19 Feb 2023 | Professional golf |

Micheluzzi sets Bonnie Doon alight to win TPS Sydney

by Australian Golf Media

David Micheluzzi.

By Tony Webeck

A red-hot putter compensated for a swing he described as “awful” as David Micheluzzi sent record keepers scrambling in claiming TPS Sydney by four strokes on Sunday.

The 26-year-old secured his second victory of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia season in extraordinary fashion at Bonnie Doon Golf Club, playing the last 10 holes in nine-under 30 with just 12 putts in a round of 10-under 61.

His four-round total of 25-under par is the lowest 72-hole score in Australian golf since Kurt Barnes shot 29-under to win the 2004 Queensland PGA and has all but guaranteed one of three DP World Tour cards that will be handed out at season’s end.

And he did it all with a swing that felt foreign for the first eight holes of the final round.

“I didn’t feel it all with my swing today. It felt awful,” said Micheluzzi, who won the season-opening WA PGA Championship in Kalgoorlie.

“I just got a good feel on the last 10 or 11 holes. I hit a couple of good irons shots just with that feel and when the putts needed to drop they dropped.

“It probably looked like I was playing good but internally I felt horrendous. I’m just happy shooting 61 really.

“I won a golf tournament too which with the Order of Merit and all that is pretty awesome. I’m just so stoked with how I played. It was awesome.”

One-under through the first eight holes of his final round, Micheluzzi was giving the likes of Daniel Gale (67) and Deyen Lawson (63) a running start yet reeled them in with an extraordinary display of shot-making.

Playing downwind for the first time all week, Micheluzzi eagled the par-5 ninth and then added birdies at 10 and 11 to bring the top of the leaderboard within range.

An up-and-down for birdie from the right of the short par-4 12th saw Micheluzzi draw level with Gale at 21-under before separating himself from the field.

Lawson made a birdie of his own on 14 to make it a three-way tie at the top but Micheluzzi matched that two groups later to move one clear.

Further birdies at 15 and 16 made the margin three with two to play, the former world No.4 amateur closing out his round in style with a ninth birdie at 17 and a par at the final hole.

Micheluzzi’s second win further cements his spot at the top of the Order of Merit but he has no intention of backing off until the final tournament of the year, starting next week at TPS Hunter Valley.

“I’m just going to go flat-out,” he added.

“I’m not playing NZ PGA but just go flat-out the next two weeks, try and win both of them.

“Everything feels good, I’ll do some range work tomorrow or Tuesday to fix a couple of things up, maybe mental stuff. I’ll work on that and try and win again next week.”

Lawson had seven birdies and an eagle in a valiant attempt to add to his WA Open victory, finishing tied for second at 21-under with Gale.

Rising amateur star Jeffrey Guan (69) finished outright fourth with Brendan Jones (66), Sarah Kemp (66) and Lawry Flynn (68) sharing fifth spot at 17-under.

Bonnie Doon local Ryan Wu parred the final two holes to complete a one-stroke victory in the Juniors Players Series Sydney from Harry Whitelock (Royal Canberra) with Sienna Clarke (St Michael’s Golf Club) third at five-over.

The inaugural TPS All Abilities Sydney went to a playoff where Geoff Nicholas brought an end to the Players Series dominance of Cameron Pollard with a par at the first playoff hole.

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