02 Dec 2023 | Australian Open | All Abilities |
AAAC: Wood creates history at The Australian
by Patrick Taylor
Lachlan Wood has created history today, becoming the first Australian to win the ISPS HANDA Australian All Abilities Championship. The 32-year-old was clinical on the final day of the championship at The Australian Golf Club, shooting a 1-under 70 to win by three shots. Becoming the first Australian winner in the event’s six-year history was a challenge alone, but Wood was faced with the strongest field ever seen at the event, with the top six players in the world teeing it up. "We all started level, so it was red-hot," Wood said. "It was close the whole way, and then one-by-one I slowly got some breathing room." Wood has had an incredible 12 months, winning numerous All Abilities events across Australia, as well as taking out the Tin-Can Bay Pro-Am against pros like Chris Wood and Tim Hart. "Twelve months ago, I was no one. I had no world ranking, I had no position in All Abilities and I'd only just heard about how to get into the system," he said. "I've gone from no one to probably, six, seven, eight victories, and then today. "I'd love to get back on the G4D Tour (next year)… hopefully I can scrape into some events, obviously the G4D Open I'd love to get to." The Queenslander started the day in a share of the lead with fellow Aussie Cameron Pollard, and prolific G4D Tour winner, Irishman Brendan Lawlor. Pollard had an early birdie on the third to snatch the solo lead, but a two-shot swing on the next hole handed the outright lead to Wood, and at the turn he remained one-shot ahead of the pack. As Lawlor and Pollard dropped shots early on the back nine, Wood remained steady, with four pars in a row. All three players bogeyed the par-5 14th, a missed opportunity for Pollard and Lawlor to get one back. A bogey on the 15th all but spelled the end of Pollard's chances, with birdies to Lawlor and Wood at 16. Wood stood on the par-5 18th with a three-shot buffer, and pumped his drive down the centre of the fairway, however, so did Lawlor, and Pollard. With water all down the right, and the pin so far right that it was almost in the lake, Wood erred on the side of caution and bailed well left finding the greenside bunker. Lawlor found the same bunker, but Pollard found the front of the putting surface with his second, and suddenly the door was ever-so slightly ajar. Wood stepped up and showed the skill of a champion, sticking his bunker shot to a foot, leaving a tap-in for birdie, and the championship. An incredibly talented junior golfer, Wood's professional aspirations were halted by a car accident at age 16. The accident and complications lead to more than 40 operations on his leg. His left leg is 4cm shorter than his right. "I started (golf) when I was really young. One of my mates (James Marchesani) playing in the field today got me into it," he said. "Our lives went separate ways for about ten years, and now we're back here together at the same event." Wood's world ranking at the start of the week was 15, and this win will climb him a lot higher than that, coming with it more chances to play on the G4D Tour. Full Scores.
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