29 Sep 2020 | Amateur golf |

Layton's SA stroke play triumph

by Martin Blake

Ben Layton image
Ben Layton on his way to the men's SA stroke play title at Mt Osmond today.

Lefty Ben Layton birdied the final hole at Mt Osmond Golf Club south of Adelaide to clinch one of his finest moments in the South Australian stroke play today.

In wild weather and despite a 90-minute delay, 21-year-old Layton cobbled together a three-over par 73 that was good enough to win medallist honours by a shot from Jack Buchanan.

Layton, who like Buchanan plays out of the Glenelg club, was the first-round leader at 67.

He joined Glenelg in 2014 and won the club championship last year, and he hopes that the win – his first in a ranking event – will help push him back into the South Australian elite program that he recently dropped out of.

The birdie at the 18th proved to be significant for the McLaren Vale product. “I hit a three iron off the tee down the middle. I had five iron in, the wind was swirling and then died as I hit it,” he said. “I hit a good shot, but it went in the front, right bunker, ended up with about a 30-metre bunker shot which I hit to five feet.

“I holed the putt. I thought over the putt, I didn’t know the scores, but I had a feeling I had to hole it to win.”

Grange’s Jack Thompson had the day’s low round, a stunning 67, but he started too far back and ultimately finished tied-third at four-over par.

Layton has family connections with the wine industry having grown up in McLaren Vale. Previously he worked as a cellar hand but more recently took up a part-time job at X Golf Marion. “It’s helped my golf, having time to work on it,” he said.

He was fortunate that despite playing in “swirly winds” and tough conditions, he had completed his 36 holes before the tumult of the afternoon which sent the players scurrying for safety. First rain, then fog, and then flooded greens meant play had to be suspended for 90 minutes. None of the 21 women in the field completed their rounds.

“It all happened very quickly,” said Leah Tattersall, Golf Australia’s South Australian golf operations manager. “The greens started to get wet, then the fog came out of nowhere, and that’s ultimately what stopped us. Half an hour later, goodbye greens!”

The men were able to get back on the course in the late-afternoon and complete the strokeplay portion of the South Australian Amateur. But the 21 women still have a few holes to complete tomorrow morning before they begin matchplay in the afternoon.

Glenelg’s Charley Jacobs (70) was the leader after the first round on Monday at one-under par.

The SA Amateur finals, over 36 holes, will be played on Friday.


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