Scott Arnold wins Lake Macquarie Amateur
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2009 Lake Macquarie Amateur | Round Four | 25 Jan 2009
Scott Arnold has won the Lake Macquarie Amateur in style following a closing round 67, to finish at 15-under-par for a three stroke victory over local, Brendan Smith.
Throughout the week, Arnold has played faultless golf during his four rounds of 71-69-66-67, including a string of birdies on each day. It was his fourth attempt at the title at Belmont and a victory Arnold certainly will savour.
Scott Arnold Audio Interview
“Winning a second National Trial event is always pretty awesome,” said Arnold.
“I’ve played well each round and it’s a great way to get your season underway. Hopefully I can win some more of these this season.”
The first sign the championship trophy was falling into Arnold’s hands came at the turn where he enjoyed a two stroke buffer over Brendan Smith. A birdie on the 7th hole for Arnold widened the cap after Smith missed a critical four foot put for birdie. It was the break that would give Arnold the momentum to continue with his aggressive style of playing on the open links layout.
Arnold then blasted out of the back nine with a three-hole string of birdies through holes ten to twelve. At that stage of the round Arnold was simply hitting everything close with his approach shots and not letting anyone close on his lead.
It was a display of flawless golf by Arnold in the southerly conditions, which gave the seaside Belmont layout more bite than usual.
The only blemish for Arnold came at the 432 metre par 5, after his drive found the left fairway trap. Arnold’s first attempt to escape the trap resulted in his ball being plugged in the face of the bunker’s grassy top. A local rule fortuitously giving Arnold a lucky break.
After considerable deliberation with rules officials, a free drop was granted and Arnold proceeded to play his third on his knees in a display of pure grit and determination, advancing the ball some 80 metres along the fairway. Arnold would minimise the damage with a bogey to retain a two stroke margin over Smith.
“I said to my caddie, Ken, all I need to do is just make a bogey at worse.”
“It didn’t worry me too much about the lie, I just wanted to keep the damage to a minimum and to then birdie the last with a tap in, well I was pleased with the way I managed to close out this event.”
Englishman Charles Ford, who shared the overnight second place with Smith, finished equal 3rd position at 9-under-par, along with France’s Alexandre Kaleka and Robert Payne.
For Smith it was a day on the course where the opportunities just did not come his way.
“Scotty [Arnold] played just too solidly,” said Smith.
“I was feeling like I was just playing catch-up out there as every time I hit a good shot into the green, Scott responded with a better one. That makes it difficult.”
Today’s win is Arnold’s second National Trial event victory after he won the Riversdale Cup last March. Arnold also has one international victory with the 2006 Hong Kong Open Amateur to his credit.
“I feel like that I’m now playing these events more professionally,” says Arnold.
“My experiences in Asia really taught me how to approach these events, and I’m looking forward to the NSW Amateur this week, that’s for sure.”
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