12 Dec 2020 | Amateur golf |
Dobbelaar, Rudgeley win Port Phillip Amateur
by Martin Blake
Kirsten Rudgeley will take the top women’s seed into the Vic Amateur finals at Metropolitan on Monday, but men’s medallist Louis Dobbelaar has made the tough decision to decline the event so he can attend a friend’s funeral.
Rudgeley, from Mt Lawley in Western Australia, and Dobbelaar, from Brookwater in Queensland, won the prestigious Port Phillip Open Amateur medals today at Commonwealth, with the relentless Dobbelaar reeling the men’s field in with a dazzling, seven-birdie final-round 67.
The 72-hole tournament at Kingston Heath and Commonwealth drew out two of the nation’s top amateurs as the winners.
The top eight players in each section go into Monday’s Victorian Amateur but Dobbelaar, who is already the reigning Queensland and Tasmanian Amateur champion, will be at a funeral in suburban Berwick for a longtime friend and former neighbour, Josh McIntosh, who died of illness recently in his 30s.
“It was a good mate of mine who’s been suffering some illnesses for quite some time,” said Dobbelaar. “I owe him this one. I’m sure he would’ve been following from above.
“It’s tough stuff but it gives you perspective. Golf’s nothing in the scheme of things.”
Dobbelaar began this afternoon’s final round a whopping nine shots back from the lead, held by Metropolitan’s Ted Donoghue. But Donoghue closed with a 78 to open the door, and the Queenslander barged through, finishing two shots ahead at one under par overall.
It was his second consecutive win in the Port Phillip.
Dobbelaar, 19, was aware that in fluky breezes, Commonwealth would sort some players out. “I said to myself, ‘nine shots seems like a lot but around here today in these conditions, it could easily switch around’. I played some really good golf.”
Rudgeley, the reigning WA Amateur champion, and Metropolitan’s Jeneath Wong began the final round tied at even-par, but the Perth star claimed the victory with a one over par 74 that included an eagle from three metres at the par-five 12th hole.
She was not even aware of how close the scoring was – ultimately she won by a shot from Wong and a further shot to New South Wales’ Grace Kim.
“I literally just played golf,” said Rudgeley, 19, who is still “a couple of years” away from turning professional.
At home in Perth during the Covid-19 interruptions to the schedule, she found herself grinding away. “I actually worked a bit harder during Covid. I do a lot of stuff indoors anyway. I was in the net all day, every day at home.”
Both Rudgeley and Dobbelaar intend being back in Melbourne for the Master of the Amateurs in January and in Adelaide for the Australian Amateur after that.
The National’s teenager Molly McLean, who was fourth overall, revealed herself as a star of the future by winning the women’s net trophy playing off a 2.4 handicap. Weiling Wang of St Michael’s in New South Wales was the men’s net winner.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Victorian Amateur are on Monday, with the two 36-hole finals to be played on Tuesday.
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