18 Nov 2022 | Amateur golf |
Parish, Arnold win Aus Mid-Am
by Dane Heverin
A pair of new champions have been crowned with Dylan Parish and Ashleigh Arnold winning the Australian Mid-Amateur at Bribie Island Golf Club in Queensland.
Parish and Arnold become the first winners of the national championship for amateurs since 2019 after the event's Covid-19 pandemic induced hiatus, and they did so in style.
Parish held onto his overnight lead to win by two shots from fellow Queenslander Dillon Hart, while Arnold produced the women's low round of the week on Friday to claim a four shot victory from Hervey Bay's Trudi Petrie.
A four-under par second round of 68 - the only round in the 60s throughout the 54-hole tournament - set up the Yeppoon Golf Club member's maiden national title.
The Central Queenslander bookended the week with rounds of 73 and 74, but his two-shot buffer to begin the final day gave him enough breathing room to hold on.
Three birdies in his two-under par final round front nine of 34 even allowed Parish to go four-over on the back nine and still claim a relatively comfortable win at one-under par for the tournament.
"It feels unreal, hard to explain. After not being able to play this event the last two years after turning 30 I didn’t have high expectations lately. Have been sick and not practicing a lot lately. Unbelievable to end up champion," Parish said.
"Same feels all week, with the putter and short game, I lent on it all week, lost it a bit around the back but found out where I stood on 17 which really helped."
Arnold, a member of Bonnie Doon Golf Club in Sydney, headed to the first tee on Friday only one shot off the lead and she immediately made inroads with back-to-back birdies at the par-5 second and third holes.
Her only other birdie for the day came at the 11th, but her two-over round of 76 was enough to runaway from her rivals and finish 15-over par overall after earlier rounds of 80 and 81.
"I started really strong stayed strong to my processes of one shot at a time and not getting ahead of myself. Rolled in a couple birdies early and felt really comfortable at the turn," Arnold said.
"I didn’t check the leaderboard as I didn’t want to add pressure, but knew I was one back but didn’t put any pressure on myself, taking things shot by shot but started solidly which helped get me over the line."
The winners of both championships will be financially supported with a grant of $750 to attend the 2023 NZ Mid-Amateur Championship at Omanu Golf Club.
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