25 Jan 2024 | Amateur golf |
O'Donovan, Jang win Avondale crowns
Homegrown star Declan O’Donovan and Australian Junior champion Ann Jang have won the prestigious Avondale Amateur championships. Starting the final round with a six-stroke lead, O’Donovan said there were plenty of nerves as he sought his first-ever world amateur rankings title.
Despite the heat and humidity, he posted a one-under 70 for a four-round total of 12-under.
“It feels pretty special,” O’Donovan grinned. It’s my first four-round win and my first one at home. It feels pretty surreal.
“I had a chat to my caddie before we started. I knew I wouldn’t have to shoot 5-under or something; a couple under would get me the win, so there were a couple of holes where I did change my choice, but it was still the same aggressive strategy.
”I was definitely nervous today, 100 percent, but there was nothing I could do about it, just play with it.”
The victory was also the first for an Avondale local since Harrison Endycott claimed the crown in 2015 and 2016.
The significance of being the first to collect the crown since two-time winner Endycott wasn’t lost on the 20-year-old, who said the PGA Tour player was one of his idols.
“There’s only one other Avondale winner, and that’s Harrison Endycott, and he’s doing alright, so it makes me feel good.”
“I want to be where he is,” Donovan grinned.
Runner-up Billy Dowling carded a closing 65, which was only bettered on the day by the matching 7-under-par 64s shot by local Jye Pickin and Will Moody.
The Avondale Women’s Bowl turned into a battle royal over the closing stages, with a three-way fight to the 72nd hole.
Ultimately, after four playoff holes, reigning Australian Junior champion Jang claimed victory over 2023 NSW Amateur champion Shyla Sing, when Singh failed to make par on the first hole.
Jang carded one of the rounds of the tournament, a course record 5-under par 68, to force her way to the top of the leaderboard, while Singh, playing alongside overnight leader Michelle Bang, closed with a 1-under 71.
Sadly for overnight leader Michelle Bang, a closing 76 left her one shot shy of the playoff. --Golf NSW
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