Stacey Keating has sent an early warning to contenders of the upcoming major tournaments after outclassing a strong field to win the inaugural The Vintage pro-am, today.
A two time winner on the 2012 Ladies European Tour, Keating posted two sub par rounds of 69, 70 for a 3 under par total and a two shot victory over rookie Whitney Hillier who closed with a 4 under par 67 to secure second place on her own. A further shot back was the trio of Stephanie Na (76,66) Emma De Groot (72,70) and Sarah Kemp (72,70).
For Keating, the win was a major confidence boost to her season that will see her play all events on the ALPG Tour schedule over the coming six weeks. The Vintage proved to be as good a test as some of the courses she will face in coming weeks at the Open Championships of NSW, New Zealand, Australia and Victoria.
“This is a great course, a tough course. It is good preparation for the major events coming up and I am really happy to win because this was a strong field” said the 26 year old from Cressy in Victoria “I played steady today, nothing was really happening but the I birdied 7,8 & 9 to turn in 2 under and thought that would keep me in the running. The back nine was a bit of a struggle overall but fortunately I had a couple of shots up my sleeve and despite the finish (two bogies) I am happy with the way I played on a tough course. I flubbed a chip on 15 but then holed a 40 footer for par so that was probably the highlight.
Hillier, who recently turned professional after representing Australia at the World Amateur Team Championship, showed no nerves in her first professional event on the ALPG Tour. The talented West Australian has proven her ability to shoot low numbers and her 4 under par 67 was evidence of her ability to post red numbers on difficult course. “This is great, I'm excited to win my first cheque but I want to see hundreds of thousands next to my name. “she laughed.
Crowd favourite Laura Davies improved on her opening round of 78 dusting off the cobwebs after a 6 week break to shoot a final round 73.
The ALPG Tour moves to Picton for the Ingham Antill Park Pro-Am on Thursday .
Final results from The Vintage Pro-Am