New South Wales Amateur photo
Abel Eduard pulled the big surprise while Shyla Singh exacted some “revenge” after last year’s final heartbreak to win their respective New South Wales Amateur finals at Pennant Hills on Friday.
Both 36-hole women’s and men’s finals ebbed and flowed, but the winners were full value in what amounts to breakthrough success in a national-level event.
Eduard, a member at Kew and Kingston Heath in Melbourne, had never been in a major amateur final but seemed far from daunted, even playing the defending champion and red-hot Harrison Crowe.
The powerhouse pair traded blows throughout the first 18, despite neither having much luck with the putter.
They halved the 19th, but Eduard had his birdie putt on the 20th lip in, and the tide turned quickly.
He won three holes on the trot from the 22nd and, in the blink of an eye, had established what turned into a match-winning lead.
Crowe, ever the warrior, muscled back a couple of holes with wins on the 28th and 29th and looked like he might run over his comparatively inexperienced opponent.
But the Victorian hung tough and played a series of great escape shots after his previously bulletproof driver went cold.
“I didn’t let it show, but my up and down from the bunker (on 13) … I was pretty pumped with that,” Eduard said.
“And then I just hung on a bit, to be honest.”
That included a spectacular lob wedge from the fringe on the short 14th and then closing with a par to win 2&1 after a curling approach around a tree to the 35th green.
“Yeah, there were a few good ones, I suppose. But that’s what happens when you lose control of your driver,” he said with a broad grin.
“It was really good to play well in a big final after a big week, too. And to do it against Crowey'is extra special because we all know how well he's been playing."
Attempting to become the only the tenth player to defend the men's state amateur crown successfully, Crowe simply couldn't buy a putt to kickstart one of his customary charges.
Singh, 16, admitted after her 4 and 3 triumph over fellow Gold Coaster Godiva Kim that her loss in last year’s final to good friend Sarah Hammett had made her determined to leave a winner in 2023.
“Yeah, that hurt a bit. I probably played better in last year’s final to be honest, but I was more consistent today and that’s what mattered,” Singh said.
“I was really attacking in the morning round and made a lot of birdies, but I also made too many bogeys.
“So I changed tactics during the break and in the afternoon just played a little more (conservatively), really just going at the par-5s and it paid off.”
by Mark Hayes
ABOUT THE NSW Men's Amateur
The NSW Medal is played over two courses. It is
two rounds of 18-holes stroke play and then match
The field is evenly divided between the two
venues for the first day’s play with players
changing venues for their second round. The winner
the 36 holes stroke play
section of the Championship is the winner of the
The leading 32 players from the NSW Medal
(who have nominated to play in the NSW
Amateur) will be eligible to compete in the NSW
Amateur Championship Match Play, with each
match played over 18-holes other than the Final
which is played over 36-holes. The match play is
seeded with ties determined by lot.
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