Amidst challenging conditions, Sophie Eppelstun of Catalina showcased extraordinary resilience and has been crowned the 2023 Golf NSW Champion of Champions.
Eppelstun rallied from a five-shot deficit over the initial eighteen holes to secure a spot in a playoff. A birdie on the second playoff hole clinched her victory.
Forty-two women Club Champions, from as far south as Pambula-Merimbula GC to as far north as Safety Beach GC, took on the gruelling 36-hole challenge at Manly Golf Club.
Grace Lee from Concord GC was the early clubhouse leader with an impressive three under par (71) after the morning rounds.
Eppelstun trailed by five shots after her two over par round (76) in the morning, but slowly bridged the gap with early birdies in the afternoon round.
With scores locked up through fourteen holes and only four holes to play, Concord’s Lee regained her advantage with a two-shot swing after her birdie on the 15th hole, where Eppelstun made bogey.
It did not take long for the Catalina teen to claw her way back though with a solid birdie on the next hole and Lee’s mistake off the tee lead to a bogey and the two-shot lead was gone again.
Both players finished their rounds. Eppelstun signed for a six under par round (68) and Lee a one under par round (73).
They could not be separated with a total of 144 (-4) for the 36-hole Championship, so a sudden death playoff was required where Catalina’s Eppelstun calmly slotted her birdie putt on the second playoff hole to claim the Golf NSW Champion of Champions crown.
“I’m so excited. I finally have won it,” smiled Sophie.
“This is my third or fourth time playing this event and I always love playing here at Manly GC.”
FINAL Results:- https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/10011905099254774382