OPEN CHAMPION: Moruya Open winner Brent Hull with his championship shield on Sunday.IT was the perfect finish to the perfect year for Brent Hull on Sunday after he clinched the Moruya Open title with a dramatic play-off win.
Barely a week after he set a new course record of 66, Hull was forced to hold off 16-year-old challenger Jordan Lang over three extra holes when the pair finished equal first with even rounds of 71.
Putting proved to be the difference during the extra holes, as Hull held on to win by two shots over holes one, 17 and 18.
But the eventual winner got off to a less than ideal start in the play-off when he sliced his first tee shot into the trees to the right of the fairway.
He recovered well enough though, and when Lang missed a crucial putt, Hull bogeyed to ensure the pair went to the 17th tee all square.
And from there the result was in little doubt – Hull made par on the 17th and birdied the final hole to claim his second Moruya Open title in four years and third overall.
A risky approach shot on the 18th paid off handsomely and all but set up the victory.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more deserving winner after Hull put in countless hours preparing for the Open.
And ultimately, he insisted, that was what got him over the line.
“I’ve been doing a fair bit of practice and that’s all starting to pay off, so I’m very pleased,” Hull said.
“I was confident heading in because I’ve been practiscing more lately than I have been for the past 15 years.
“It has been a great few days for me recently. I shot 66 the other day and I haven’t shot a score like that in a long time.”
However, the remarkable finish almost never came to be after Saturday’s first round was washed out in torrential rain.
But the course dried up sufficiently on Saturday night to allow the 110 remaining players to hit the course for Sunday’s 9am shotgun start.
“We put in a lot of hard work on Friday afternoon to get the course up to scratch and to make sure the greens were quick, but you can’t control the weather,” Hull, who is also the golf club’s superintendent, said.
“The course dried up really well though, and the weather today was great.”
Hull admitted to being nervous before the play-off, but he said, in hindsight, it was actually a good thing.
“I always get nervous; some people say they don’t but I always do and I think it’s a good thing because if you’re not edgy then you’re not really trying,” he said.
Lang, a former Moruya Junior Open winner, was gracious in defeat and hinted that perhaps nerves got the better of him.
“It was very enjoyable, I didn’t play too well but that happens,” he said. “I was a bit nervous and he’s the greenkeeper so he really knows the course.
“But I’ve played here in Moruya before, so I was confident heading in.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.