Tasmanian Open: Amateur Austin Bautista finishes second
Austin Bautista at the Australian Open
(Australian Open Photo)
SEVEN MILE BEACH, Tasmania (November 26, 2016) -- For the second straight year amateur Austin Bautista had to settle for a runner-up finish after holding a piece of the 54-hole Tasmanian Open lead. Bautista got off to a strong Sunday front nine start at Royal Hobart Golf Club but a late bogey proved costly as he finished 5-under and in a tie for second with Josh Armstrong.
Both players were left looking up the leaderboard at the 6-under Simon Hawkes.
Beginning the day 3-under Bautista rolled in birdies on the 5th, 6th and 8th holes to reach 6-under and turn with a bogey-free 3-under 33. However on the back nine Bautista lost some steam and a side of eight pars and a 15th hole bogey left him one shot shy of a potential playoff.
Besides Bautista four other amateurs placed in the top-10; Andrew Phillips (-1, 4th) was the last of only four players under-par, Craig Garland (+9, T8), Luke Parker (+9, T8) and Maclayne Marr (+10, T10).
One year ago amateur Austin Bautista found himself in the same exact spot, sharing the Tasmanian Open with one round remaining. Last year at Royal Hobart Golf Club Bautista began the final round tied with Anthony Quayle before finishing second, two shots behind Quayle.
Fast forward to 2016 where Bautista began the third round eight shots off the pace, but when leader Josh Armstrong struggled to an 80 Bautista took advantage of opportunity and moved into the lead. So far Bautista has combined rounds of 73-70-70 to post 3-under. His co-leader, professional Simon Hawkes reached the 3-under tally with scores of 67-74-72.
Bautista thrust himself into the lead late on Saturday with 3-under 33 backside that included and eagle on the par-5 12th, two birdies and a bogey. The day started poorly with three early bogeys before Bautista started to turn things around with 6th and 7th hole birdies.
Armstrong, 1-under, is the only other player under-par and in third place as the top three in the field have separated themselves from the pack.
Bautista is hoping to continue a strong 2016 season on Sunday. Thus far he has picked up two AmateurGolf.com Ranking victories, one at the NSW Amateur and another at the Federal Open. Last week Bautista also had a chance to tee it up at the Australian Open.