Michael Sim has won his maiden Nexus Risk WA Open after a drama-filled day of golf at Cottesloe Golf Club.
Sim made a miraculous par save on the final hole to card a fourth round of 4-under (68) that earned him a one-shot victory ahead of overnight leader Hayden Hopewell.
Hopewell started the day perfectly with a birdie on the opening hole that gave him a three-shot buffer over the chasing pack of Sim and Rick Kulacz. A birdie for Sim on the third narrowed the gap and he drew level atop the leaderboard when Hopewell three-putted and bogeyed on hole seven.
Hopewell looked to be faltering after finding the water off the tee on 8 but a miraculous Eagle with his second ball ensured he walked off with no damage done to his scorecard.
Whilst the large gallery was focusing their attention on the final group, there were fireworks happening further up the course.
Dale Williamson Eagled the par-4 16th and followed it up with a birdie on 17 to move to 12-under and a share of second.
Queensland’s Aaron Wilkin quietly went about his business and carded a bogey-free round of 4-under (68) that saw him finish T3.
Fellow Queenslander Michael Wright looked to be making a late charge for the title with consecutive birdies on holes 13 to 15. An Eagle on 16 gave him a brief share of the lead but a late bogey saw him finish at 12-under for the tournament. eventually finish alongside Williamson and Wilkin in a tie for third.
Daniel Fox was enduring a testing day until a birdie on 16 was immediately followed with an Eagle on the par-5 17th. Fox finished tied for third alongside Wright, Wilkin and Williamson.
Sim took the outright lead for the first time on 16 and another birdie on 17 gave him a two-shot buffer heading up the 72nd hole. Sim’s last tee shot of the tournament went well left into the rough offering no shot at the 18th green. Hopewell placed his second thirty foot from the flag offering a glimmer of hope of closing the two-shot lead. Hopewell sank the 30 footer to roars from the crowd placing the pressure on Sim to close out his final putt for par and a win.
Speaking after his round Sim congratulated Hopewell, “I was surprised he sank that 30-footer at the end, there was a lot of pressure and he kept his cool. He has an amazingly bright future ahead of him.”
It was great to be a part of the event this year with the All Abilities Championship and the first female making the cut.
Geoffrey Nicholas claimed the inaugural WA Open All Abilities Championship after rounds of 76 and 79. Hayden Hopewell didn’t walk away empty-handed, he claimed the Terry Gale Cup as the low amateur at the Nexus Risk WA Open.
Photos: Anderson Salazar (Proud of Your Game)