NEW Victorian PGA Championship titleholder David McKenzie will be happy to see the last of the 18th at Creswick’s Forest Resort for a while.
It could easily have cost him the championship.
He dramatically bogeyed the hole in the third and fourth rounds before ultimately claiming the title by two shots with a 13-under 275.
On each occasion he was fortunate to drop only the one shot.
Players across the board were impressed by the improvement in the course since its inaugural hosting of the Victorian PGA Championship last year – with the fairways much lusher and the greens in better condition.
They also agreed how challenging the lay-out was, saying how important it was to stay out of the rough.
This was something McKenzie did not avoid on the 18th on Saturday and yesterday. He went right in the third round. A difficult lie meant while most were reaching the green comfortably in two, he came up short.
McKenzie then twice saw chips roll off the front of the green on the par four.
He completed a one-over five by holing the ball from the fringe. Up to that point it had been flawless round, with eight birdies, although he did admit he did have some luck with a shot bouncing favourably off a tree and another getting through some trees which threatened to give him trouble.
Despite the setback, McKenzie still managed to lead by four going into yesterday’s last round. His final outing for the week was up and down, but he was able to work through bogeys on the first and third to retain his lead. Going to the last, McKenzie looked in total control – three shots up on Scott Laycock, who loomed all day, but was unable to close the gap.
McKenzie again found trouble though.
This time he went left, with his ball settling underneath a stick at the base of a tree.
He was fortunately able to remove the stick, allowing him to chip onto the fairway.
Remaining calm and collected, he put his third shot within three metres of the hole and took two putts to secure his two-shot victory from Laycock.