16 Oct 2022 | Professional golf |
Micheluzzi extracts maiden pro win
by Australian Golf Media
By Tony Webeck
Victorian David Micheluzzi has won the CKB WA PGA Championship presented by TX Civil and Logistics by three strokes in a see-sawing final day at Kalgoorlie Golf Course in Kalgoorlie.
Desert winds that gusted in excess of 40km/h turned Sunday’s final round into a battle for survival, Micheluzzi and 54-hole leader Jarryd Felton engaging in a cut and thrust throughout their round.
There were two-shot swings on three occasions in the final group as Micheluzzi sought to keep pace with the 2020 champion.
Twice over the course of the front nine Felton’s lead ballooned out to three strokes but Micheluzzi clawed his way back to be just one behind as they began the back nine.
Back-to-back bogeys at 11 and 12 appeared to bring Micheluzzi’s championship hopes unstuck yet he displayed his growing maturity to fight back with three birdies in the next four holes.
He took the outright lead at the 15th hole and then moved two clear with a birdie at the par-4 16th.
Micheluzzi and Felton both made bogey at the tough par-3 17th, providing the Victorian with a two-shot advantage playing the 72nd hole.
West Australian Ben Ferguson showed extraordinary control to go bogey free for the first 17 holes of his round, a dropped shot at the 72nd hole making him the clubhouse leader at 12-under.
But it would prove to be three shots short as Micheluzzi completed his maiden win on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia in the first event of the 2022/2023 season, a sublime up-and-down for birdie at the last sealing his first win as a professional.
His final round of two-under 70 gave Micheluzzi a four-round total of 15-under par, three clear of Ferguson (69) who claimed outright second. Felton (75) bogeyed the last to fall to 11-under, level in a tie for third with Andrew Martin whose two-under 70 was bogey-free. A star amateur coming through the ranks, Micheluzzi made his debut as a professional in Kalgoorlie in 2019. He finished tied for 11th that week but the past three years have been beset by frustration and soul-searching as he sought to convert potential into professional success. His contemporaries have enjoyed wins of their own, Micheluzzi savouring the feeling after making birdies at 13, 15, 16 and 18 with the tournament on the line. "It's now starting to sink in a little bit," said the 26-year-old. "It feels amazing. I knew I had to play good golf from 13 onwards because 'Felts' was three in front. I knew what the scores were and to hit that good of a golf shot into 13, hole the putt, hit a mint drive down 14 - hit a pretty average wedge shot but it was 40 feet and I holed a really good putt there. "It's weird winning a tournament. I haven't won one in five years, and I think I've only won about five tournaments ever. "Because I haven't won much I had to watch people win and see what people do around the lead. "With guys that are young who haven't been in that situation before, after those two bogeys the head's down and all that. My thing when I start to play a bit average, I get angry internally. I kind of show it a little bit but that frustration, I need to let it out. "I just didn't want it to be another sob story. What it could have been and all that. It woke me up a little bit. "I didn't think it would be like this but I'm so happy it went like this. I really got to see what I was like as a person." In the inaugural WA PGA All Abilities Championship pre-tournament favourite Cameron Pollard completed a commanding 17-shot win from fellow Sawtell Golf Club member Lachlan Smith. Pollard was one-over through 13 holes on Sunday to put the result beyond doubt, adding to his growing list of tournament victories around the country. "I didn't actually care if I played that well this week, I was just happy to come and play in Kalgoorlie," Pollard said. "The course was amazing and I'd just really like to thank everyone involved for putting it on and for the other guys in the field who were great to play with."
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