Doey Choi shows off her new silverware. Photo: NZ Golf
For the first time in 19 years, Doey Choi is bringing the crown of New Zealand for women amateurs to Australia.
The regulating 36-hole final was not enough to separate Choi and Caryn Khoo who were tied up after regulating play at Remuera Golf Club in Auckland.
They needed two extra holes to determine a winner, and par was good enough for the Sydneysider to claim one of the biggest wins in her career so far.
"This feels really good," said Choi.
“This is probably one of my biggest wins. I am really happy to get this over the line. "Choi stayed behind much of the day and her biggest shortage was three with only nine holes to play.
But she won the 28th, 29th and 30th holes to draw a square and set up a tense final.
Choi, the number 1 in the New South Wales Interstate championship, has embedded a monster 10-meter birdie pit on the 36th to put enormous pressure on Khoo, who himself had a 2.5-meter birdie pit that seemed to have been for a win seconds earlier.
But the Kiwi remained calm and rolled into her putt to extend the competition.
The pair swapped the first playoff hole until Khoo found the bunker on the green side with her approach to the 38th, while Choi found the green to turn the screws.
When Khoo couldn't get up and down from the sand, two putts were enough for Choi.
"This is great for my family and friends at home", beamed Choi.
“I felt the crowd cheer Caryn because she was the last Kiwi girl left. I just tried to block it and play my own game.
“I was up early, but Caryn then won a few holes and I was down for the rest of the day. I fought back really hard on the last one to claw back in the game I could.
"I have not done so well all week, but I clambered very well, so I am thrilled with the result."
Choi becomes the first Australian winner of the legendary event since fellow NSW golfer Carlie Butler (now Hoysted) in Huapai, north of Auckland, in 2000.