Daniel Gale has claimed a breakout win in the $50,000 Western Open here at Dubbo Golf Club after an enthralling final round.
With a lightning delay causing an almost one-hour pause in proceedings, it was Gale who claimed the biggest win since his back-to-back victories on the Papua New Guinea in 2018.
Gale didn’t have it all his own way, however, with several challengers making their move during the afternoon.
Jordan Widdicombe was first, getting it to eight under, the Picton’s Justin Warren stormed home with a withering burst of birdies and eagles midway through his round.
Sadly, the duo could catch the storming gale, and in the end, it was left to Gales Playing partner, Grace Kim to mount a challenge over the final holes.
It wasn’t, in fact, quite the done deal for Gale as the walked up the last, with Kim looking at a good chance for birdie to tie.
Sadly Kim’s putt slide by on the low side, leaving Gale two putts for the win, and a welcome return ticket to Concord for the 2022 Golf Challenge NSW Open in March.
4.20pm: Is Warren The Man Of The Moment?
A spectacular run of eagle, eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie has vaulted Picton’s Justin Warren into contention with just six holes to play.
Warren, who looked like he was making little headway on the leaders, is now the clear cut chaser outright second place, just two shots behind leader Daniel Gale here at the western Open in Dubbo.
Not to be outdone, though, Daniel Gale still leads the way, and is playing with a level of confidence worthy of a tournament winner. The Castle Hill professional has turned for home after a tidy four under 32. He added another birdie at the par- five 11th, and with seven holes to go is now at 14 under.
3.10PM: Jordan, Jye Make Their Move
Jordan Widdicombe, already a Golf Challenge NSW Open qualifier once here at Dubbo, and gun Newcastle amateur Jye Pickin have made their move, getting to nine and eight under respectively.
Widdicombe has come out after the lightning delay firing on all cylinders. He opened his round with four straight birdies. two more at the 7th and 9th helped the Concord Club Professional to scorch around the front nine in just 30 shots. He has just added another on the 10th to go to outright second place.
Pickin, playing in the group in front of the leader, Gale, has birdied the 1st, 3rd, and 5th to get to eight under alongside Queensland’s Charlie Dann.
Freshly minted Australian Senior PGA Champion Guy Wall is having a round to remember, and is currently four under through 10 holes.
UPDATE: PLAY RESUMING AT 1.15pm
Final round action in the Western Open here at Dubbo Golf CLub will resume at 1.15pm.
Officials believe while not completely clear of disruption, there is enough of a window to continue play.
With a series of lightning strikes within the vicinity of the course, lightning sirens were blown with the leading two groups still to tee off.
With the threat still ongoing, Golf NSW and PGA staff are monitoring the weather radar closely.
12.09pm: PLAY DELAYED BY LIGHTNING
The Western Open here at Dubbo has been delayed due to lightning.
With a cell appearing from the northwest, the sirens were blown by officials at 12.09pm.
A decision on the resumption of play will be made after assessment of the storm and its’ direction.
MORE TO COMED
10.40am: Mears makes a’local’ move
Craig Mears is winding back the clock, and currently on course to card the low round of the morning.
The Dubbo Golf Club Professional is currently bogey-free at four under par for the day and two under for the tournament after 11 holes. He sits in a tie for 17th, alongside Port Kembla big bobber lincoln Tighe, who is also at four under for the day.
The weather is holding here at Dubbo, but only just, with officials still hopeful of completing the day without too many delays.
7.30am: Final Rd Underway
It’s the final round of the Western Open here at the Western Open and boy, aren’t we in for a cracker!
All eyes today will be on the final group of Daniel Gale (-9) Grace Kim (-7) and Charlie Dann (-7), with the chasing trio of Kade Mc Bride (-6), Mitch Davis (-5) and Newcastle amateur Jye Pickin (-5) ready to pounce.
On a stunner of a day yesterday, an impressive 45 players finished at par or better around the testing Dubbo layout. It was the rounds of Gale and Kim, however, who the fans were talking about.
Gale was simply sublime in crafting his almost faultless 63. An eagle, eight birdies and just one bogey told the tale of how peerless his performance was. Even his playing partners were taken by the display he put on.
“He made every putt he looked at,” his playing partners, Justin Warren and Jordan Zunic chimed almost in chorus.
Kim was no less impressive in what was, effectively her professional debut on Australian soil, in fact, in the exulted company of legends Peter Lonard and Matt Millar, it might have been better.
Six birdies and a hole-out eagle one the par-five 12th left her more experienced playing partners in just a touch of awe about the standard of her game.
Tales aside, and if the weather holds, looks like its going to be a thrilling day of golf here at Dubbo.
If you’re nearby, come on out and catch it all up close and personal. If you’re not, follow the Live Stream action at nswopen.com or on the Golf NSW Facebook page to stay in touch with the play.
Livestream action will begin around 12.00pm and continue till the end of play.