By David Tease.
Merewether’s Stacie McDonald has claimed the biggest title of her golfing life, while Port Kembla’s Chris Campbell has grabbed a little slice of history by becoming a three-peat champion in the SRIXON NSW MID Amateur Championships.
On a day where the skies threatened to close in from the outset, McDonald held her nerves in check, carding her best round of the tournament, a three-over 75, to claim the women’s crown by eight shots from Bonnie Doon’s Ashleigh Arnold.
Campbell, similarly, saved his best for last, posting an impressive five-under 67 – which included five birdies and an eagle – to win by four shots from the Australian Golf Club’s James Brownlow.
“I didn’t really have a key as such, just tried to stay aggressive all day,” Campbell said after his round.
“I set myself a goal of six under. I got to three-under after nine then five-under. Six was always on my mind though.”
“I like to always pretend I am behind and play aggressive golf; never stupid golf, just play positive and chase a target.”
Campbell’s three-peat of SRIXON Mid-Am crowns is also the first time the feat has been achieved in Open Amateur competition by a male golfer in New South Wales.
Campbell’s sister, Nikki, was also a three-time winner of the Women’s NSW Amateur, a feat elder brother Chris was quick to recall.
“Nikki has done it too, three women’s NSW Ams,” he smiled.
A fourth straight title is on the horizon, with Campbell quick to confirm he will be back to defend.
“I’ll definitely play. Would be rude if I didn’t,” he grinned. “So, if things go well then maybe four.”
In contrast to Campbell’s relaxed demeanour in victory, McDonald was elated with her win, the biggest of her career.
“I played solid, I made a silly mistake on the third, but steadied the ship, so 75 – best round of the tournament, I’m happy with how I finished off.”
McDonald admitted nerves were always going to play a part in chasing victory, and she was quick to acknowledge it took a bit of work to stay focussed.
“Having my Merewether club mate Andy (Piggott) on the bag today really helped.
“We hummed tunes around the course all day, and it helped settle me down.
“This is a definite thrill, I’m holding back a few tears,” she grinned.
*David Tease is the Golf NSW Media and Digital Manager