2.30pm: A birdie on the par-five 12th leaves Shellharbour’s Travis Smyth one shot from the lead midway through the back nine, as Victorian Josh Younger hangs on at -19 and within reach of his first Kel Nagle Cup.
Justin Warren is also at -19 and Min Woo Lee is at -17 and will need to find a couple of birdies before the groups arrive at the challenging final three holes. He has the skills, the magic, and the muscle – but can he close it out? We’ll know in the next hour.
2pm: Victorian Josh Younger eagled the par-five 11th and birdied the 12th to send a warning to the young guns as the fireworks begin on the back nine. Younger (-19) has been rewarded for his patience in this final round after posting an even-par 36 around the front nine in challenging conditions.
Younger, 35, is a shot clear of Picton local Justin Warren who also played the front nine in 36 with Min Woo Lee and Travis Smyth a shot back at -17. Course record-holder Andrew Dodt is one-under for his round and could make a charge through this back nine. Stay tuned.
1.30pm: It’s the boy from Picton with a one-shot lead as the lead groups head down the 10th – the famous stretch in golf – to decide the winner of the AVJennings NSW Open in 2019. Warren started the day where he began, at -17, with an even-par round through the front nine. His dad said yesterday he wanted Justin in a position to throw some punches down the back nine, and that’s exactly what we have.
Just a shot back is the trio of Min Woo lee, Josh Younger and Travis Smyth at -16. There could be some fireworks now on the “easier” back nine, which will make some scintillating golf. Will it be the local lad, or Min or Smyth, or Josh Younger who has played brilliantly all week and would also be a deserving winner.
Stay with us, and make sure you check out our live stream of the closing holes.
1.10pm: We are almost halfway through this final round and it is becoming tense as the three youngsters, Min Woo Lee, Travis Smyth, and Justin Warren – all yet to record their first professional win – are deep in the hunt for the Kel Nagle Cup. It’s steady golf though, especially with the trickier greens now that the wind is defending the course more.
Lee and Warren are even with the card and Smyth is one-under for his round. Andrew Martin, who made a stunning eagle on the 2nd this week, is showing his experience with a five-under round midway through the back nine.
Note: We have to acknowledge the excellent crowds here at Twin Creeks on a beautiful summer day. Large crowds are following the two final groups – and why wouldn’t you with the excitement the youngsters bring. Stay with us, this will get exciting, and make sure you tune into our live stream to watch the action on the closing holes.
12.50pm: We momentarily had a four-way tie for the lead as the final groups move through the 8th here at Twin Creeks. Smyth made up for his bogey at the 6th with a birdie at 7 to be at -17 along with Josh Younger, Min Woo Lee and Justin Warren. It’s getting pretty exciting, and windier.
Note: Jake Higginbottom holed a magic par saver at 8 from behind the green having flown his chip through the back. Tough lie, downhill to the hole. Made it. Great golf.
Update: Younger dropped a shot at 8 to be back at -16.
12.30pm: Smyth has bogeyed the challenging par-three sixth despite a perfectly executed bunker shot to a downhill pin. Lee now holds the lead on his own at -17 (even today) with Warren and Smyth back at -16.
Note: The wind is really beginning to influence the course here, up to around 30km/h. Lee did say yesterday that he loves playing in the wind. He looks steady and you suspect if he continues with this calm, measured approach he could be the one with the silverware in a few hours. There’s a long way to go though.
12pm: Travis Smyth holed a bomb for birdie at the fourth to join Min Woo Lee and Justin Warren at the top of the leaderboard at -17. Lee has made four straight pars, whilst Warren has one bogey and one birdie on his card.
11.50am: Victorian Ben Eccles has surged up the leaderboard in the final round of the AVJennings NSW Open, with six birdies and an eagle on the ort par-five 12th to be at -11 and with the round of the day so far.
The course record of 61 shot on Friday by Newcastle-based Andrew Dodt is within reach as Eccles moves through the back nine.
Final round underway at Twin Creeks
The final round is underway here at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in Sydney’s west, as players fight for the Kel Nagle Cup in this year’s 2019 AVJennings NSW Open.
Conditions are calm and cool compared to the opening two days of the event, making it perfect to walk the fairways and watch some of Australia’s best young golfers mix it with seasoned professionals.
An interesting question yesterday was whether Min Woo Lee, poised to grab his first professional title here, preferred calm conditions or strong winds on the final day. Luckily he said he preferred both because that’s exactly the forecast from the weather bureau.
The forecast for Twin Creeks is for SE/SW winds this morning 15 to 25 km/h tending NW 25 to 40 km/h then tending to 30 to 45 km/h in the middle of the day. Today’s predicted top temperature of 29 degrees, coupled with strong winds, means the afternoon will be a battle as the course firms and gets faster. Birdies will be gold as the groups turn for home.
The event’s highest-placed amateur, Nathan Barbieri from NSW, has rediscovered his form from earlier rounds and is four-under in his final round as he works through the back nine. Victorian Ben Eccles is also four-under and in line for a top 20 finish.
If you can’t get down here to Twin Creeks make sure you watch our live stream this afternoon for all the action and highlights.
The Kel Nagle Cup has been won by some of the best golfers Australia has produced; names like Norman, Newton, Baker-Finch, Lonard and Kel Nagle himself. Whose name will be etched onto the silverware in 2019? Will it be the phenoms like Min Woo Lee, Travis Smyth or Justin Warren, or glory for the experienced professionals like Josh Younger, Andrew Dodt and Jake Higginbottom?
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