Arnold, Klatton tops at Vic Open
IN a thrilling finish to the 2012 Victorian Open, Scott Arnold claimed his first professional win at the Spring Valley Golf Club.
Starting the round tied with New Zealand’s Michael Hendry at 9-under par, it was an exciting round of golf which saw the lead change many times before Arnold eventually prevailed.
With scores of 71, 66, 67 and 68 for a tournament total 12-under the card Arnold showed composure when his playing partners made charges for the title.
Kurt Barnes headed into the final day three shots back from his playing partners, Arnold and Hendry, but with a birdie on his opening hole followed by birdies on the 5th and 6th and an eagle on the 7th he looked unstoppable.
A double bogey on the 11th followed by two more bogeys on 13 and 14 had all but worked Barnes out of the Victorian Open until an eagle on the 17th had him back in contention.
Barnes finished with a final round score of 5-under 66 to take him to a tournament total of 11-under par, one shot back from Arnold in second place.
Hendry, who had dominated the tournament throughout the first two rounds — earning himself a six stroke lead heading into the weekend — unfortunately couldn’t finish the way he started, with his putting let him down.
Hendry’s final round saw him record four bogeys to finish the day at 2-over. With scores of 65, 66, 73, 73 to be 7-under the card and five shots from the lead, Hendry finished the Victorian Open third.
Daniel Bringolf finished as the highest ranked amateur at 2-under par.
For the first time the Men’s Victorian Open was played simultaneously with the Women’s Victorian Open at Spring Valley Golf Club with Frenchwoman Joanna Klatton claiming the title with an 8-under par 212.
Klatton, who started the day five shots behind leader Rebecca Flood, managed to overcome the deficit to finish two shots ahead of the field.
Sitting as the clubhouse leader, the 26-year-old was offered a celebratory drink, despite play still in progress on the course.
Korean Haeji Kang then made things interesting, holing a 100 metre shot on the final hole for eagle, forcing a playoff with Klatton.
“I don’t drink, so one beer got me a little bit tipsy,” said Klatton. “I was a little bit worried. I went to hit some balls and I tried to chug as much water as I could to sober up.”
Klatton managed a long par-saving putt on the first playoff hole to beat Kang and win the tournament.