Daniel Negus the toast of his hometown tonight after an enthralling final round of the Aglime State Sand Greens Championship of Western Australia, held at Northam Golf Club.
Despite the three stroke margin, Negus had to battle all day for his victory with the Northam Member going 4-under over the final four holes to secure the title.
The win is just the fourth for a country based golfer since 2000, and Negus admitted that he had always wanted to win an accolade that is normally reserved for golfers from the Metropolitan region.
“This victory means a lot. I said when I finished 4th in Wongan Hills three years ago that my number one goal was to win the State Sands one year, so this is fantastic.”
“I just wanted to perform for the Northam Club as a whole, I just said to the boys at the start of the week that I hope to get the championship back home to the country, especially so with it being played at my club.”
Interestingly Negus’ nearest challengers all came from the regional golfers, with Mukinbudin’s Gillam Jones pushing Negus to the very last hole.
Six time winner Michael Dennis of Royal Perth finished 5th for the event, with the top 4 all hailing from country WA with Goomalling’s Stephen Lord and Manjimup’s Evan Sewell sharing third.
With a 2 stroke margin overnight, Negus seemed to be handling the pressure early as he maintained his lead margin until a disastrous 8th hole.
Negus shanked his second into a water hazard and came out with a triple bogey 7 and a loss of the lead to Jones.
Jones and Negus stayed within a shot of each other until the final hole, with Negus taking back the lead with a chip in eagle on the 15th hole.
Negus then went birdie-par-birdie to close while running hot with an old putter and sinking all of his putts outside of 10 feet.
“It’s quite funny as I broke my putter 2 weeks ago, so I had bring back the one that I that had done quite well with when at the State Sands in Wongan Hills.”
“I put it back in the bag this week and my putting was pretty awesome with it again, but tee to green I felt I was pretty solid.”
After going from a winning position to chasing on the 8th hole, Negus credited the local support and his local knowledge to pull him through for the win.
“After I tripled 8 I thought my state sands was over, but my caddy told me not to worry about it and just play my own game.”
“I grinded through 9, 10 and 11 knowing they were the three hardest holes on the course and coming in that I would be quite strong.”
Despite the win being the biggest in his career, the 20-year old Negus credited the atmosphere on his ability to relax when the stakes were high.
“All of the guys I played with were really chilled so I was able to relax a bit more than I have at other events.”
“I think the Northam boys at the end got me through. The adrenaline was quite high, and it was fantastic to have a bit of crowd support behind me.”
At the conclusion of the festivities, it was announced that Brookton will host the 2017 Aglime State Sand Green Championship with Mount Barker hosting in 2016.
Naming Rights sponsors Aglime of Australia will also join us in Mount Barker and Brookton and staff member and multi-year State Sands participant Dave Gartner was excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the competition for another two years.
“We’re very pleased to be involved. I forgot how much the blokes love this event because of the camaraderie and being able to catch up with people they only see once a year.”
“I love that component of it. Everyone getting together, chewing the fat and event taking the mickey out of each other, but that’s a part of it. But we’re happy to be involved and we’re looking forward to next year in Mount Barker and Brookton in 2017.”
With a strong standing in regional Western Australia, Aglime is living up to its motto through supporting the State Sand Greens and many other prominent regional sporting events throughout WA.
“This is the sort of thing we do. We’re about building better communities, building better soils and putting it all back into the bush.”
And from golf’s point of view there is no event better, with 194 golfers taking part over the four days from over 65 clubs represented from regional and metropolitan Western Australia.
You can read more about the Regional Men’s Health initiative through their website here: http://regionalmenshealth.org.au/.