Steve Robillard, Reporter
Threatening skies greeted the players at Oatlands… Australia Day…yes—but Japan, England and France were all looking for victory in the Bing Lee Fujitsu New South Wales Open.
One of Australian golf’s generation next, Minjee Lee found herself alongside Laura Davies, and she showed the veteran a thing or two in the ensuing hours.
Indeed Lee made her charge by birdying six at the outward nine, including this at the sixth.
She would claim the honour of leading amateur finishing equal 5th.
Lindsey Wright held the overnight lead and retained it for a good while in the final round. She couldn’t match Saturday’s 64 though, and was passed midway through the day to finish five from the lead.
Canberra’s Nikki Campbell began three adrift but played herself into contention by the turn with some super golf. An eagle at five and then this birdie at eight catapulted her to the top, and she finishes one of just three to play all three rounds in the 60’s.
The challenges were coming from everywhere though on a frantic final day. Japan’s Noriko Kubo moved into contention when she birdied the eighth as well, but then she promptly double bogied nine to lose momentum.
No such mistake from Jo Klatten. The unflappable Frenchwoman was already four under for the day when she moved into top gear.
Birdies at nine and ten…and the tournament had a new contender.
Nikki Campbell was running out of holes to establish a winning lead…and when this one slid by at 15 her prospects dimmed further.
It seemed Klatten was only warming up, playing one group behind Campbell she had it on a string on the home stretch…this to 15.
She was going to be tested somewhere…and it was at the 16th where she needed to get up and down to retain the lead she’d just stolen from Campbell.
As Campbell parred her way in Klatten had a different agenda, producing her shot of the day for her second into 17, a seven iron from 146 metres, and she was firmly closing the door on the field.
Stephanie Na’s 66 was one of the rounds of the day, and a share of second was so close to being hers.
But by now, all were playing supporting rolls to the rollicking clinical Klatten…how about this at 18 to give her a shot at the course record. Well she was in no mood to miss such an opportunity.
A nine under 63 and Jo Klatten took the tournament by three strokes—an impressive and popular win, and at 28, surely not her last.
“Ahh…well…I’m extremely happy...I played fantastic today. I actually set myself a goal of shooting seven under today, ‘cuz...I thought it was possible after yesterday’s round…’cuz yesterday I felt I left a couple shots out there and…it feels really good when you don’t have a bogey ‘cuz it shows like…it…basically means that every part of your game was good...”
None of the locals seemed to mind that on Australia Day it was ‘Vive la France’ at Oatlands, Joanna Klatten the 2014 winner of the Bing Lee Fujitsu NSW Open.