12 Feb 2016
Ash hall celebrates his Victorian PGA triumph at Huntingdale. Picture: PGA of Australia
Ash Hall has won the Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus Victorian PGA Championship with a chip-in birdie on the first playoff hole.
Starting the day six shots off the lead, Hall posted 2-under 70 to be in the clubhouse at 11-under the card for the tournament.
Watching on as David McKenzie had a horror finish, a double bogey on the 17th and bogey on the 18th, Hall found himself tied for the lead at the end of regulation play.
Playing the 18th at Huntingdale in a sudden-death playoff it took just one trip down the par-4 to declare Hall the champion.
With the honour, McKenzie was safely down the middle of the fairway with his first, while Hall found the first cut of rough but with a good lie and line into the green.
McKenzie was safely on the green for two and about 8m from the pin. While Hall was surprised that his second flew the 18th leaving him 5m off the back of the green.
Taking his 56-degree wedge, Hall played the best shot since Michael Long’s stunner last week that sealed victory in the Oates Vic Open playoff.
Landing his ball two feet on to the green, it bounced once and spun. It hit the flag stick at pace and dropped into the hole.
The pressure was then on McKenzie to make his 8m birdie putt, looking on line the whole way it shaved the right edge of the hole handing the victory to Hall.
It was an emotional win for Hall who had to come back to PGA Tour of Australasia Qualifying School to earn status at home after he also lost his card on the Web.com Tour at the end of last year after losing out twice in playoffs in the US in 2014.
“I’ve had three wins and I’ve been close in playoffs before. I wanted to hit a good shot in the playoff and playing under the pump makes you really find out where your game is at early on in the year,” the affable Melburnian said.
“I haven’t hit good shots in playoffs in the last few years and that was a really good one there.
“I said we should try win one of these early on in the year and I can play them all now at the end of the year and the following year, so it’s nice.”
“That hole (18) has been troubling me a lot lately, during the Masters it really troubled me. During the first round and yesterday it really troubled me, so I just wanted to get a good drive away like I did in the regulation and hit a good shot in.
“I was surprised my second shot in went as far, I didn’t expect it to go over the back of the green.”
With the win, Hall earnt $16,500, Official World Golf Ranking points and a start in the ISPS Handa Perth International.
David McKenzie also earns a place in Perth, as do Scott Strange, Stephen Dartnall and American Ryan Carter thanks to their earnings of the past two weeks.
Finishing a shot outside of the playoff on 10-under 278 were Matthew Millar, Anthony Houston, Matthew Griffin, Tim Hart, Adam Blyth and Stephen Leaney.
Rounding out the top 10 at nine under the card were Todd Sinnott and Brad Shilton.