Paddison wins 2004 Mitsubishi Motors Victorian Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2004 Victorian Open | Wrap | 25 Jan 2004
New Zealand’s Gareth Paddison has won the 2004 Mitsubishi Motors Victorian Open following the final round played at the Woodlands Golf Club today. Paddison becomes only the second left-hander to win the Championship following local professional John Davis’ success in 1974.
The 23-year-old Kiwi fired a superb final round of five-under-par 67 to finish at twelve-under-par and win by five strokes from fellow left-hander and Victorian professional Richard Green and New South Welshman Paul Sheehan on seven under.
“This win was totally unexpected after I played so poorly at the British Open qualifying earlier in the week” Paddison commented after the final round. Dressed in the New Zealand sporting all black colours, save for his Mastercard’s sponsor’s logo, the young professional was thrilled with his second pro victory. "I can’t wait to get home to mum and dad and show off the trophy" he enthused. “Melbourne’s a fantastic place to play golf, I love it.”
With a third consecutive day of mild temperatures and moderate southerly winds, conditions were ideal for last day challenges in the 54-hole Championship. The leading players didn’t disappoint with Green the first to make inroads by jumping to six-under after seven holes.
Commencing the day at one-under, the thirty-two year old former Victorian Junior Champion immediately birdied the 1st, and eagled the par-five 2nd to get to four-under. Despite a bogey at the short 3rd after three-putting, further birdies at the 4th, 5th and 7th saw Green momentarily get to within two strokes of the lead.
However Paddison, who appeared exceptionally calm and focused taking the overnight lead into the final round withstood the challenges with aplomb. He fired birdies at the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th to move to eleven-under for the Championship and open up an early three stroke lead over Tait and Sheehan who had also enjoyed solid starts.
“I got off to a hell of a start” he reflected later. “My short game stood up well under the pressure and I also drove the ball well.” My back nine was all about maintaining my form and to birdie the last was an exceptional way to finish" the former Canadian Amateur Champion said.
While Green and Sheehan progressed to seven-under, solid par golf by Paddison over the closing nine kept the challengers at bay.
After a successful amateur career for New Zealand including Eisenhower Cup representation, Paddison turned professional in 2001 and has experienced a steady start in the pay for play ranks with a previous victory in the 2002 Scenic Circle Golf Classic.
“I’ve got a full card on the Challenge Tour (European development tour) plus a few starts on the main European tour” said Paddison when questioned as to his plans for the remainder of 2004." I think my game’s very close, especially my putting. That was the best feature of my game all week".
In a great tournament for the left-handers, leading amateur honours went to fellow molly-dooker in Victorian Colts Team member David Walker. Walker returned a final round of 74 for a 54-hole total of even-par 216 to take the amateur title from fellow Kingswood member Andrew Tampion by two strokes.
First played in 1957, Paddison’s name now joins the likes of Peter Thomson, Gary Player, Bruce Devlin, Kel Nagle, David Graham, Greg Norman, Robert Allenby and Stephen Leaney as a winner of one of Australia’s premier golf titles.
Source – VGA