Golf Australia

Old and new shine at Curlewis Blitz

Blitz Golf at Curlewis - Matt Millar and Montana Strauss
Canberra's Matt Millar and Melbourne's Montana Strauss share the spoils after a great day's Blitz Golf at Curlewis. Picture: PGA of Australia

One familiar face and a new one shared the honours as Blitz Golf kicked off the 2019 Australian tournament season on Friday.

Canberra veteran Matt Millar won the men’s title to pick up where he left off after being named the PGA of Australia’s player of the year in 2018.

And just minutes later in the innovative format, young Victoria Montana Strauss, who made the leap from amateur ranks just five months ago, won her maiden professional title in the ALPG division.

A beautifully turned out Curlewis course on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula played host to just the second Blitz Golf tournament, a great one-day tournament concept that made its debut in Glenelg last year.

And on a day of wild weather swings, with temperatures in the mid-40s before a torrid southerly change that dropped the temperature more than 20 degrees, it was the consistency of Millar that shone through.

The format – with the field whittled down each time after groups of nine, six and then three holes – brought together Millar, hometown favourite Deyen Lawson, Vic Open champion Simon Hawkes and WA Open champion Zach Murray for a one-hole shootout on Curlewis’ signature 18th hole.

It took just one trip down the testing par four for Millar to emerge victorious with his par enough in gusting winds as Murray found the water, Hawkes went wide right and Lawson couldn’t quite get up and down from over the back of the green.

“I am thrilled to come and take out the Curlewis Blitz,” Millar said.

“I played well this morning and had three under in the first round to advance then played quite well in the other two rounds.

“I love the Blitz Golf concept, we don’t want to go away from traditional golf altogether, but it’s great to change it up with a different style. You can play well, you can play poorly or you can play average and you might stay in there the whole day or you may be knocked out early.

“Playing Glenelg last year helped, particular with scoring. To start with you might think, with 20 guys in one bracket, you need to shoot two or three under (to advance), but now we have seen that it doesn’t quite work that way.

“Knowing you don’t have to press, particularly when it was tough this afternoon, I think that experience helped and was a great asset.”

The ALPG final was contested by Strauss, local Adele Huggard, Grace Lennon and Bree Arthur and it took a clutch 2m par roll by Strauss on the first sudden-death to extend the final with Huggard.

Second time up the last hole, Strauss played a quality long approach shot to the centre of the green and was immediately in the box seat when Huggard’s approach trickled through the back.

In the end, three putts proved enough for Strauss as Huggard twice missed chances to apply pressure to her fellow Victorian who was making just her third pro start.

“I am pretty excited and happy with the win,” Strauss said.

“This was really different; it’s not something you usually see in golf tournaments. I liked that we had different playing partners each round. I really enjoyed the day.”

Another young Curlewis golfer, the emerging Ben Henkel held his nerve to win the amateur classification from fellow local Nick Unsworth and AFL champion Brendon Goddard on the second hole of their playoff.


Comments

Posted by Warren Gray at
07/01/2019 05:22 PM
Well done to the local Canberra lad, Matt Millar on another great performance

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