Gavin Fairfax was taken to a playoff by fellow Queenslander Will Bruyeres before claiming the Traralgon Latrobe City WIN Network Pro-Am Classic at Traralgon Golf Club.
Leading by two after a 6-under 66 on day one, Fairfax found the Traralgon layout trickier in Round 2.
One-over through his first four holes, Fairfax responded with consecutive birdies at five and six but would par his next 12 holes for a round of 1-under 71.
That opened the door for Bruyeres who bounced back from a double-bogey at his opening hole in Round 2 to post 4-under 68 and match Fairfax’s total of 7-under par.
From there the pair headed for a playoff, Fairfax’s par at the first extra hole enough to secure the outright win.
“It was tough. It wasn’t the start I had yesterday,” Fairfax conceded.
“I was 1-over through two so a bit of a slow start but I managed to hit a good shot at the fifth, the par 3 and then got one back on the par 5 after it, too.
“From there I hit a lot of greens but not close enough to make any birdies. Just hung in there. Hit a good drive down the last but didn’t get up and down but lucky enough to get up in the playoff.”
HOW THE WINNING ROUND UNFOLDED
As Fairfax struggled to find the decisive birdies to hold the challengers at bay, Bruyeres made his charge with one of the best rounds on day two.
He dropped to five shots back of Fairfax when he made double-bogey at his opening hole, the par-4 17th, but headed to the first tee on the back of a birdie on 18.
He played the front nine in 3-under thanks to birdies at four, seven and eight and then closed with two birdies in his final four holes to match Fairfax, the pair finishing one clear of Matt Millar (69).
Neither player found the fairway with their tee shots in the playoff – Fairfax missing left, Bruyeres right – but it was Fairfax who recovered best.
From beneath a tree but with a clear shot to the green, Fairfax hit his second to 10 feet behind the hole.
Believing Bruyeres would make his par putt, Fairfax ran his birdie try six feet past the hole, making the come-backer to claim victory.
WHAT THE WINNER SAID
“I was just hoping that my ball was going to be OK,” Fairfax said of his wayward tee shot in the playoff.
“I knew Will was headed off right and had some sort of shot and managed to hit a pretty good recovery shot.
“Walking down I was just praying for some kind of break. I got half a break with a clear shot to the green from under a tree and managed to put that on. Had a fair run at the first putt and left a little bit too much meat on it coming back but managed to make the one coming back to seal it up.”
1 Gavin Fairfax 66-71—137
2 William Bruyeres 69-68—137
3 Matthew Millar 69-69—138
T4 Alexander Simpson 68-71—139
T4 Andrew Kelly 68-71—139
T4 Adam Burdett 69-70—139
T4 Josh Younger 68-71—139
The final adidas PGA Pro-Am Series event before the Christmas break is on Saturday with The Middle of Everywhere Yarram Pro-Am at Yarram Golf Club. The season will resume on January 3 with the Peninsula Sotheby’s Portsea Celebrity Pro-Am.