Victorian David Micheluzzi has stormed back from a five-shot deficit for his third professional win and his first Kel Nagle Cup with a two-shot victory at the PLAY TODAY NSW Open at Rich River Golf Club.
The 26-year-old shot rounds of 67, 66, 66 and 65 to win the Von Nida Medal, the Australasian Order of Merit and is guaranteed a place in July’s 151st Open at Royal Liverpool in July. The Order of Merit Victory also ensures the popular Victorian DP World Tour status in 2024.
Micheluzzi’s triumph came at the heartbreaking expense of overnight leader Kade McBride whose double-bogey on the 18th hole turned a one-shot lead into a wrenching two-shot loss.
“Im still trying to gather what’s just happened. I didn’t to anything amazing today, it was just solid,” he said.
“That’s the best tournament I’ve ever played tee to green. My putting wasn’t flash but just the way I handled things under pressure. I just went back to what works and here I am.”
“We didn’t go to any Q schools (the plan was to) work on this tour and try and win the Order of Merit and to do it with one tournament to play I’m stoked.”
Micheluzzi’s charge came from a bonus chip-in birdie on the 9th hole that “just lit something up”.
One of the biggest threats was expected to come from Sydneysider John Lyras who shot 63 yesterday but was encumbered today with a shoulder injury to shoot 40 on the front (five-over). He recovered with four (check) birdies on the back to fall into a share for eighth.
McBride’s fellow Queenslander, Lawry Flynn, and Dapto big bomber, Lincoln Tighe, had spectacular final rounds today, both -8, to finish in the top 10 at -15 for the championship.
Micheluzzi joins an illustrious list of Kel Nagle Cup winners including Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch, Jack Newton, Peter Thomson, and the great man himself Kel Nagle.
New Zealander Jayden Ford comfortably won the battle of the amateurs finishing at -16 after a 65 today that included seven birdies and sole bogey, six shots clear off Masters-bound Harrison Crowe and Jack Buchanan (both -10).