by Martin Blake @ The Lakes
Abraham Ancer is planning a kiss at the Stonehaven Cup. Credit: Kirsty Wrice.
It was always about Abraham Ancer's winning or losing, and Mexico's latest wave sensation was not in the mood to give it away at The Lakes.
An emphatic victory followed for the 27-year-old who is the first of his compatriots to win the #AusOpenGolf.
Now with Nicklaus, Player, Palmer, Thomson, Norman, McIlroy, Spieth and the others, the name Etch etches. "The names on this cup are absolutely incredible," he said.
Ancer, the world's 98th-ranked player who lives and plays in the United States, set it up with a brilliant third round 65 when conditions were difficult, after which the door was closed for everyone with another nice round today. Starting with a lead of five shots, he was never really threatened. At one point he pushed the buffer to seven; Moments later when he bogeyed the 12th, Dimi Papadatas drew within four.
But exactly at that moment, Papadatas & # 39; nerve him. A fluttering T-shirt shot on the par-five 14th to scour, and four long-distance putts on the difficult, undulating green gave him a double bogey seven when he could afford it the least.
Ancer kept away from the many water hazards in The Lakes, although on par-fives the 14th he came close to the danger, clearing up with his stunningly aggressive second shot. A chip up close and then a beautiful, curling birdie putt later, and he was untouchable.
He had fallen into the water the second day and there was mud on his ball again. "The strike was very good and we saw him diving to the left and I thought," Oh my God, not again. "It was cleaned by a few meters and it was clearly a very important moment in the round to keep speed and everyone to stay ahead. & # 39;
His highlight came on the fourth, when he made an incredible canned birdie from 30 meters, maybe three meters from the flag, so that his ball from the bench behind the stick and back into the cup rolled. "That was just great fun," he said. "I spend a lot of time on the shard green. I absolutely love short games and crazy little shots like that. & # 39; & # 39;
He slipped out for birdies on the 16th and 17th and beat the green on the par-three 18th and two-putted for the win. His five-time victory was the biggest profit margin since Jordan Spieth won the six in 2014 at The Australian.
Papadatos was second at 11-under, by far his best result in an Open, and Queenslander Jake McLeod, the NSW Open winner, was third on 10-under level for veteran Marcus Fraser.
Of the big names, Cameron Smith rattled home with 66 to the 10th finish, but the Americans Keegan Bradley and Matt Kuchar (both 75) faded at the end.
For Ancer, it gives him a start in next year's Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. It is his second tournament win as a professional after the Novia Scotia Open 2015, but he is no idea of a companion. His world rankings will climb the 60's next week and he will be in the frame for President's Cup selection next year. He shot in 11 of his last 12 rounds in the 60s.
"I am now in the cloud," he said. "It was a phenomenal week, it felt like a short week because I was here on Wednesday when I normally went on tournaments to the Mondays, but it was absolutely phenomenal My first time in Australia, everyone told me how great it was and I feel like I've been loving this country for four or five days that I've been here. & # 39;
He is also a standard carrier for Mexican golfing. "Hopefully I can play well and by winning this event, more children will be hit in Mexico and they will start playing the game .. Slowly but surely, Mexican golf is growing, but Latin American golf is also growing." # 39;
The Open returns to The Australian next year.