04 Dec 2022 | Australian Open | All Abilities |
Popert crowned Australian All Abilities champion
by Australian Golf Media
By Alexander Dabb
World No. 1 Kipp Popert overcame the hot and blustery conditions at Victoria Golf Club on Sunday to be crowned the Australian All Abilities Champion.
The Englishman led after day one, before a disastrous round on Saturday saw him five shots off the pace after 16 holes, nailing two important birdies on the final two holes to put himself within touching distance of new leader Canadian Kurtis Barkley.
“I looked at the leader board and saw Kurtis was minus two yesterday and I was five back at the time, holed a really good four-footer on 16 after seeing the leader board to know that if I made two birdies, I'd be in within reach, so it was really important.”
Popert dominated proceedings on the final day, with consecutive birdies at the seventh, eighth and ninth holes propelling him into a commanding lead, which he never looked like giving up again.
“I had some really good holes on the end of the front nine really scored well and got the most out some holes.
“And yeah, I really stuck to my game plan today, first day I stuck to my game plan really well, second day I was a bit more timid, and today I really committed to the shots I was hitting and executed.”
The win continues a dominant year for Popert, who claimed victory on four occasions on the G4D Tour, while claiming a top five finish in the remaining three events.
Overnight leader Barkley endured a difficult day on the course, dropping seven shots on his way to another second place in the Australian All Abilities Championship, having narrowly lost out to Sweden’s Johan Kammerstad in a playoff in 2019 at The Australian.
Playing at the Australian Open in front of the Sunday crowd meant a lot to Cameron Pollard, a member of the inaugural Australian All Abilities Championship field in 2018, with the young Australian sporting green and gold zinc across his nose.
“It was awesome, I didn't decide to put it on until after the 10th hole, but yeah, it was awesome. I love representing my country and my club,” said Pollard, who plays out of Sawtell Golf Club on the New South Wales Central Coast and sports a tattoo on his forearm of the club crest.
“It was awesome coming back and playing at the Aus Open, I love getting in front of the crowds, it's good fun, the atmosphere and everything.”
Popert will be returning to Australian shores in January for the Australian Master of the Amateurs.
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