Both McKendrick and Russell recorded rounds of three under par 69 in the morning, having to wait around for the rest of the day to see whether or not it was going to be enough to claim the title. In the end it would be good enough finishing one shot ahead of Heath Reed, Sam Brazel and Steve Jones, who recorded the lowest score from the afternoon field.
But the day certainly belonged to McKendrick and Russell who by their own admission were stunned by their performances today after both arrived at the Royal Queensland Golf Club this morning not knowing what to expect. Russell had come off one of the worst rounds of his season at the Brisbane Invitational, while McKendrick was only elevated into the field by a last minute withdrawal.
"Words can't really describe how I am feeling at the moment," said McKendrick. "I was playing in the rain at my home club in Melbourne yesterday when I received the call that I was in the field. I wasn't sure what to do, but I decided to catch a flight last night and play the course blind. It is a decision that I am so glad I made and I am just so happy that I have been able to make the most of the opportunity that I was given today"
Not only do McKendrick and Russell walk away with $8,500 in prizemoney, but both players add their names to an honour roll that includes Jack Rayner, John Klatt and Randall Vines, all of whom are classed as golfing royalty in Queensland.
Blustery conditions throughout the day certainly made scoring difficult with only 10 professional's managing to break par around the Royal Queensland links layout. Executive Officer Broc Greenhalgh from the Queensland Division of the PGA was excited to see that Pro Am events are continuing to offer an opportunity for our up and coming professionals to play.
"It certainly was a brutal day out there, but it's great to see two up and coming professionals walking away with the win, said Greenalgh. "It's events like the Royal Queensland Cup and other Pro Am's that give the bright stars of the future an opportunity to play and the PGA are certainly grateful for the continued support the clubs have been giving the Queensland Sunshine Tour for the past 50 years."
Both McKendrick and Russell will now have the luxury of scheduling their playing commitments for the next twelve months as a win at the Royal Queensland Cup elevates both to Divisional Status, guaranteeing them into almost every Pro Am around Australia for the next 12 months.
With only 11 events remaining on the Queensland Sunshine Tour, the race for the Order of Merit title is heating up. New South Wales professional Grant Scott currently finds himself in front, in what is likely to be a two man battle with 2 time Order of Merit Champion Brad Andrews. Scott holds a four point lead over Andrews and will be looking to continue the form that he has shown over the past 12 months that has taken him to the Order of Merit lead.