Sixth Time’s a Charm: Wil­liams Wins Se­niors Close Am­a­teur Again

HK Golfer - - Around The Hkga -

Dou­glas Wil­liams claimed his sixth con­sec­u­tive Se­niors Close Am­a­teur ti­tle at the Dis­cov­ery Bay Golf and Coun­try Club. The Amer­i­can-born Wil­liams de­fended his ti­tle again by a con­sid­er­able mar­gin of 9 shots over Tony Mel­loy. Wil­liams’ three-round to­tal of 221 speaks for his dom­i­nance of lo­cal se­nior golf scene. The de­fend­ing cham­pion started the fi­nal round with a 2-shot cush­ion over Mel­loy af­ter carded a sec­ond-round 67, the only un­der­par per­for­mance for the whole field in three days. Wil­liams fin­ished the tour­na­ment with a 77 in the fi­nal round, which was also the low­est score among the field.

Mel­loy had a 2-shot lead over Wil­liams af­ter fin­ished the first round for 75. “This was some­what sur­pris­ing to me since I had been play­ing well pre­vi­ously, but such is golf,” con­tin­ues Wil­liam. “The fact that I was 2 shots be­hind made me in­crease my fo­cus, and thus in the 2nd round, I hit the ball bet­ter, only miss­ing 3 fairways and hit­ting 15 greens in reg­u­la­tion. I only made one bo­gey (Jade #8 where I hit a bad tee shot) and made 5 birdies, in­clud­ing 3 in a row from my sec­ond hole on­ward (Jade #2 to #4), which got me back in the right frame of mind, and al­lowed me to cruise to a 67 and into the lead.”

“Nat­u­rally I am de­lighted and proud to win this cham­pi­onship for the 6th con­sec­u­tive time. This means I have won all 11 HKGA Se­nior cham­pi­onships that I have played in. And dur­ing this time, I have won the Open and Close Mid-Am ti­tles a cou­ple of times in­clud­ing this year. But be­lieve me, it is never easy, es­pe­cially when you are strug­gling with your game the way I was in the first round.

“The last round was much tighter than the fi­nal score indicates; Tony Mel­loy was play­ing well and still only a cou­ple of shots be­hind most of the round. Although my putting in the last round by far my worst in the tour­na­ment (I missed 3 putts from less than 3 feet and a cou­ple of other ones just slightly longer), I kept the ball in play. The turn­ing point was the tough 14th hole (Jade #5), where af­ter mak­ing a dou­ble bo­gey on #13, my lead was only 3 shots. Given the tight driv­ing area and ex­treme wind di­rectly into us, any­thing could hap­pen, and a shot only very slightly missed could lead to a dis­as­ter. I played an ex­cel­lent drive and hit my sec­ond shot near the pin, but the wind car­ried two of Tony’s shots into the haz­ard, re­sult­ing in an 8 for him on the hole. Af­ter I made par, my lead had be­come sub­stan­tial which I main­tained over the last 4 holes. But given the very chal­leng­ing con­di­tions we faced that day, mak­ing pars and avoid­ing bad scores was not at all easy and re­quired full con­cen­tra­tion,” con­cluded Wil­liams.

Lead­ing fi­nal scores: 221 – Dou­glas Wil­liams 77 67 77; 230 – Tony Mel­loy 75 71 84; 236 – Chu Koon Ching 78 80 78; 237 – Dal­las Reid 77 81 79; 238 – Wil­liam Chung 75 80 83; 240 – Tadashi Kono 78 83 79, An­thony Tay­lor 79 81 80, Lee Kab Soo 80 77 83.

Dou­glas Wil­liams poses with the 2018 Hong Kong Se­niors Close Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship tro­phy

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