Rookie Michel earns maiden victory at Traralgon Pro-Am


PGA Pro-Am Series rookie Kyle Michel has won the Latrobe City WIN Network Traralgon Pro-Am Classic at Traralgon Golf Club with twin rounds of 68 for a two-round total of 8-under 136.

The unique event combined three tournaments into one with the Traralgon Classic – an amateur event – played alongside the Latrobe City WIN Network Traralgon Pro-Am. The Latrobe City Council bonus was also up for grabs for the nine female Professionals in the field.

Victoria Golf Club amateur Konrad Ciupek held the overnight lead after recording a strong opening-round score of 6-under to sit one shot clear of Michel and ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia winner Daniel Gale.

Strong winds forecast for Friday’s final round hit just as the leader took to the course, making scoring difficult on the small, fast greens of Traralgon Golf Club.

A 40-minute lightning delay was called as Michel took the lead with an early birdie on the second hole, which he followed with a birdie on the 6th after play resumed.

With experienced Professionals David Bransdon and Daniel Gale closing in, Michel emerged from the pack thanks to a chip in birdie on the 8th. An additional birdie on the 9th was followed by a rollercoaster back-nine where he recorded three bogeys, one birdie and an eagle on the par-5 16th to secure his first professional victory with a final score of 8-under.

“The rain started coming down pretty heavy on the 8th and I just left myself perfectly uphill and I just it hit perfect and it went in. I felt I was taking one off the field on that hole with a birdie there,” Michel said.

“I like playing in the wind and the tougher conditions.”

Gippsland local and two-time Traralgon Pro-Am winner David Bransdon was in pursuit of the leader thanks to a strong 3-under front-nine. Bogeys on holes 11, 12 and 15 before an eagle 2 on the short par-4 18th saw him finish at 5-under for the tournament.

New South Welshman Gale also endured a rollercoaster day with four birdies and three bogeys to finish with a two-round total of 5-under for a share of second place alongside Bransdon.

The challenging conditions got the better of overnight leader Konrad Ciupek who made the turn at 6-over par for the round and completed the tournament with a score of 1-over par.

With scores of 8-over 152, PGA Professionals Lisa Jean and Grace St Just will share the Latrobe City Council bonus, an initiative from the local council set up three years ago to encourage female Professionals to compete and promote female participation in sport in the Latrobe Valley.

Jean began the second round on 1-over par and five shots clear of St Just, but the tough conditions made play challenging for both competitors.

“It is great that the Latrobe City Council have come out in support of female Professionals. To come to Traralgon and play in such a great event was really good,” said Jean.

“It’s just nice to be out playing again and seeing where my game is at,” added St Just.

Yallourn Golf Club amateur Paul Andrijczak has earned an invitation to compete in next week’s Gippsland Super 6 after completing the Traralgon Classic as leading amateur.

Andrijczak will play his home course next week at the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia event alongside some of Australian golf’s best including Geoff Ogivly, Marcus Fraser, Matt Griffin and more.

View the final Latrobe City WIN Network Traralgon Pro-Am Classic leaderboard at pga.org.au.


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