Haller stamps his authority at QLD Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2007 Queensland Open | Round Four | 28 Oct 2007
Ryan Haller has had more than 30 pro am wins Australia wide but there is no doubt that his victory at this year’s City Pacific – Mirvac Queensland Open is the highlight of his career thus far. Haller made an impressive eagle on the final hole to shoot a closing round 7 under par 65 for a three shot victory.
Haller started the day at 13 under par after a third round 67 which placed him in the final group on Sunday, but it was Michael Brennan who everyone had their eyes on and held the lead going into the final day. Brennan, after a 63 on Saturday, got off to a flyer making birdie at the par four 1st hole to open up a 2 shot lead.
An errant tee shot on the second though is where it all come unstuck however, with a penalty drop for his third and further recovery shot, Brennan could only manage a quadruple bogey nine to drop back to 12 under par for the tournament. Ed Stedman who also started the day at 13 under par, took the opportunity and made birdies at the 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th and the 9th holes to turn for the back nine at 18 under par for the tournament. Haller, who never seemed to panic, got off to a solid start turning at 4 under par for the day to be one behind Stedman with nine holes to play.
Haller made the back nine his own though with birdies on the 10th and 16th holding strong under the immense pressure that was building as he tried to secure his first Von Nida Tour victory. A bogey on the par five 14th did little to faze him as a 35 foot final eagle putt on the final hole dropped to secure victory by 3 shots. Stedman faulted early on the back nine making bogies on the 12th and 16th though birdie on the final hole in front of a healthy crowd allowed him to finish with a closing round 68 and consolidate second place.
“This week I really tried to concentrate the my mental side of my game, I even made my pre-shot routine a little quicker and it seemed to work,” said Haller.
“This event has been one that I have been playing many years both as an amateur and now as a professional and to have my name etched on the trophy, it is very humbling”.
Haller now makes his way to the third round of Japanese Tour School next week where the confidence he has gained this week is sure to hold him in good stead to secure his card. Haller also is preparing for one of the biggest moments of his life when his wife Annette gives birth to their first child in March. “I guess it really hits home when you have this type of win because not only does it means a lot for my career but for my family life as well”.
Stedman on the other hand now looks to use the result as a springboard to go one better at the Queensland PGA Championship at Emerald Lakes starting Thursday.
“It has been a while since I have been in contention in a four round event and it really got the juices flowing. Now I’m really looking forward to next week and hopefully putting myself in a similar situation to go one better next week” said Stedman.
This year’s leading amateur was first round tournament leader Brett Rankin, who has really come of age over the past few months with a second placing at the Queensland Close Championship as well as being named in the 2008 Australian Amateur Squad which will see him go to China for the Asia Pacific Amateur early next year. His rounds of 64, 73, 67, 77 placed him in 24th position, winning leading amateur by an amazing 21 shots.
The focus now moves to the final event in the Queensland Swing of the Von Nida Tour at the magnificent Emerald Lakes Golf Club. The week will start with the annual Junior Pro Am and well as the Daiken Night Shootout on Tuesday with the sponsors having a chance to play with the pros on Wednesday before the tournament starts on Thursday.
Source – PGA Australia