Homegrown star Declan O’Donovan has won the Avondale Amateur by two strokes, the biggest win of his young career, from a fast-finishing Billy Dowling, While Aussie Junior Champ Ann Jang confirmed her status as one of Australia’s Brightest junior talents.
“It feels pretty special,” O’Donovan grinned. It’s my first four-round win and my first one at home. It feels pretty surreal.”
Starting the final round with a six-stroke lead, O’Donovan said there were plenty of nerves as he sought his first-ever WAGR title. Despite the heat and humidity, he posted a one-under 70 for a four-round total of 12 under.
“I had a chat to my caddy before we started. I knew I wouldn’t have to shoot five under or something; a couple under would get me the win, so there were a couple of holes where I did change my choice, but it was still the same aggressive strategy.”
” I was definitely nervous today, 100%, but there was nothing I could do about it, just play with it.” O’DOnovan added.
The victory was also the first for an Avondale local since Harrison Endycott claimed the crown in 2015 & 16. The significance of being the first to collect the crown since two-time winner Endycott wasn’t lost on the 20-year-old, who said the PGA Tour player was one of his idols.
“There’s only one other Avondale winner, and that’s Harrison Endycott, and he’s doing alright, so it makes me feel good.”
“I want to be where he is,” Donovan grinned.
Runner-up Dowling carded a closing 65, which was only bettered on the day by the matching seven-under-par 64s shot by local Jye Pickin and Will Moody.
The Avondale Women’s Bowl turned into a battle royal over the closing stages, with a three-way fight to the 72nd hole.
Ultimately, after four playoff holes, reigning Australian Junior Champion Ann Jang claimed victory over 2023 NSW Amateur champ Shyla Sing, when Singh failed to make par on the first hole.
Jang carded one of the rounds of the tournament, a course record five under par 68, to force her way to the top of the leaderboard, while Singh, playing alongside overnight leader Michelle Bang, closed with a one-under 71.
Sadly for overnight leader Michelle Bang, a closing 76 left her one shot shy of the playoff.