04 Feb 2024 | Vic Open |
#VicOpen: Pollard and Lockey triumph in style at 13th Beach
by Patrick Taylor
Cam Pollard and Steven Lockey are the 2024 Victorian Inclusive and Australian Wheelchair champions after two outstanding final rounds at 13th Beach Golf Links. It’s the first time Pollard has managed to string together two under-par rounds in a big tournament, pairing his first round 69 with a 2-under 70 today. The Coffs Harbour member was able to enjoy the walk down the final fairway with a four-shot lead. However the final round wasn't all smooth sailing, with Webex Players Series Murray River winner Wayne Perske hot on his tail. Perske finished four shots behind Pollard at 1-under, while first-round leader Steven Alderman finished third at 2-over. "It was 14 where he (Perske) birdied and he was one behind me," Pollard said. "I was really trying to keep it steady and not do anything silly, so it was good that Wayne did that so that it helped me a lot. "It's always nice to have a bit of pressure." Pollard adds this year's Victorian Inclusive trophy to the one he won in 2020, and the bundle of Webex Players Series trophies he is collecting for fun at the moment. Coming off two wins in a row the last two weeks at Webex Players Series Victoria and here, Pollard will be looking to continue the form rolling as he heads to Webex Players Series events in Sydney and Hunter Valley in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Lockey staged a gutsy come-from-behind win in the Australian Wheelchair Championship, chasing down overnight leader James Gribble, with defending champion Nick Taylor finishing runner-up. Five points was the deficit Lockey faced coming into the final round, but an incredible 41 points made sure the trophy was his at the end of the day. "I did lie in bed last night thinking 'I'm five points behind, how am I gonna do that?' because James played really well," he said. "The first half of the front nine I managed to catch him, and then got a couple ahead." Entering this week with a new ParaGolfer all-terrain wheelchair, Lockey said it made the world of difference to his game. "As soon as I got the new chair, I thought 'oh this is how you stand up straight!', it's made all the difference." A proud member of Oatlands Golf Club in Tasmania, Lockey is looking forward to heading back across on the ferry to his proud fellow members. "We've got a very small nine hole golf course, all volunteers, and the guys will give me hell!"
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