30 Sep 2020 | Amateur golf |
Sarah Wilson breaks through in SA
by Martin Blake
Sarah Wilson has broken through for her first victory in a ranking event by winning the South Australian stroke play medal at Mt Osmond, south of Adelaide today.
After bad weather forced a halt to the second round on Tuesday all the 21 players in the women’s field had to return this morning to complete the stroke play section of the SA Amateur.
Queenslander Wilson, 19, shot an even-par 71 to tie with Charley Jacobs of Glenelg at one-over par for the 36 holes, but the medal was decided on a countback. Customarily there would be a playoff, but because of the weather delay on Tuesday and the time pressure of needing to start the matchplay portion of the event, organisers did not have any choice but to use a countback.
Wilson has previously been close – she was runner-up in the South Pacific Classic last year, and this year third in the New South Wales Amateur and the Queensland stroke play as well as finishing inside the top five at the NSW Amateur. She also qualified to play against the men at the Isuzu Queensland Open at Pelican Waters becoming just the second woman to play the event.
But this was her breakthrough victory at national amateur level.
The Pelican Waters member is one of a handful of Queenslanders in the field but she had an advantage in that her partner, Jack Thompson, is from Adelaide (and finished third in the men’s medal event). She came to Adelaide to spend time with Thompson and practise three weeks ago.
“I don’t want to say it’s a sigh of relief,” she said of her win. “It definitely feels like it’s been on the way. I like the way my game’s been projecting. It’s been definitely due. Hopefully I can hold some good form and take home the big trophy at the end of the week.”
Wilson had a rollercoaster ride at Mt Osmond, where the weather turned foul on Tuesday. In her first round she was five-under at one point before an extraordinary five-putt quadruple bogey at the par-four 17th – after she hit the green in regulation – followed by a drive out of bounds on the 18th saw her post a 72 that ought to have been much lower. “I went home in an ambulance, basically,” she said.
It was her first-ever career five-putt and hopefully, the last. “The greens are super slick and I was on the wrong side of the hole with my approach. I didn’t really give myself a chance.”
Today she had great opportunities that narrowly missed on the 15th and 17th, but the winner was her pitching wedge to inside a metre for birdie at the par-three 16th. “Before the Coronavirus, my results were trending up,” she said. “The virus has pushed all that back. I’ve tried to take the opportunity of keeping on top of that so that when we get back to playing some competition, I’ll be able to put my best foot forward.”
Not content with her triumph, Wilson eclipsed Mt Ormond local Nayoung Ku in the first round of matchplay this afternoon, 8 and 7, to move into the quarter-finals tomorrow. Jacobs also breezed into the quarters, beating Hannah Custance 6 and 5.
Meanwhile in the men's SA Amateur defending champion Lewis Hoath had consecutive matchplay wins today to soar into the quarter-finals. Stroke play medallist Ben Layton also is through to the top eight, dominating Tim Jenkins 8 and 7 this afternoon, along with one of the favourites, Grange's Jack Thompson.
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