Martin claims Vic PGA Championship
ANDREW Martin has turned a bogey-free final round into a Victorian PGA Championship win after a drama-filled playoff at Moonah Links last Sunday.
In a congested finish, it took five birdies across five playoff holes on the par-5 18th for Martin to claim the title for the first time.
He ended the fourth round in a four-way tie for first alongside overnight leader Adam Bland, fellow Victorian Brett Coletta and NSW golfer Lincoln Tighe at nine-under par.
The 38-year-old from Bendigo produced the best round of the day amongst the playoff quartet with a flawless four-under 68, and he carried that momentum into the decider.
Bland and Coletta’s pars at the first playoff hole knocked them out and it came down to a battle between Martin and Tighe’s contrasting styles.
On their fourth journey down the 18th in the playoff, disaster appeared to have struck for Martin.
Tighe was on the periphery of the green in two and the Victorian sprayed his second shot out to the right, nearly 50 metres wide of the green.
But Martin’s misstep was responsible for two of the most brilliant shots so far this season, with a wedge to 15 feet followed by an assured putt to seal birdie.
“I’ve played here plenty of times and knew there was a little bit of room around the green. Missing it right, I did get a little bit lucky as it was a good angle for me,” Martin said.
“I certainly wasn’t as calm as I appeared on the outside over the putt.”
Tighe holed a similar birdie putt of his own to extend the contest but the tide turned on the fifth playoff hole.
Martin found his “links length” to reach the green in two for the first time, while the New South Welshman had to re-acquaint himself with the front left bunker that had proved his undoing around an hour earlier.
Martin rolled his first putt to tap-in range and duly knocked it in for birdie as Tighe two-putted for par.