China’s Yanhong Pan birdied the last hole to win the inaugural Australia Classic being played at the Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in Sydney.
On a day when the lead changed several times, it was Australian Rebecca Artis who came to the 18th hole in the box seat, after hitting a superb shot into the 17th, she sank the birdie putt to take the outright lead at 14-under-par. A poor tee shot on the tough 18th saw her with a long approach in. Pan on the other hand hit a solid tee shot and followed it up with a great approach into 12 feet.
Artis missed her par putt and it left Pan with the opportunity to win outright, otherwise a playoff was on the cards. The four time winner on the CLPGA held her nerve and sank the putt to secure the win.
Pan finished the tournament at 14-under-par after rounds of 68, 65 and 69. Artis finished runner-up at 13-under-par, while another Chinese player, Zipi Ye finished outright third a further three shots back. First round co-leader Sarah Oh was fourth, while Nikki Campbell shared fifth place with Malaysia’s Michelle Koh.
Pan was ecstatic with the win, “It’s awesome to win.”
“I kind a struggled at the beginning, because the putting and the approach shot were not well. It was a tense competition for both of us. Artis is a good player and keep chasing closely. At the hole 17, she got the lead. I thought she might win but I didn’t expect she didn’t hit on the green after her second shot at the last hole. At that time, I feel I got the chance to win. It’s only a 4.5 yard putt to get in the hole. I closed my eyes to putt, I made it! Finally, I won. I’m so happy.
For Artis, it was a bitter sweet result, “I played pretty solid golf all day today, I hit some great shots coming down the stretch, you know I birdied 15 and 17, hit great one into 17 to give me a one shot lead. I just hit a poor tee shot on the 18th and left myself to far in and it was a great birdie by her. That was one of the toughest holes on the golf course, that was an awesome birdie. “
The Helsingborg champion was pleased to see the results of her hard work over recent times,
“I have done so pretty hard work with Gaz (Gary Edwin) and Luke Edwin leading into this week and felt my game was pretty good leading into this week. I putted solid all week, holed some good putts today and all week, that was the main thing.”
The week is not all lost, she took home a cheque for over $15,000 and walk away with a great deal of confidence in her game and were it is going.
“Absolutely gives me confidence, it is all about putting yourself in contention, week in and week out and eventually and hopefully one day I can finish it off again. But I am looking forward to China and Turkey. I had a great Aussie summer so I cant be disappointed at all.”