02 Oct 2020 | Amateur golf |
Jacobs ends SA drought
by Martin Blake
Charley Jacobs produced a stunning birdie blitz to break a long run of outs for local women while Queenslander Sam Slater carved out his biggest win in the finals of the South Australian Amateur today.
Glenelg's Jacobs, 18, wrote a prelude to her coming American college career to begin in 2021 by dominating the women's final at Mt Osmond Golf Club, needing just 27 holes in crushing Queensland's Sarah Wilson 10 and 9.
Slater, 19, who plays out of Brisbane Golf Club, beat Josh Armstrong of New South Wales in the men's final also convincingly, five and four.
Jacobs' victory will be much-celebrated in Adelaide where there has not been a hometown winner of the state women's title since 2011.
Her performance matched the occasion; she was effectively two-under par (and four up in the match) after the first 18 holes against Wilson, and proceeded to shoot six-under par for the next nine holes in the afternoon to close it out early.
She was the equivalent of eight-under par for 27 holes. "On the back nine I just clicked," she said later. "This afternoon, I just went 'bang'. The rules official just told me that I shot 30 on the front nine (of the second 18 holes)."
Jacobs, who moved with her family from Ardrossan on the York Peninsula to Adelaide when she was 14 to further her golf, previously won the Dunes Medal in 2019, but this is her first state title. "I putted really well," she said. "I just hit it everywhere that I needed to hit it, didn't make many mistakes. I was nervous at lunch, because I had momentum and I didn't really want to stop.
"All the scenarios were going through my head. But I birdied two and three after lunch and that was key. It was perfect, basically. It was like 'I've got this'. I had four birdies in a row and I wasn't even thinking about whether I was playing good; just thinking about the next shot as my focus."
Jacobs had some friends and her coach Adrian Wickstein on hand to watch, and the hometown aspect was important to her. "It's awesome to win your home amateur," she said. "In a way, you get sick of the interstate players coming here and taking the trophy from you. So it's really exciting."
She was due to have been at Iowa State University a while back, but Covid-19 intervened.
She will head to the US in January as a state champion now. "It's always been a dream, since I was about 12," she said of her sojourn into the college system. "I've been working towards that."
The 19-year-old Slater's victory was somewhat of a surprise, although he made the semi-finals of the Queensland Amateur earlier this year and was runner-up in the NSW Junior last year as well.
He was never down in the tournament and he never trailed today, getting out to the lead and then closing it with a birdie from just outside two metres at the par-five 14th hole in the afternoon. "It was solid," said Slater. "I didn’t really give him a sniff. This is pretty big."
Slater learned his golf at Moss Vale Golf Club in the sourthern highlands of New South Wales before his family moved to Brisbane four years ago. In beating Armstrong in the final and South Australia's Jack Thompson in the semi-final, he proved to be a giant killer.
“It’s very good experience playing with these good players," he said. "I was impressed. It was nice to play solid and know that I’m able to beat them.”
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