After a dramatic finish to the McLeod Country Golf Club ALPG Pro-Am, Australia’s Sarah Kemp and New Zealand rookie Liv Cheng will share the winners’ title. Heavy showers delayed the afternoon tee times by around 45 minutes which meant that both players finished in near darkness with 4 under par rounds of 70.
It was all hands on deck for the playoff, every vehicle in the car park was called to order to light up the 18th hole. The players went back to the tee to see if it was possible to play in order to get an outright winner. Even though it was almost completely dark, both players agreed to play, hitting the green in regulation and two putting for pars. After a brief discussion with all of the stakeholders it was agreed that there would be no further play and a tie would be the fairest result.
For Kemp it would be her first tournament victory on the ALPG since the 2010/11 season and she was delighted with the victory. “It is great to get back in the winners’ circle for sure. I have been playing some very solid golf the past few seasons without getting across the line so this is a real confidence boost heading into the season.” Kemp has spent the last few seasons splitting her time between the LPGA and Ladies European Tours, keeping her playing rights on both tours which is no mean feat. Many out there feel that Kemp is close to that big breakthrough and this victory could well spur her onto greater things in 2015.
For Liv Cheng, who turned professional in December 2014, the win is a fantastic boost to her fledgling career. Her compatriot Lydia Ko picked up her first professional victory on the ALPG tour at the Bing Lee NSW Women’s Open and Cheng will be hoping she can follow in Ko’s rather hefty footsteps. Her performance this week will almost certainly get her a start into next month’s RACV Ladies Masters, and will go a long way to getting her into the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne in late February. Cheng and Ko played Junior Tasman Cup together and if Cheng’s form continues they may well be playing a practice round together at Royal Melbourne on the 17th February.