West Australian Breanna Gill bounced back from a disappointing playoff loss at the Shoalhaven Superheroes Premiers Cup last week to seal victory today at the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Pro-am, defeating Victorian Vicky Uwland in a sudden-death playoff.
Gill had started the day three shots behind the overnight leader Uwland, and after starting from the 6th tee in the shotgun start format her chances of victory were looking slim at best after bogies at the 7th and 8th holes had her struggling at 4 over par.
" I didn't get off to the best of starts this morning and after nine holes I was sitting at two over for the round. I knew that I would need to make up some shots on my back nine if I were to have any chance of winning" said Gill. "I started to play much more aggressively, firing at every pin without fear and things started to go my way."
Gill kept her foot on the pedal making birdies at the 16th and 17th holes to get back to even par for the day, and continued to claw her way back up the leaderboard with further birdies at the 1st and 2nd holes to get back to even par for the tournament. Gill finished her round solidly to shoot an impressive second round 70 to go along with her opening round 74 and finish at 144.
Uwland started the day with a one-shot lead and began solidly starting from the 1st hole, making pars at each of her first five holes before making a much welcome birdie at the par 5 sixth hole. However, the Victorian's round stalled slightly after a bogey on the short par 4 9th hole, and the 41-year-old stumbled further with bogeys at the 11th and 14th holes, before courageously fighting back with birdies at the 16th and 17th holes.
Uwland headed to her final hole needing just a par to seal victory but unfortunately finished with a bogey, signing for a second round 73 to add to her opening 71, and an even-par total to match Gill's score in the clubhouse.
Both players headed back to the tee at long par 4 18th hole for the sudden-death playoff, with Gill determined not to make it three playoff losses in her last four outings after losses at Nowra last week and also at the Brisbane Invitational at McLeod in March.
Both players drove beautifully safely finding the fairway from the tee, however Uwland left the door slightly ajar for Gill after missing the green to the right with her approach shot.
Gill safely found the green with her second shot and when Uwland failed to get up and down for par Gill had the luxury of two putts for the title which she happily took.
An emotional Gill was clearly grateful to come away with the win, "I am so relieved and happy to win here. Losing two playoffs in the last 3 events really motivated me to finally win one and add another title this year. My goal was to play well here to move up the ALPG Order of Merit and hopefully get a spot in the 2019 ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open. I would really like to thanks my sponsors Champion Sports and Volvik for all of their support."
Gill's win here at the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Pro-am makes her the first woman to win an official women's professional golf tournament held in the South Pacific Islands
In third place finishing two shots out of the play-off was pre-event favourite Sarah Kemp, who fired a second round 71 to finish at 146, two over par.
A further three shots back finishing at 149 in a tie for 4th place were Queenslander Ellen Davies-Graham and Victorian Grace Lennon, who both finished disappointingly with final rounds of 77, and New South Welshwoman Molly Lavercombe who equalled the day's low round with a 2 under par 70.
The Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Pro-am is the final official event on the 2017-18 ALPG Tour.
Final Scores and Prizemoney
The hashtag for the Pro-am is #newcalwomensproam and scoring can be found on the ALPG website alpg.com.au
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