Campbell Rawson from Auckland celebrates his first title. IMAGE: PGA Tour of Australasia
Campbell Rawson has won his first ISPS HANDA Tour of Australasia event after winning the Victorian PGA championship in a titanic finish.
Rawson defeated European Tour and Olympian Marcus Fraser with a single strike, after a five-under-64 performance to finish 10-under-par for a total of 270 before the tournament.
The New Zealander withstood a fast-finishing Fraser, who was twice the joint leader, before Rawson made it clear that he would win the Jack Harris trophy, named after the golf legend who won six Victorian PGA championships.
The 31-year-old hopes that today's breakthrough can take his career to new heights.
"I'm pretty excited. I can't wait to celebrate a little. Now I'm really focused on some of the bigger events that I'm getting an exemption for and hopefully I can put some good performances there," Rawson said.
Rawson, who has been a professional golfer for five years, narrowly avoided the cut after rounds of 70 and 71.
He finished one on Friday and scaled through to the weekend's promotion.
Rawson never finished in the top 10 during a Tour of Australasia event.
He jumped forward after an eagle on the second. He quietly closed consecutive birdies at eight and nine to keep a handy three-shot lead on the turn.
Rawson said an important focus on his first win was to fight his biggest competitor – his mind.
"I'm a thinker, so I told myself all day not to try to think. I just focused on playing and making it happen," he said.
“I knew I was right. I have been doing well for a few weeks now and I knew that the putts were running very well. It was just a matter of going out of my own way and not making it too complicated.
"I probably did not have a more nervous biped than the last one, especially after I missed one earlier in the day. I am overwhelmed to win."
The next set of professionals in Australia is clearly strong after the performance of two of the most promising stars.
David Micheluzzi, who was in the last group today, and debutant Blake Collyer proved that they have the metal to compete with the best in the country.
In his second Professional event, Micheluzzi, 24, finished in seventh place, while Collyer, who was 10-under to be the overnight leader after round 2, was fourth.
Mark Brown completed the top five, equalizing with Andrew Dodt at 4-under.