Meghan Maclaren with her NSW Open Championship Trophy
Meghan MacLaren from England has defended her Worrell's NSW Open Championship in a dramatic final day at Queanbeyan Golf Club.
On a day when the lead role was swapped several times, it was MacLaren who took a critical position during the final stage to win the crown with three shots from her playing partner, Swedish Lynn Carlsson and surprise package, Munchin Keh, who finished a few groups away from the English.
MacLaren started the day with Carlsson in the lead, but the Swede hit an early blow with a birdie on the third and took a one-shot lead. She quickly fell back with a few poorly timed bogeys in 4th and 5th place. , while Maclaren stayed in touch despite a bogey on the second. A birdie on the 3rd and another on the 5th were enough for her to go for a one-shot lead.
Meghan MacLaren plays her approach to the 13th
While the main group was exchanging bogeys and birdies, while playing two groups at the front, Keh quietly took her course and grabbed three shots of birdies on the 2nd, 3rd and 7th holes to take a lead.
However, the fireworks did not start until the last groups returned home.
The third player in the last group, Christine Wolf, jumped in twelfth place in a lead in the lead at nine. Unfortunately she stumbled with falling shots at 14, & 15 and her chances dissolved.
After Carlsson set up the ship after her three crooks in the first nine, she found problems at the worst time on the back with shots falling at 12 and 15 weeks her chances.
All the while Keh just stayed in the mix. When she was the 14th birdied, she was in a four-way draw for the lead. A breathtaking eagle on the par-five 16th meant that there was a real chance that the championship would go over the Tasman for the second time.
MacLaren, standing on the 18th tee, heard that she had a two shot buffer
Unfortunately for Keh, she saved her worst last, and a disastrous double bogey on the 18th week cruelly what would have become an incredible win from behind.
MacLaren, unsure where she stood, knew a birdie or better on the crucial 16th was a must for her chances of defending the crown.
When she stroked her three strokes of wood to about 6 feet and founded an eagle, MacLaren knew she was still right in the mix.
A safe par at 17 meant she was walking to the last hole at 11 under par. By then, the news had filtered about Keh & # 39; s snafu about the last meaning that Maclaren had a two-shot buffer.
However, she didn't need it, and after her approaching the last to about 12 feet, she gently pulled the birdie putt to reclaim her crown.
Champagne time for the 2019 Worrells NSW Open champion
MacLaren was in ecstasy after the round. "It was pretty rough there for a long time and quite nerve-racking.
"As much as you want it, it's like the last few days and everything checked and uncomplicated, it just wasn't like that.
"I had to stay there and although I dropped a few shots.
"I knew things would be close by and nobody would walk away with it.
"I was hoping for a moment of magic somewhere, and it happened.
MacLaren said the magic moment was her second shot on the 16th.
"It's funny, I had almost the same picture yesterday where I had to put a 30-40 meter road with a 3-timber around the trees and I pulled it out yesterday, so I thought: I know I did it; I know that I need something.
"I knew that the lead had gone to 11-under at that time, so I was chasing, and as soon as I hit him, I hoped it would be good and it was. I rolled into the putt."
Maclaren added that it was a bit strange to know that she had successfully defended her crown.
"It's not the same course, so it almost doesn't feel like the same tournament.
"Last year was my first win, and that was a big deal, and I don't think anything can compare to that. You don't want to be a one-man miracle. There was a bit more pressure this week, so it's great to by coming. "
As for the winning celebrations, MacLaren said her travel schedule (she flies to South Africa, they would be fast.
"I have a three-hour drive back to Sydney, I think one of the girls will sneak into a bottle of champagne for the ride."
-12 Meghan MacLaren
-9 Munchin Keh, Lynn Carlsson
-7 Christine Wolf
-6 Felicity Johnson, Diksha Dagar, Valdis Jonsdottir,
-5 Emma Nilsson, Karolin Lampert