Boland creates history at Belmont
BY Liz White | Australian Ladies Amateur Tour | 2009 Women's Lake Macquarie Amateur | Round Four | 18 Jan 2009
Julia Boland has become the first woman in history to win back-to-back Lake Macquarie Amateurs at Newcastle’s Belmont Golf Course today.
Finishing the tournament on one over 289, Australia’s fourth ranked player beat home a quality field, including Stacey Keating, Rebecca Flood and Ashlee Dewhurst, to win the title by a massive seven strokes from West Australian surprise packet, Jemma Partridge.
“It has been a huge goal of mine for a year to do the back-to-back,” she said.
“Belmont has been my tournament that I always wanted to win and to do it as my first tournament at a national event was amazing, but the second time around is just as nice and probably more fulfilling.”
“I think last year there was a few mentions that I just fell over the line, whereas this year I think that I feel like I really won the tournament well.”
Boland headed in to today’s final round with an eight shot lead and admits she didn’t have the best night’s sleep.
“I went to bed pretty well and woke up at two and had an hour and a half where I tossed and turned,” she said.
“I was probably a little bit nervous but I tried to channel that into the golf and into focussing on what I had to do.”
“I think I am getting a little bit older and wiser and I know I can’t change what anyone else does so that makes me a little bit more comfortable on the golf course.”
West Australian Jemma Partridge surprised even herself with her second placing today after a final round of one under 71.
“I have really only ever had top 20, top 30, so it is a bit out of the blue and hopefully I can continue with this,” the 19-year-old said.
“I just sort of played solid and felt really comfortable out there so it wasn’t really a shock that I played the way I did, it was more just the result that was a bit of a shock.”
Partridge plays out of Melville Glades Club in Perth and is coached by Richie Smith.
“I have just sent him a text so he’ll be pretty happy,” she said.
“I guess I haven’t really played this solid in my entire career, so it gives me a lot of confidence to go forward and shoot some good scores. I feel like I am part of the crowd now, so that’s good.”
Tamworth’s Boland had a round of five under going midway through today but ended on one over.
“I had three bogeys in the round and everyone was like: ’Oh, she choked’ but it was not like that at all,” she said.
“I was just in bad positions on the green and it was tough to putt.”
The 23-year-old said the key to her victory was yesterday’s three under round of 69 when everyone else faltered in the blustery south easterlies.
“It was ridiculous conditions out there, it made the back nine fairly tough and I played reasonably well out there and holed a couple of putts,” she said.
“It probably made the difference today, it gave me a bit of leeway.”
Today’s back to back win is very satisfying for Boland after she struggled through the first two amateur tournaments, the South Australian stroke and the Dunes Medal, late last year.
“I had a bad end to the year I guess and everyone was questioning what was going on there but I knew I just had other priorities at that time and I am just very thankful that I was able to come back to the golf,” she said.
Her university days now over, Boland is looking forward to just being able to worry about her swing and not assignments and exams.
She is now heading back to Sydney to prepare for the first professional tournament of the season, the $125,000 LG/Bing Lee NSW Open, although right now she is finding it hard to mentally prepare.“I think I just want a day off really,” she said.
“I have been working pretty hard since before Christmas time focussing towards Belmont, so I will have a day off and refocus and regather my thoughts. I will just allow myself to have just that day’s head rest.”
And a good night’s sleep as well.