22 Feb 2021 | Professional golf |
Wilkin dominates at Dubbo
by Golf NSW
Aaron Wilkin has won the Dubbo Regional Open in a dominant display of weekend golf to book his NSW Open berth.
The Queenslander carded back-to-back rounds of seven-under 65 to cruise to a three-shot win from in-form Queenslander Charlie Dann, who closed with a 66 at Dubbo Golf Club.
Overnight leader Jordan Widdicombe, perhaps feeling some final group pressure, remained in the hunt all day but struggled to convert his chances until it was too late.
Widdicombe's closing 71 was still impressive for a young player unaccustomed to the pressure of professional tournament play.
But it was Wilkin, with family roots firmly embedded in the nearby village of Yeoval, who was the man of the moment.
After starting the final round two back, he soon made his move. An eagle on the second was followed with birdies on the 3rd and 4th to get his nose in front. From there, he was never headed.
A second eagle on the ninth boosted the lead to three and despite a brave challenge from Daniel Gale and, towards the end, Dann, three more birdies and just one bogey (on the 11th) was enough for Wilkin to claim an emphatic victory.
"I played pretty well, to be honest. The hole out on two always helps," Wilkin said. "I had a little bit of luck, but I played well."
Wilkin admitted he felt comfortable in the final group, aware of what the overnight leader was doing while remaining conscious of those in front.
"I knew what he (Jordan) was shooting and I knew what other guys were shooting, too. The course was set up to go low.
"That's good, but bad, too. You have to concentrate on what others are shooting. I just tried to do my own thing, to be honest."
The win came in front of a good-sized gallery, something Wilkin said was great to experience after the restrictions of COVID and in no small part because of the Yoeval connection of his grandmother.
"It was good. I didn't know all of them, but a lot were Nan's family and friends. I left here when I was 10, so it's been a long time.
"To do it in front of Nan, too, that was special. She's had me in Yeoval for the week, so I'm pretty happy."
Wilkin was already looking forward to taking up his place in the NSW Open.
"Jordan said Concord is in great shape and I'm ready to push this win into that one."
Although a small consolation, Widdicombe's finish did guarantee his place in the 2021 NSW Open at his workplace, Concord. Also qualifying for the NSW Open was Troy Moses, whose closing 66 was enough for a tie for 5th and the third and final place for next month's championship among those not already qualified.
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