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Boulton, Mullard seal national titles

Louise Mullard, Mark Boulton
Louise Mullard and Mark Boulton show off their hard-won trophies at the sensational Links Lady Bay in South Australia.

As it often does in big events, a few moments of clarity proved the difference today as Mark Boulton won the men’s Australian Mid-Amateur Championship in South Australia.

Those same moments probably happened earlier in the week for Louise Mullard, who romped to her first women’s national championship at the spectacular Links Lady Bay.

Mullard, of Morisset Country Club south of Newcastle, fired a second consecutive 77 to finish at 15 over, good enough for a whopping 12-stroke victory over fellow New South Wales player Sharon Thompson, with Western Australia’s Candice High two shots further back in third.

Mullard, who began the day with a seven-shot buffer, effectively put the Mid-Am title in her pocket with an opening birdie and another on the fifth to storm to an unassailable lead.

But things weren’t as clear cut for Boulton, who eventually prevailed by two strokes after some early nerves.

Boulton, a proud representative of Phillip Island Golf Club, eventually signed for a closing 74 to finish the three-round event at five over, clear of Launceston’s Josh Molendyk (71), with joint first-round leader Mat Crandell (76) a shot further back in third.

It was his second national title after winning in 2015 in Queensland and finishing runner-up last year in Victoria – and Boulton said it felt “awesome”.

“It’s fantastic. I had a lack of preparation perhaps this year being busy with work and family – so to compete so well against a quality field was special,” Boulton said.

“It’s a national title so I’m chuffed, especially for all the people at Phillip Island Golf Club who’ve been so supportive and helpful not just this week, but over my time at the club.”

Boulton, who began the final round one shot clear of Byron Bay’s Crandell, made a string of bogeys to sit four over through 10 holes today.

But after battling with the flat stick for much of the tournament, it finally heated up when it mattered the most with a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th hole.

“I think that was the clencher to be honest,” Boulton said.

“Three birdies in a row didn’t get me there, it wasn’t a sealer, but they gave me confidence.

“They gave me a slight cushion, but there was no sense of victory because the guys kept coming at me.

“Right up until the final holes with Mat making birdies on 15 and 18, so it was never comfortable.”

Both champions receive exemptions into the 2018 NZ Mid-Amateur from 12-14 January, and a subsidy from Golf Australia to assist with their travel costs. They also will be offered a place in the 2018 ADF v GA match to be held in March at The National in Victoria.

The 2018 Australian Mid-Amateur Championships will return to South Australia, but next year at The Vines Golf Club of Reynella, from 14-16 November.

LEADERBOARD



The Emirates Australian Open gets under way on the 23rd of November. Head to www.golf.org.au/ausopen for news, live scores, video, Genesis AO Radio and more.

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