Dodt's class shows at Queensland Open
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2014 Isuzu Queensland Open | Wrap | 31 Aug 2014
Andrew Dodt has produced a come from behind victory at the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater Golf Club near Ipswich to win his second event as a professional and his first in Australia.
Dodt, from Gatton less than an hour’s drive from this week’ venue, produced the best last round of the day (67) including four birdies in his last six holes to catch and pass South Australian Tom Bond and Victorian Matthew Griffin who appeared to have the event between them until Dodt’s late burst.
Dodt found the green at the 17th and two putted for birdie then perhaps knowing he needed one more to ensure he would be involved in at least a playoff hit a fine approach to the last and holed from 15 feet to get to 7 under.
When Griffin double bogeyed the 17th it left Bond, who had yet to win an event in the professional ranks, as the only player capable of forcing the tie.
Bond’s approach to the last was pulled slightly left but finished in the fringe and only 15 feet from the hole. It was, however, a downhill putt and when he eventually three putted the title was Dodt’s. Fortunately for Bond the three putt did not cost him any dollars as he would still finish alone in second position.
There was a four way tie for third including Cameron Smith, Michael Long, Jake Higginbotton and Anthony Brown.
For Dodt, however, the victory was important in so many ways. The Queenslander had never won in Australia and as a result of his desire to protect his playing rights on other tours in recent times he has no status on the Australasian Tour. He even required an invite to play this week’s event and has paid the tournament organisers back in the best way possible.
“I am pretty thankful to the PGA Tour of Australasia and especially to Graham Scott as they have given me several invites of late but now this victory gives me two years of status and I am very grateful.
“I won the Masters event in India but to win your State Open in front of family and friends – it hasn’t sunk in yet but I am very proud.”
Despite slipping to 550 in the world Dodt was still one of the more credentialed players in the field having won a European Tour event in Asia in 2010. He had also finished 3rd at the recent Fiji International suggesting the time he has been putting in during some recent downtime from tournament play was paying off.
Dodt has not missed a cut in 2014 and this win further highlights a return to the game he possessed in the past.
Dodt had reason to play Brookwater well as he had been part of the QAS and Golf Queensland’s Academy prior to turning professional, the Academy having its base at Brookwater.
“I don’t think I have been back for seven or eight years but I felt like I was here yesterday,” added Dodt. “I know the course well and we did play here a lot while attending the Academy. The course has not changed a lot other than the removal of several trees so to have that extra knowledge was a benefit.”
Dodt is heading back to Asia to continue his campaign there and will attempt to get back to Europe. “I struggled over in Europe for most of the time I was there. I actually felt I was hitting the ball well but battled on the greens. The last three or four months I have spent a lot of time at home working on my game and getting fit.”
For Dodt the win could not have come at a better time. He heads back to Asia where that Tour’s schedule gets busy after a mid-year break. He will then target a return to the European Tour via the Tour School.
“My schedule has opened up quite nicely, (he also now enjoys One Asia Tour status if he so chooses). So after a week off next week there is virtually a tournament every week until the end of the year. I will have to sit down with my manager Ian and make a plan as to how we attack it all.”
Bond did well to hold up as long as he did, keeping his hopes alive right to the last hole. Given his lack of experience in this situation he can feel very proud.
He was disappointed but realises it provides a base to work on when next he is faced with this situation. “At the moment I am feeling pure disappointment,” said the 27 year old second year professional. “I hit it well enough today to win comfortably but my putting let me down. But that is why it’s such a tough game because you have to have everything working.
“It was good being in the last group in a tournament like this and hopefully next time I am in that position I will do better.”
Gold Coast 19 year old, Kade McBride, again gave evidence of a significant game. After a successful visit to the US this year he finished as the leading amateur in a share of 8th.
Taylor MacDonald was the next best of the amateurs when he finished 12th after an impressive final round of 69.
The tournament, now into its second year after a six year absence, has grown on last year’s event and was blessed by outstanding weather over much of the week.