23 Feb 2020 | Queensland Open |

Quayle’s home-state triumph in Qld Open

by Martin Blake

Anthony Quayle_image
Anthony Quayle has his first professional win at the 2020 Isuzu Queensland Open. Photo: David Kapernick

Queensland professional Anthony Quayle has won his first pro title, and it’s his home state Open to boot.

Quayle, 24, fought off brilliant South Australian amateur Jack Thompson at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to open his winning account with the Isuzu Queensland Open at Pelican Waters on the Sunshine Coast.

Despite strong form in Japan and at home, he had not previously won a professional tournament.

A former Queensland state captain at amateur level, he turned professional in 2017. He was born in the Northern Territory but has lived in Queensland since his parents sent him to the Hills International College south of Brisbane, for tuition.

Quayle went down the 72nd hole leading by a shot from Thompson but a bogey from the greenside bunker saw him forced into the playoff. Even then, he had to hole a two-metre putt to continue it.

They had played a two-man war in the final group, finishing at 15-under par, two clear of third-placed Brad Kennedy at 13-under. Both shot 70 in the final round.

In the playoff, the Queenslander made a safe par after hitting the green in regulation but Thompson was short of the green with his approach, chipped to two metres but missed the par putt.

“I’m really pumped at the moment,” said Quayle. “It might take a few XXXXs or a few reds to let it wash over me a little bit. It hasn’t sunk in yet. But it feels incredible. I think I’ve given me a few chances recently and not been able to pull it off.

“The feeling of frustration or regret walking off the 18th green is definitely not present at the moment. I think the next 24 hours, 48 hours, it’ll sink in.”

Quayle admitted the difficulties he’d had in establishing his first win made it all the sweeter. “I felt for a while that my first win was going to be a pretty difficult one to get done, and maybe it was difficult because thought it into reality. A bit. I think I showed myself today what it takes to win. It doesn’t have to go perfect. You can make quite a few mistakes and still have a chance to win. I think it’s a pretty good lesson for me.”

The Queenslander came into his home state Open in form, having tied-15th at the ISPS Handa Vic Open and then tied-seventh at the Queensland PGA in Toowoomba last week.

He paid heartfelt tributes to his parents, who sent him away to boarding school, and his coach Ken Berndt at the presentation ceremony afterward. “I wouldn’t be here without him,” Quayle said of Berndt. “He’s coached me since I was 14, constantly helping, incredibly selfless.’’

His parents, he said, had set him up.  “I would have struggled to get to single figures without my Mum and Dad. None of them played golf. To this day none of them play golf in my family. They worked hard to send me to boarding school.

“I just wanted to be able to play well and do well to make them proud and to give them something to feel good about because they worked so hard.’’

Thompson had to be content with low amateur honours, but he was hurting afterwards. “I’ll be honest,” he said. “I’m pretty gutted. I probably should’ve grabbed it on the last there. I had about a 12- footer for birdie. At the end of the day I’m rapt to get low am and that but it would’ve been nice to come home with the trophy."


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