RODGER DAVIS has played one of the shots of the year to birdie the final hole of the day and claim his third Queensland Senior Open title at Nudgee Golf Club.
With his drive bunkered on the left hand side of the fairway and his approach to the elevated 18th green obscured by an overhanging Moreton Bay Fig, Davis crisply struck his second to within six inches of the flag.
Earlier, in blustery conditions overnight leader New Zealander Craig Owen dropped three shots in his opening holes.
However, with the winds also affected his playing partners, the Kiwi still had a one shot lead over Davis and defending champion Garry Merrick after nine holes.
Ahead, New South Welshman David Saunders gathered a couple of quick birdies to move into the picture at one-under par, while Lyndsay Stephen from West Australian marked his time at even par.
Nudgee’s 12th hole proved to be the tournament turning point as Owen found trouble to the right of the long par five, settling for a double bogey seven.
At the same time Davis wedged to within two feet, holing for a birdie and claiming a one shot lead at one-under par. But again the chasers kept pace, Merrick making birdie on 15.
As the final groups trekked to the 18th Davis held a slender one stroke lead from Merrick and two over Saunders.
An errant tee shot into the fairway trap placed Saunders in a precarious position and his title chances slipped away with his missed seven foot par putt. Saunders efforts saw him settle for a tied 3rd position with Stephens.
Merrick similarly strayed to the left of the demanding 18th leaving his second with a restricted backswing and in the ominous shadow of the giant Moreton Bay Fig.
With his own heroics Merrick hoisted the approach high into the westerly setting sun, nestling 15 feet away from flag. As the ensuing putt dropped Merrick had posted the clubhouse lead at two-under par for the tournament.
This then paved the way for Davis to play what every amateur dreams of – the championship winning shot.
The amateur section was highlighted by the battle between Nugdee Club Champion, Shane Ryan and Twin Creek’s Greg Corben.
Three days of competition saw the two separated by a single shot, Corben’s final day two-under 69, failing by the narrowest margin.
Ryan’s total of 218 (five-over) displayed the quality of the amateur competitors tying him for 11th overall in a field that boasted numerous internationally credentialed professionals.
The PGA Legends Tour now moves onto a Gold Coast swing before moving onto the traditional week in the Darling Downs.