Resurgent Augustus seals title
Daniel Augustus produced one of the most stunning comebacks in local golf history to capture a maiden Johnnie Walker Classic title at Ocean View yesterday.
The 33-year-old Ocean View professional rallied from a seven-shot deficit during the final round to finish five shots clear of the rest of the field at four-under-par 136.
Augustus’s putter caught ablaze when it mattered most as he rattled off five birdies and an eagle en route to firing the lowest round of the 36-hole championship of five-under-par 65.
The Florida Elite Tour player moved to within one shot of overnight leader Mark Phillips after making birdie at four and an eagle on the next hole.
Augustus then snatched the lead for good after rolling in a second successive birdie at twelve before pulling away with two additional birdies coming in, including a 30-footer from above the pin at the 18th green to close out in spectacular fashion.
“It feels like a monkey off of my shoulder,” said an elated Augustus after finally claiming victory at the fourth attempt. “This is probably one that I wanted the most because this is home for me.
“This is where I grew up, where I learnt to play. This is home so it’s personal and for me to be able to do it finally is a feeling of relief.”
Augustus fancied his chances despite having to make up considerable ground over the final 18 holes at the par 70 Devonshire layout.
“I played great yesterday [Saturday], just a lot of putts didn’t drop and a couple of shots I didn’t hit as tight,” he added.
“I just went with the same game plan and stuck to what I know. I know the course very well so just play and enjoy yourself and that’s what happened.”
Augustus, who holds the course record of ten-under-par, 60, was a model of consistency on the back nine where he did not relinquish a single shot to the course.
“Something just clicked on the back nine and all of a sudden I remembered how to make birdies,” he said. “I had four birdies and no bogeys on the back nine.”
Augustus dedicated his milestone win to the memory of his late uncle.
“I dedicate this win to my uncle Greg Holdipp who passed away a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “He was my mother’s brother and a father figure to me, so this is for uncle Greg.”
Eric West fired yesterday’s second lowest round of two-under par to win the amateur division by two shots over Damian Palanyandi.
West also finished tied with Phillips for second overall at one-over par 141. Scott Roy finished a further shot back at two-over par 142 to round off the overall podium.
Phillips’s fortunes looked promising after an opening round four-under 66 earned the tournament debutant the 18-hole lead.
“The putter was rolling and everything was just kind of clicking and I dropped six birdies and two bogeys for four under,” he said.
The Mid Ocean Club professional held a five shot cushion going into the final round but was unable to capitalise and ultimately fell off the pace.
“I struggled just a little bit here and there and kind of got in some bad situations,” said Phillips, whose final round five-over par 75 included two birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey.
“It is what it is and I just tried to make the best out of what I had.
“Obviously it wasn’t good enough and congrats to Daniel who shot five under today [yesterday].
“It was a good tournament and Ocean View is in good condition so I’m definitely looking forward to next year.”
Calvin Hendrickson carded a six-over par 146 to win the senior division title by 12 shots over nearest rival Kavon Trott.
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