DAVID McKenzie has capped a stellar summer with a 6-under, 64 to win the $25,000 Commercial Albury Golf pro-am.
The man who mixed it with the likes of Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy in high-placed finishes at the Australian PGA and Open took just 24 putts for his round yesterday afternoon.
A regulation par 5 on his finishing hole was enough to give him victory over a four-way tie for second that included Tim Elliott, David Bransdon, Howlong’s Travis Merrit and Chris Gaunt.
Elliott, who plays the European seniors tour, was among the morning groups and was forced to wait until the end of the day to be beaten a stroke.
Merritt, playing a hole in front of McKenzie, missed a five-foot putt for birdie to tie the winning score on his final hole.
Playing the par 5, second, Merritt was in the bunker for two, his sand wedge seeing the ball flirt with the top edge of the cup for what would have been eagle.
McKenzie carded seven birdies and just the one bogey in his round.
“Putting was the key, I think that I had 24 putts and obviously a lot of one putts,” he said.
“Last year was the first year I had played here and the greens were so good I decided that I would come back and they were great again today.
“The summer has been good but it has been a great year.
“I started by winning the Victorian PGA and have had a lot of top-10s and a lot of chances to win tournaments and that is what it is all about.”
McKenzie, who suffered dizzy spells while playing with Adam Scott and in a share for the lead at the PGA on the Gold Coast, said he wasn’t out of the woods just yet.
“They’re not sure whether it is food, heat or stress related and I’m in the process of investigating what happened,” he said.
“But pro-ams are great — it is very different to professional tournaments, different because balls fly all over the place but the guys I played with were great.”
Merritt said he didn’t make the most of his chances.
“I had those sort of five-foot putts all day and just couldn’t finish them,” he said.
“I made a stupid bogey at 11 but I can’t complain, I played some good golf and someone was better than me.”
Elliott, 51, caught sleeping in the locker room after his early morning round, felt someone was always going to go one better.