The scene was set after round three for a tight battle over the closing 18 with WA Golf Club’s Haydn Barron on a 8 under total taking a three shot lead into the afternoon from Queenslander Jed Morgan who fired a fine 5 under 66 in the morning that included six birdies and a lone bogey and the ever consistent Blake Windred from New South Wales who added an even par 71 to his first two rounds of 68 and 69.
There was more quality players lurking with Royal Melbourne member Will Heffernan on 4 under and local favourite Cooper Geddes who leap frogged the field in round 3 shooting a 5 under 66 which mirrored Morgan’s round of six birdies and one bogey. He joined his team mate Ben Ferguson who has been quietly going about his business with rounds of 70, 70 and 71 to be 2 under after 54 holes.
Barron commenced slowly with bogeys on the first two holes however Windred jumped out of the blocks with birdies at the short par 3 3rd to draw level with Barron at 6 under and Morgan just one adrift.
— GolfWA (@GolfWestAust) September 11, 2017
It was now time for Barron to stand up and assert his authority, which he dulely delivered on the 4th and 5th holes with back to back birdies on the two reachable par 5’s. The turning point proved to be the 7th hole, with Barron making a birdie from the trees and both Windred and Morgan making bogies.
Two groups ahead, drama was brewing with Ferguson going on a birdie – spree with seven birdies in eight holes around the turn, putting him within arms – length of good mate and fellow travel buddy Barron.
However, Barron was not going to lie down and responded with a game plan change that ultimately sealed his first National title, making three birdies through the final nine holes to reach 11 under par and a three – shot victory from Ferguson.
“The wind had switched direction for the final three holes – there was no way I could hit driver without running out of fairway so decided hit 2 – iron and keep it in the short stuff”.
Barron, a two – time State Men’s Team member and a popular figure within WA’s golfing circles, was clearly ecstatic with his victory.
“It has been a long time coming and great to finally get the monkey off my back.”
“My parents have been incredibly supportive throughout my career and I’d like to thank them for everything they have done for me”.
Ferguson was also happy for Barron, whom travelled together in the UK over the northern summer events.
“Mandurah Country Club is a course where you can string a few birdies together – after a slow start [to the final round] I managed make birdies on the two par 5’s [4th and 5th] and I fed off from that”.
“Congratulations to Haydn – I’m absolutely stoked for him”.
Both Barron and Ferguson will have the rest of September to prepare for a busy October and November, travelling to Queensland for the Keperra Bowl followed by the Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open at Royal Perth in late October, which preceeds a run of three National Ranking Events in four weeks.