Flint wins intriguing Konica Queensland Amateur

BY Bruce Young | Queensland Mens Tour | 2003 Queensland Amateur Championship | Wrap | 09 May 2003
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» Gavin Flint Interview

It was perhaps fitting that the two leading qualifiers via the Queensland Medal, which incidentally was decided by a playoff, should fight out a close and intriguing final to the 2003 Konica Queensland Amateur Championship.

Queenslanders Gavin Flint and Bronson La Cassie, were locked at all square at lunch in the thirty six hole final but a fast start to the afternoon round saw Flint quickly establish a three up lead. He was three up playing the par five ninth and looked headed for another win there after a very good drive and his opponent pushing his tee shot into the right hand trees. A fortuitous bounce for La Cassie off the trees saw him then able to reach the edge of the green in two and a mishit second from Flint left him short. When Flint bladed his pitch through the green, La Cassie was able to grab a shot back, which proved to be the turning point that would perhaps allow the match to go its full distance.

Flint went three up again at the 30th but La Cassie bounced back with birdie at the par five 31st to keep within striking distance. A few loose shots appeared to be coming from the twenty one year old Flint, perhaps the legacy of a long week, and his opponent seemed to be finishing the stronger but the par four 33rd provided yet another and perhaps crucial turning point this time in favour of Flint. After a conservative tee shot from La Cassie, Flint flirted with the right hand trees from the tee and when his ball came to rest behind a large gum and there appearing to be no way out especially from a horrendous lie he was faced with a decision. He could either try and produce a miracle and reach the green or lay up and risk his partner, who had already found the green with his second, winning the hole with a par. He chose to take on the challenge and somehow his ball found the back right edge of the green some fifteen metres from the cup. The hole was halved and although La Cassie won the next hole, they both produced brilliant birdies at the par three 35th to take the match to the 36th with Flint the leader by one. Both made solid pars at the 36th and the title went to Virginia Golf Club’s Gavin Flint.

For the Queensland Academy of Sport’s Golf division this was a great triumph. Both player are members and utilise its facilities at the Academy’s home course at Brookwater near Brisbane. Other members of the Academy include Tom Davis the Australian junior champion and the promising eighteen year old Heidi McCulkin. The Academy was established just twelve months ago with its head coach Jim Barden.

Flint played collegiate golf briefly in the US but has returned to Australia and is rapidly reaching a point where he will earn a place on the national squad. In addition to this title, he was the Konica Queensland Medal winner and also won the Queensland Colts title in 2003 and was the runner up to New Zealander Andrew Park at the New Zealand under 23 Championships earlier this year.

La Cassie is already on the national squad with runner up placings at the Tasmanian Open this year and at last year’s Indooroopilly Jug. He had been quarter finalist at this event in 2001 and 2002. Perhaps next year for the 20-year-old from Gailes Golf Club in the west of Brisbane.

Photo – QGU

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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