Kurt Barnes wins the 2005 Victorian Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2005 Victorian Open | Wrap | 30 Jan 2005
23-year-old Kurt Barnes has won the 2005 Mitsubishi Motors Victorian Open following the final round played at the Woodlands Golf Club today.
Barnes birdied the first hole of a sudden-death play-off to take the title from fellow New South Welshman Nathan Green after the pair had tied on twelve-under par for the 54-hole Championship
In perfect sunny conditions with a gentle southerly breeze drifting across the course, overnight leader Barnes fired a one-under 71 while Green finished strongly with a three-under 69 to both finish with a three round total of 204.
Young Victorian professional Matthew Milne, who moved into contention with a course-record second round of 65 continued his fine form with a final round 68 to finish tied for joint third with South Australian Nigel Spence on nine-under par, three strokes in arrears.
At one stage midway through the front nine, no less than 11 players were within three strokes of the lead after Barnes took a triple-bogey seven on the short par 4 fourth hole. The charges were coming thick and fast all over the course.
Firstly Mike Harwood roared through the front nine in five-under 31 to get to nine under for the Championship. Talented New South Wales professional Scott Gardiner then got to eight under after 13 holes after following three consecutive birdies with an eagle two on the 251-metre fourth.
A further birdie at the par five sixth moved him onto nine-under for the Championship, before late bogeys ended his chances.
However the tale of the tournament ultimately found its way back to the final two groups on the course. Barnes recovered spectacularly from a disasterous triple-bogey at the short par 4 fourth hole with consecutive birdies on the 5th and 6th to get back to eleven-under.
Green meanwhile was steadily building his round through the front nine. Beginning the day at nine-under, the former runner-up at the Australian Masters birdied the third and sixth holes to join Barnes at eleven-under.
Barnes’ roller-coaster round continued after back-to-back bogeys on the difficult seventh and eighth were followed by birdies at the 9th and 10th. After a bogey at the 13th thanks to a tee shot into heavy trees to the right of the fairway, Green looked to have the advantage after moving to twelve under with just three holes to play.
Overcoming a bogey on the 16th with a birdie two on the 17th, Green left the door ajar when he failed to birdie the par five final hole to finish at twelve under. In keeping with the enthralling battle, Barnes fought back with birdies at the par five 15th and the 467-metre closing hole to force a play-off.
Both players returned to the par 5, 18th for the play off with Barnes again reaching the green in two and Green landing in the green side bunker and failing to get up and down for birdie.
Barnes calmly stoked his putt to within tap in range for his birdie and victory.
Barnes a renowned power hitter praised the presentation of the course as world class and attributed his win to a new Callaway driver and a more mature approach to the game.
“It takes patience and a strategic approach to play a course like Woodlands. I had a game plan for this course and stuck to it for three days” said Barnes.
Leading amateur honours went to Victorian State Squad member Matthew Griffin who returned a final round of 73 for a three-round even par total of 216. Just three amateurs survived the 36-hole cut into the final day field.
The Vic Open has a rich history linking back to the first Championship of Victoria played at Royal Melbourne in 1899. The first tournament specifically named the Victorian Open was held in 1957 at Riversdale Golf Club and was won by Ossie Pickworth. The 2005 Championship is the 46th playing of the event.
Barnes becomes the 35th person to take the State’s premier golf title and joins the likes of Peter Thomson, Bruce Devlin, Bob Shearer, Stewart Ginn, Ian Stanley, Mike Clayton, Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch, Robert Allenby and Stephen Leaney with his name on the trophy.
In keeping with the tournament’s slogan of “Where Stars are Born”, in addition to Barnes victory, the performances of the young professionals in Spence, Milne, Ewan Porter and Jarrod Lyle augurs well for their futures in the demanding world of professional golf.
Source/Photo – Golf Victoria