Matthew Millar has claimed victory at the Ron Crouch Transport Wagga Wagga Pro-Am in a down-to-the-wire contest against New South Welshman Anthony Choat.
Tied at 13-under par, the duo ventured down the playoff hole twice in fading light to determine a winner at Wagga Wagga Country Club.
If this was to be Millar’s year then he would have to be at his best and for the first 16 holes he displayed faultless golf.
With his sixth birdie of the day on the 16th Millar finally found himself one stroke ahead. On the next hole, however, Millar made bogey, missing a six foot par putt. When he made his par on the 18th to tie Choat on 13-under par a sudden death playoff was needed to separate the two.
For the first time in the event’s history a playoff would determine the winner and the tricky short par 4 9th would be the hole to determine a victor.
On the first playoff hole, Choat found himself in trouble off the tee but a miraculous approach shot to 15 feet put the pressure back on Millar.
Millar missed the green long but made his up and down for par leaving Choat the chance to take victory. Choat’s putt missed and the players made their way back to the tee.
Now with fading light things were starting to get difficult for both players. Millar remained rock solid, splitting the fairway and hitting the middle of the green.
Choat came up short in the green side trap with his approach and when he failed to get up and down the door was open for Millar. Millar made his par and raised his hands in the air with relief.
The win was Millar’s fourth consecutive victory to take a clean sweep of the Riverina swing after also winning at Leeton, Griffith and Yenda.
“I’ve been coming here for many years and for some reason just haven’t been able to bring my best stuff,” Millar said.
“It feels great to finally play well and take victory in an event I love so much.”
With four overnight leaders including Millar, Ben Campbell, Karis Davidson and Anthony Choat on 8-under par and many quality players within striking distance it was going to be an exciting final day of the Ron Crouch Transport Wagga Wagga Pro-Am.
Right from the outset it was clear birdies were going to be needed to take out victory and Karis Davidson made a great start with a bridie on the first hole to quickly take the lead.
The leaders, however, were quickly caught with some hot scoring early. Matt Stieger found himself tied for the lead as he raced out of the blocks with 5-under through his first six holes.
Ben Clementson and Tim Hart also came awfully close, each holding the lead for a brief time when they got to 12-under, the mark they’d both finish on to tie for third place. Hart’s 9-under 63 on the final day was the lowest round of the tournament.
With holes to play and more birdie chances Choat made a nice birdie on the ninth hole and a birdie at the 12th and 15th to set the mark of 13-under par.
His blemish-free second round of 5-under 67 was extremely impressive with so much riding on a victory.
If Choat could find himself at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the day he would secure his playing rights for the 2021/22 ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia season.
“I’m really proud of the way I played today with what was on the line,” Choat said.
Clementson and Hart would finish in tied 3rd on 12 under and overnight leader Karis Davidson who bought so much to the event finished 5th on an 11 under total.
Fittingly the Ron Crouch Transport Wagga Wagga Pro Am completes the 2020-2021 Pro Am Series in NSW/ACT.
View the final leaderboard from Wagga Wagga Country Club at pga.org.au.