Dunne and dusted after amazing year; Holman secures Aussie PGA

Dunne and dusted after amazing year; Holman secures Aussie PGA
 Nathan Holman with the

Nathan Holman with the

He didn’t double the last for the third day in a row but a bogey-bogey finish still cost him a couple of thousand euro as he brought a momentous 2015 to a close in the Australian PGA.

Not that that the 23-year old from Greystones will losing too much sleep over it on the flight home after an incredible year of achievement.

He closed it with a four over 76 to finish tied for 44th behind maiden winner Nathan Holman on 10 over par, banking his first cheque of the 2016 season, €4,380, to move to 64th in the Race to Dubai ahead of a possible return to action at some stage during the Desert Swing, ranking (or invitations) permitting.

In total, Dunne won €98,972 in prize money from all starts since he turned professional, starting with his first cheque for €550 for finishing tied fifth at the First Stage of the Qualifying School at Golfclub Schloss Ebreichsdorf in Austria in late September.

From his fifth place finish in the NCAAs to his Open Championship brilliance, his quarterfinal run in the US Amateur (he lost to the eventual winner Bryson DeChambeau) and that Walker Cup victory at Royal Lytham and St Annes, it’s been a year to remember for Dunne.

Had it ended in July, or after the Walker Cup, he could have been more than pleased. But it was impressive to see how he hit the ground running as a professional with top 25 finishes in the Alfred Dunhill Links and the British Masters while at the same time, plotting his way through all three stages of Q-School.

The future is clearly bright for the Co Wicklow man, and the same could be said for Australian Holman, who secured a career-changing victory by defeating South African Dylan Frittelli and American Harold Varner III at the first extra hole of a sudden-death play-off.

Not only did Holman lift the prestigious Joe Kirkwood Cup, he secured full playing rights on the European Tour as well as entry into the 2016 Open Championship.

Holman double bogeyed his first hole of the day, then recovered with three birdies before almost throwing his chance of victory away with back-to-back bogeys on the 17th and 18th of the RACV Royal Pines Resort to card a final round 73 and fall back to level par for the tournament.

He had posted the clubhouse lead, but with Varner III and Frittelli still on the course, it looked like Holman could have given up the victory. 

But neither Varner nor Frittelli, who had started the day as joint leaders in the final match, could find a finishing birdie, leaving the door open for Holman to charge to glory with a par at the first extra hole in front of an ecstatic home crowd on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Holman’s first professional win secured him 225,000 Race to Dubai points to move him to second place in the early Race, one spot behind South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel after two events of the 2016 season.

As well as becoming a full Member of The European Tour and guaranteeing entry to some of the biggest tournaments on the global stage, Holman’s victory helped him win the Australian PGA’s Order of Merit for 2015, and with it a place in The 2016 Open at Royal Troon as well as entry to World Golf Championship events in the USA and China.

Nathan Holman 

“It’s crazy. Walking off that 18th hole when I hit that shot onto the green, it kind of started to feel like the legs were a little bit shaky, kind of probably thinking into the future a little bit and I tried to snap out of that. Obviously had a little bit of help there with the two guys making bogey in the play-off, but to win the event, it’s an amazing feeling.
“To be a full Member of The European Tour is huge. I didn’t realise what was on the line really, which is probably a good thing to be honest. I did think I’d get to those events in the future but didn’t think it was going to be this quickly. For a young Australian guy to be able to go and play those events, play British Opens, it’s stuff you dream of playing golf when you’re a kid, to get into those events, just to play them. It’s going to be an amazing feeling and to do it off the back of a victory I think is probably going to be better. I’ve deserved it, so I can go there knowing that I’ve done something really good to be here.”

Dylan Frittelli 

“I fought hard today, made a couple mistakes early but really showed my metal and finished strongly on the back 9 with a 1 under. I’m very proud of the way I played. I struggled a little bit on the greens this week so I certainly was amazing off the tee and into the greens, something I’ll take out of this and certainly this experience in the play-off is something I’ll use in the future.”

