Leishman powers home to win Lake Macquarie Amateur
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2005 Lake Macquarie Amateur | Wrap | 30 Jan 2005
The 21-year-old Marc Leishman from Warmambool Golf Club was simply too strong, winning the 2005 Lake Macquarie Amateur Championship after carding a final round 68 for a four round total of 268, one short of a tournament record.
Arriving in Belmont from his Melbourne base one hour before being due to tee off in the first round, he admitted that he was “not expecting anything at all”. He had played well in the British Open Qualifier at Kingston Health and felt his swing was strong.
Marc rates his score of 268 for the four days as one of his “best rounds ever put together”.
“I was a bit nervous on the first, but once I made a birdie on the second, I felt all right.”
Leishman was nothing but solid on the final day, focussing throughout his round, not realising that he was on track to score a tournament record. He fell one short, but admitted that was not even on his mind, rather he wanted to beat one of the best amateur fields that gather for this tournament.
The local members of Belmont Golf Club are rightfully proud of hosting the Greater Building Society Lake Macquarie Amateur Championship, an event the Club has hosted since 1958. A perusal of the winners honor roll is a time trip in Australian amateur history in itself, revealing the early successes and the launching pad for many of our best professionals.
Past winners include Jack Newton, Rodger Davis, Peter O’Malley and more recently Stephen Leaney, Geoff Ogilvy, Brett Rumford and rookie professional Jarrod Lyle. Many winners of the Championship have made it on the US PGA or European Tour.
Amateur associations from England, Wales, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States send teams each year to compete in the event.
Whilst many of the players pulverised the course during the first three days with 65’s being carded by AGU Squad member Mitchell Brown and Tetsuya Watari from Pacific Golf Club and with the Championship leader on the final day Marc Leishman shooting a 66 and two 67’s, the fact still remains an event of this nature is one of the most sought after amateur championships and the strain was showing on the final day as most players realised there would be no catching Leishman.
Conditions on the final day were again calm and many of the early players took advantage of the conditions with England’s Lawrence Dodd carding a 67, the best of the morning.
In the business end, the closing nine holes on the final day produced some sensational golf not to mention monster drives as the others tried to chase to catch overnight leader Marc Leishman.
By the time the leading group hit the fairways the southerly was picking up and storms were predicted. However, the only sign of a “storm” was Marc carding a 20 under, 9 shots clear of AGU Squad member Adam Porker from Kingston Heath Golf Club who shot an impressive 67. Adam’s opening round of 74 hurt his chances, but he was nothing short of impressive carding the next three rounds in the 60’s. Mitchell Brown from Bankstown Golf Club also finished equal second with Adam Porker with a final round of 70.
“Does the new champion plan to turn professional?” I asked.
Leishman’s replied, “Not at the moment. I am off to caddie in the Heineken Classic next week”
Maybe the professional who Marc caddies for will say, “You take over!”
Marc’s next big event will be the British Amateur, which starts on May 30.
Photo – Anthony Powter