Haywood scratches seven-year itch at Heidelberg - PGA of Australia

Haywood scratches seven-year itch at Heidelberg

An emotional Ryan Haywood has broken a seven-year drought by winning the DeBortoli Heidelberg Golf Club pro-am in Melbourne.

The Victorian, who was a fixture on the circuit a few years ago, had not won an event on the adidas PGA Pro-Am Series since the Lang Lang Pro-Am of 2016, all of 2,563 days – or seven years and seven days ago.

He shot a seven-under par 65 to win by two shots from Ryan Lynch, and he was elated.

The 46-year-old took five years off professional golf to tend to his son before returning to the game two years ago.

“I dominated pretty much for five years and then I stopped for five years,” he said.

“My son came over to me full-time, he was very heavily involved in (AFL pathway club) the Stingrays.

“I was a full-time father and golf had to go on the back-burner. I’ve been back playing full-time golf now for two-and-a-half years and it has been a struggle. It really has.

“I don’t do things like I used to; all the young kids hit it so much further. It’s a different game. But it’s nice, I shape it a lot and the young kids, they look at me and they go, ‘Far out, old man you’ve got some pretty good game’. Which is nice.”

At Heidelberg he started out hot and “got pretty lucky” along the way.

“I played very solid, hit 16 greens, most of the fairways, had a couple of poor bogeys, unfortunately one on the par-5 and one where I thought I hit a great drive down 15. Apart from that it was very solid.

“I seriously could have had 10-under today. It’s nice to shoot seven but a win’s a win.”

Haywood is enjoying his return to professional golf although he noticed a significant change.

“I was very fortunate last year to travel and play some golf.

“These guys are too good out here to just play and then have seven days off and then play again. I’m in a different situation now. I’ve been playing nice. It’s been close.

“I didn’t realise it’d been seven years since my last win, but I knew that I’d had the five years off. For so long I had probably four or five wins a year. It’s nice to get a good win.”

The next event on the adidas PGA Pro-Am Series is the Gorilla Ladders Box Hill Golf Club Pro-Am on Thursday followed by the three-day season-ending Eynesbury Masters starting Friday.

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