Rod Shemeld has come from the clouds to clinch the Aglime Sand Greens Championship of Western Australia title at Jurien Bay Country Golf Club on Sunday.
The Calingiri member fired a course-record four-under-par 68 to finish three shots clear of the chasing pack, gifting him his maiden title.
Shemeld started the day five shots back from overnight leader Chris Harris, before nailing several clutch birdies to along the back nine to surge into contention.
A near-eagle opportunity went amiss on 17 with a chip-in hitting the flag, before a 20-foot par saver on 18 all but secured the title.
Youngster Josh Fewkes was ultra-impressive in his debut at the much-loved event, finishing second with a total of two-over-par.
Tournament regulars Michael Stirk and Ryan Sheridan pushed Shemeld all the way, however difficult back nines ruled both out of contention.
Daniel Negus and Gillam Jones rounded out the top six at four-over-par.
Shemeld couldn’t believe his achievement post his final round, particularly after falling at the final hurdle last year.
“I am so happy, really unexpected to be honest but really pleased to win,” Shemeld claimed.
“Definitely a bit of redemption from last year. The nerves certainly got the better in 2017.”
“I’ve come back this year probably a bit more mature after having another kid. Behaved myself over the weekend which definitely helped.”
The first-time champion credited his putter as the key to victory, with several long range attempts giving him plenty of momentum late in the round.
“I haven’t putted like that since I started playing golf,” he laughed.
“(It) saved me plenty over the weekend, my playing partners could definitely attest to that.”
Shemeld was in shock after his final 20-foot putt fell in the hole for par, giving up before the ball had stopped.
“It was no chance off the face of the club. Kept watching it and it somehow landed in,” he claimed.
“Probably got one back from hitting the pin on 17, that’s golf isn’t it.”
The tournament attracted 200 golfers from over 70 clubs in a clear show of support for the terrific event at Jurien Bay Country Golf Club.
“It is such a great tournament,” he said.
“Gives me a chance to catch up with all my mates. Brings together all the communities which is so great for country golf.”
Shemeld joins the likes of six-time winner Michael Dennis, Ryan Sheridan and Adam Davey on the Aglime Sand Greens honour board, a feat he will remember for many years to come.
“I don’t think anyone is going to know my name to be honest,” he laughed.
“Real proud of myself, a massive honour to be on the board with all of those guys.”