Young Queenslander Jake McLeod survived some anxious moments to claim a two-shot victory in the NSW Open with an impressive 20-under-par total.
McLeod followed his course-record 62 at Twin Creeks in Sydney on Saturday with a more circumspect 71 on Sunday to win from Victorian rookie pro Cameron John (67).
McLeod’s maiden Australasian tour victory will ensure he enters this week’s Australian Open at The Lakes with plenty of confidence.
A former Queensland state amateur teammate of US tour star Cameron Smith, McLeod’s previous best result was a second placing in last year’s Vic Open.
It didn’t come easily, as McLeod saw his four-shot overnight lead disappear on the front nine before an eagle on the par 5 11th got him back on track.
John got to 20-under, with eight birdies in his round, before bogeys on the last two holes proved extremely costly.
“It was tough out there today,” said McLeod, who earned a $72,000 winner’s cheque and full membership of the Australasian tour to the end of 2020.
“I started pretty average, but sort of hung in there on those par-5s on the front nine and that eagle on the 11th hole was huge”
“I just think when I’m in contention more often I’ll be able to come back to this situation knowing I’ve done it before and will hopefully be able to do it again.
“Hopefully, that will be in an Aussie Open or PGA in the next few weeks.”
New South Welshman Blake Windred claimed low amateur honours after he finished tied third alongside Dylan Perry and Josh Younger on 15-under the card.