STRONG winds made it tough for final round competitors at the 2017 WA PGA Championship where New South Welshman Dimitrios Papadatos prevailed in his first trip to the Kalgoorlie Golf Course.
Firing rounds of 70, 68, 70, 68 for a tournament total 12-under 276, Papadatos won by a stroke from Victorian Rory Bourke, who had an eagle putt on 18 to force a playoff.
Wind gusts of up to 42km/h had the red dirt swirling.
“It was way tougher in that wind. You have to account for so many more things on every shot,” said the 25 year old Papadatos, who won the Victorian Open in February and the NZ Open in 2014.
“On every putt I was allowing for more break and I was trying to work out where the wind was coming from because it was swirling. It was pretty difficult and very draining playing in those conditions.” Papadatos, who saw his lead diminish to just one shot after he doubled the 15th hole.
“I thought I was still leading by a shot, I was still in a good position to win the tournament so there was no reason to throw the toys out of the cot. I had to stay patient and finish it off well which thankfully I did.”
Celebrating his victory by road tripping back to Perth, the 25-year-old is heading back to Europe next week a more experienced player.
“Even though last year I had a terrible time, I am going to go over there more ready for what is to come,” added Papadatos who will tee it up in U.S. Open qualifying at Walton Heath.
“I am definitely a better player than what I was when I went to Europe last year. I learnt a lot from that and I have done a lot of work.
“It’s a matter of getting the opportunities, I am playing well enough.”
While Rory Bourke finished runner-up to Papdatos on 11-under the card, he was two shots clear of Victorian PGA Champion Damien Jordan and Matthew Millar.
Rounding out the top-5 on 8-under the card are Darren Beck and Jack Munro.
From Kalgoorlie the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia will take a short hiatus before heading to Fiji for the Fiji International to be played at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course from 17-20 August and tri-sanctioned with the European Tour and Asian Tour.WA PGA Leaderboard