23 Mar 2016
Queensland’s Karis Davidson has prevailed to win the Bowra & O’Dea Women’s Classic in a roller coaster afternoon at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
Davidson (-12) and Green (-10) held a significant advantage over the rest of the field to start the day, giving the final round the air of a matchplay final. Despite both coming in at even par, the leaders shot contrasting rounds -- trading big leads only to finish where they started.
With three straight birdies to open her round, Green quickly erased Davidson's two shot advantage and turned it into a one shot lead.
Green then pushed onwards with a birdie on the seventh while Davidson bogeyed after having troubles in the trees to the left. It would be a five shot turnaround in just seven holes, but Davidson held her nerve to engineer a similar swing back in her favour.
After Davidson birdied the 11th hole to get within a shot of Green, the pair traded pars until the fateful par-5 16th. Sitting in adjacent bunkers, Davidson made a masterful out to get within three feet and set up a certain birdie.
Green was much less fortunate -- falling short, chipping on and three putting for a disastrous double bogey. Davidson’s eventual birdie would be the nail in the coffin as she went from one back to two shots up over the closing holes.
On the 18th Davidson held her nerve to make a tricky two putt from behind the green, securing a triumphant third national rankings title.
Davidson was obviously delighted in her victory, bouncing back from her slow start by going 2-under and bogey free on the back nine – all while suffering from a stomach bug.
“Yeah this is really great. I haven’t really been feeling well the last two days but I just stuck in there this afternoon,” said Davidson.
“I feel I played consistent and I finished strongly and it all turned out well.”
Davidson didn’t buy into the matchplay feel of today’s round, helping her stay level headed and consistent as she turned the screws late in the day.
“I didn’t really think about [falling three behind] to be honest,” said Davidson.
“You know anything can happen on the golf course and I just kept saying to myself to keep playing the course and not my opponents.”
Lake Karrinyup’s bunkers wreaked havoc for many, with their hard base making it difficult to get under the ball -- yet Davidson felt she excelled when she fell into a trap, and this was embodied by her escape on 16.
“My bunker shots have been pretty good this week considering the bunkers here have been quite hard,” said Davidson.
“I just felt really confident on that shot. I knew that if I got it close it would give me a good chance to get even with Hannah – on that downhill putt I felt really nervous but I got it, and I knew I just had to keep it consistent over the last two holes.”
Finishing 9 shots behind Davidson, and the only other golfer under par, was Lake Karrinyup local Hannah Thompson. A further three shots back in fourth was 2015 champion Elizabeth Elmassian of NSW while Amanda Tan of Singapore was fifth on 7-over par thanks to an impressive 4-under final round.
In the Mid-Amateur, Melissa Luk bounced back from a difficult second round to win by six shots over Peta Roberts, while Lake Karrinyup’s Sharon Dawson added the Senior’s title to her growing list of achievements thanks to her five stroke victory over Shirley Van Der Brugghen.