taking the lead at two-under, but an awful double bogey on the penultimate hole ended his chances.
Ross, however, was the man of the moment and quite satisfied with his performance in the trying conditions.
“I was just a bit average on the front nine – one over, but then I birdied 10, 11, 13 and 16; I sort of caught on fire on the back nine and didn’t miss any shots till the 18th.
“I had a two-footer on the last for birdie but missed; otherwise, it would’ve been four.”
The championship is by far the biggest win of Ross’s resurgent golfing career after moving to Queensland and taking an extended break from the game.
“I’ve never really won anything like this before,” Ross Grinned. ” I played a bit as a kid but have only come back to the game in the last six or seven years.
”I’ve had a few top-tens in some of the other mid- Ams, the Queensland mid-Am, but this is my first win.”
Now based in Queensland, Ross grew up playing the game at the Lakes Golf Club in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. He was in and around the club’s Pennant side and represented the club in the Eric Apperly Shield.
“I grew up in Sydney, playing most of my Golf as a teenager around The Lakes with a few of the guys. A few of them became stars, you know. Ironically, I played with Kurt (Kurt Linde – professional at Pacific Dunes).
Ross enjoyed a tempered celebration overnight; however, he admitted it felt weird to sit and wait for confirmation of the win.
“Yeah, it’s a bit weird sort of waiting around today. We could’ve headed back to the Gold Coast, but I felt I should wait around could’ve been a playoff. Who knows? I do know it’s always worth the wait for a trophy,” he grinned.
DOOLEY MAKES IT AN HISTORIC FIFTH
New South Wales Golf Club’s Gemma Dooley has secured a historic Fifth Srixon Mid Amateur Crown in 15 years of competing, following a solid second round 78 under threatening skies at Pacific Dunes Golf Club.
“I haven’t won it for seven years; I was thinking that I might not win it again,” Dooley beamed after lifting the trophy.
“I won my first mid-am title in 2007, and it is amazing to think I can still compete at a high level like this many years later.”
This year’s women’s field was the largest in the tournament’s history. Four past champions competed, including defending champion Stacie MacDonald, 2020 Champion Lucie Quilliam and 2019 Champion Bonville’s Adele Douglas.
Dooley started the rain-affected second round with a two-stroke lead from three players after shooting a solid 76 (+2) in the first round at Horizons Golf Club.
With a downpour drenching the course at Medowie as the leaders played their 9th holes of the second round, officials were forced to call everyone in for just over an hour.
With the title seemingly in her grasp, Dooley felt some pressure on the resumption, but with her husband, Warwick, caddying, she settled her nerves on the closing nine to ensure her fifth crown.
“I was nervous when play resumed but still played pretty well; three nervous 3-putts on the back nine blew the score out a bit, but I always felt in control.
“(My) caddy-husband, Warwick, kept me level there through the middle when the wheels almost fell off, but we got it done though.” Dooley said during the presentation.
Dooley who only took up Golf in her 30s after excelling in several other sports, credits her competitive nature to growing up on a farm with three older brothers and a sister who were always challenging each other in the backyard.
“I love sport but I particularly love golf because even in my early 50’s I am still improving; I have been playing the best golf of my life over the last six months, and it is exciting.”
With parallels being made to some of the sport’s greats who had won a tournament on five occasions (like Peter Thomson and The Open), Dooley admitted she wasn’t much of a golf historian when the names started flowing.
“I’m not much of a history buff about the game, but Warwick is,” she grinned.