New South Welshman Daniel Gale has survived a dramatic five-for-two shootout to go on and claim the Blitz Golf Howlong event at Howlong Golf Resort on the Murray River.
A star-studded line up of 32 professionals including local Olympian Marcus Fraser, two-time PGA Tour of Australasia winner Zach Murray and defending Blitz Golf Glenelg champion Matthew Millar teed off in the six-hole first round with the top eight from each bracket progressing to round two.
Gale safely progressed into the second round but when he finished level par for the three holes was forced into a playoff with four others for the remaining two spots in the final, Millar, Alex Pitty, Cameron John and Lincoln Tighe also seeking to advance.
John booked his place in the final four with a pitch shot from 70 metres to just four feet and when Gale almost holed his attempt the pair joined Bryden Macpherson and Max McCardle in the one-hole final.
A bogey after missing the fairway eliminated McCardle from contention but when Macpherson lipped out his birdie putt from eight feet the three survivors moved on to the 70-metre playoff hole to decide the champion.
All three players hit their approach shots inside 10 feet but again Macpherson saw his putt take the edge of the hole without falling in. John and Gale both converted their birdie chances and again returned to the playoff hole for the two-man shootout.
John was the first to putt and when his birdie try took a piece of the hole but failed to drop, Gale was given an eight-foot putt to claim the title and the perfect start to the summer of golf.
“I’ve played a couple of the Blitz Golf events over the last couple of years and I really enjoy the format,” said Gale, the 2018 SP PNG Open champion.
“2021 has been really tough for most golfers. I decided to stay in Queensland and not return home to Sydney so I could be play in whatever came up.
“It’s great to be back playing some competitive golf again.”
The adidas Pro-Am Series resumes on Saturday with the 36-hole Border Open Pro-Am at cluBarham Golf and Sports Club.