Canberra’s Josh Armstrong has recorded his first ace in tournament golf to close with a six under par 64 to win the NSW Country Championship at Goulburn Golf Club today.
In a thrilling finish, Armstrong holed out on the 138-metre par three 15th then followed it up with a stunning approach to under a metre on the par five 16th for back-to-back eagles to overtake overnight leader Jordan Ayre in the closing stages of the tournament.
The NSW Representative described the hole in one as a massive boost at the ideal time.
“The cheeky ace helped,” Armstrong beamed after the round.
“I hit a little-half eight iron trap-draw into the wind. It didn’t leave the flag, landed about two feet short, popped up, and trickled in.”
Armstrong added the result was a very satisfying one, and said the key was sticking to his game plan. He credited a post-round chat yesterday evening with his father, Dave, as the catalyst for the win.
“I talked about it with dad a little bit. I was playing aggressively off the tee, and taking a lot of drivers.
“I just tried to make the most of the scoring opportunities today, and I feel I did that well,” Armstrong added.
On a morning with just enough chill in the breeze to add an edge to proceedings, it looked to all Jordan Ayre was going to be a hard man to catch.
Ayre had what appeared to be a comfortable three-shot buffer after nine holes, but a frustrating day with the putter eventually got the better of him, and meant he struggled to build on his impressive first round 64.
It ended up being ‘one of those days’ for the left-hander, as evidenced on the last hole when he left a six metre birdie putt to force a playoff just half a roll shy of dropping in.
Despite closing with a one-under-par 69, it was a bittersweet result for the 24-year-old, and will no doubt make him hungrier for success in the future.
Young’s Joel Shields playing alongside Armstrong, carded an impressive 65 to grab third place with Mudgee Golf Club tyro Mark Hale, who has made a habit of high placed finishes in Golf NSW events this year.
In the Interdistrict Teams, The Central West have lifted their first title since 2004 with a resounding eight-shot win over the Hunter River District Golf Association and the ACT Monaro.
The Central West team of James Conran, Joshua Campbell, Lachlan Jones, Mark Hale, Nicholas Coggan and Robert Payne finished with a combined total of 553.
The Central West’s playing manager Robert Payne was over the moon with the team’s win, saying it had been a long time coming. He added that next year’s Country Championship at Bathurst Golf Club, is a home game for his squad, and in a light-hearted jab at a couple of the other districts told them to ‘be ready’.