Harold Varner III

“That’s just the way it goes sometimes. I’ll be all right. I’m going to go have a great Christmas and get back to it. Just got to keep working and good things will happen. I’m playing well obviously so just got to keep working at it. My time will come eventually. I know I’ll be back in Australia - hopefully I won’t have to get an invitation go come back this time but I will be back for sure.”

Fourth Round Scores

288 N Holman (Aus) 77 68 70 73, D Frittelli (RSA) 70 72 71 75, H Varner Iii (USA) 74 73 66 75 

289 Z Lombard (RSA) 67 75 71 76 

290 C Smith (Aus) 78 69 70 73 

291 D Papadatos (Aus) 75 71 71 74, M Millar (Aus) 72 70 74 75, R Green (Aus) 73 74 70 74 

292 J Zunic (Aus) 73 72 75 72, N Bertasio (Ita) 75 72 72 73, M Griffin (Aus) 76 72 71 73, R Bourke (Aus) 74 76 68 74, M Goggin (Aus) 76 73 72 71, P Lonard (Aus) 76 72 73 71, D Lingmerth (Swe) 73 68 75 76, A Brown (Aus) 73 71 75 73, A Stephens (Aus) 71 76 75 70 

293 D Nisbet (Aus) 75 75 67 76, M Wright (Aus) 76 70 71 76, S Manley (Wal) 77 69 76 71 

294 A Price (Aus) 75 74 72 73, J Lyle (Aus) 77 73 72 72, C Nel (RSA) 78 71 75 70, A Pike (Aus) 72 73 76 73, J Geary (Nzl) 77 73 70 74, M Foster (Eng) 69 73 77 75, B Virto Astudillo (Esp) 72 77 72 73 

295 P Martin Benavides (Esp) 75 67 77 76, T Sinnott (Aus) 71 72 75 77, J Scrivener (Aus) 72 71 79 73, R Fox (Nzl) 74 70 78 73, A Hall (Aus) 70 73 77 75, T Lewis (Eng) 72 71 77 75, M McCardle (Aus) 74 74 72 75 

296 D Klein (Ger) 77 71 76 72, A Summers (Aus) 80 70 73 73, N Green (Aus) 76 74 73 73 

297 P Uihlein (USA) 75 67 79 76, S Fernandez (Esp) 74 72 79 72, E Van Rooyen (RSA) 76 71 75 75, B Eccles (Aus) 74 72 78 73, C Parry (Aus) 77 71 76 73, N Cullen (Aus) 72 74 73 78 

298 J Hook (Aus) 76 74 77 71, Paul Dunne (Irl) 72 75 75 76, R Gibson (Aus) 79 64 79 76, J Younger (Aus) 75 73 74 76 

299 M Fraser (Aus) 76 73 74 76, D McKenzie (Aus) 74 76 77 72, J Senden (Aus) 73 77 76 73, P Cooke (Aus) 79 71 75 74, R Van Der Spuy (RSA) 76 73 75 75 

300 B Wharton (Aus) 76 70 78 76, J Nitties (Aus) 76 72 78 74, L Canter (Eng) 79 70 73 78, T Mordt (RSA) 79 71 76 74, B Rankin (Aus) 76 73 77 74, N Basic (Aus) 74 73 77 76 

301 D Lloyd (RSA) 78 72 75 76, D Fox (Aus) 75 74 76 76 

302 H Park (Kor) 80 67 79 76 

303 B Åkesson (Swe) 74 74 75 80, J Wilson (Aus) 73 73 71 86, B Rumford (Aus) 74 72 75 82 

304 H Bateman (Nzl) 76 74 75 79, N Ravano (Ita) 73 76 82 73, J Ritchie (RSA) 76 72 80 76, D Lawson (Aus) 75 70 79 80 

305 A Curlewis (RSA) 76 72 77 80 

306 D Van Den Heever (RSA) 76 74 80 76 

309 C Hale (Aus) 78 72 82 77.