By PGA of Australia
IT was a grinding day but Adam Blyth held on through 18 holes of regulation play and three extra playoff holes to win the South Pacific Open Championship.
Teeing off in the final round with a one shot lead, Adam Blyth went head-to-head with good mate Jake McLeod at Tina Golf Course in New Caledonia.
“I started off really poorly with a few bogeys. But I stayed patient. Instead of trying to get those shots back I just went for the middle of the greens. My veteran status helped me understand that it was going to be a tough day,” said Blyth.
“The pins were tricky and the wind was tough because it was so different to what we are used to here. We very rarely play a westerly on this course and it was swirling a lot, it was very tricky out there.”
Throughout the final round Blyth and McLeod each held the outright lead at different times but at the end of 72 holes the pair could not be split, both finishing on 12-under 272.
“I was very nervous, especially because I have been there a few times before and I haven’t finished the job. You start to wonder if you are ever going to do it,” added Blyth, who fired rounds of 67, 69, 65, 71.
“When Jake made that putt on 17 (to tie the lead) I thought here we go again, just give me a chance.”
“But I just hung in there, it wasn’t spectacular at all. I just made pars and lasted longer than anyone else.”
It took three trips down the 18th for Blyth to emerge victorious, the South Pacific Open Championship his first ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia title.
“The playoff was really tough; I thought we would be there all night to be honest. It was good to do it with my little mate and a Yeppoon boy, I am sure they are celebrating up there,” added Blyth who won with a par after McLeod made a triple bogey.
“You always want to win it; you don’t want someone to give it to you. But to be honest it’s been hard to get here and I will take it however I can.”
“Jakey is young, he is going to win many, many tournaments.”
The win means a lot to the 34-year-old who has been going through a tough patch in his career which has already seen him win on the Web.com Tour.
“I have gone through a lull in my career and I needed to make the choice; whether I wanted to make it back to where I was and the hard work that takes,” added Blyth.
“I have rededicated myself, trained really hard and it’s paid off this week which is quicker than I expected.”
“I am feeling fantastic, I am really, really happy.”
Finishing at 11-under the card, a shot outside the playoff and outright third was Matthew Millar, who continues to be a consistent feature at the top end of ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia leaderboards.
Michael Wright claimed outright fourth on 9-under the card while Nick Gillespie rounded out the top-5 on 8-under the card after shooting the best score of the final round; 67.
For all final scores from the South Pacific Open please visit pga.org.au.
For his win Adam Blyth picked up AU$21,000 and is now ranked 8th on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.
The ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia will stay in the Pacific with the next event on the schedule the Fiji International to be played at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course from 6-9 October and co-sanctioned by the European Tour. For the full schedule please visit pga.org.au.