Perkins crowned open champion
BLAIKE Perkins knew he played a good round of 18 at the Gladstone Golf Course for the Fulton Hogan Projects Unlimited Gladstone Junior Open yesterday but the 12-year-old from Calliope had to pinch himself when he realised he made the playoff against 16-year-old Jayden Bayliss to decided who the champion was.
Bayliss was the favourite going into the playoff with more experience on his home course.
They started on the first hole; Perkins ended up closer to the pin with a better view of the green than Bayliss.
But Perkins's second shot ended up 20ft from the hole on the edge of the green; Bayliss's stopped 10ft from the hole.
Both players two-putted to par the hole and take the playoff to the ninth.
Perkins hit the ground before the ball when he teed off but it worked out for him as the ball stopped just before the water.
Bayliss showed his extra strength and smoked his over the water. It stopped before the bunker on the right of the green.
Perkins's second shot landed on the left of the green while Bayliss's second landed on the green 30ft from the hole.
Perkins chipped his third onto the green and called out for the ball to stop; it did, just at the edge of the bunker.
His next putt put the pressure on to Bayliss who three-putted sending the two golfers back to the first hole.
Perkins forgot the trouble he had with the driver on the last hole and whacked his next shot a long way down the fairway.
Bayliss stood to the tee box with an iron playing it safe to avoid the water on the left and the out of bounds on the right. His shot was down the middle but a couple metres shorter than Perkins's.
But his next shot was thin and rolled off the back of the green.
Perkins looked down the fairway with his binoculars, knowing if he landed it on the green he would most likely win. He stood up to the challenge and landed his ball 4ft from the pin.
Bayliss had to chip next to the pin to put pressure back on Perkins but hit it too hard and the ball rolled 20ft too far.
His next putt was short, giving Perkins two shots at his 4ft putt.
Perkins needed them, missing his first putt by inches and then sinking the second.
He took off his hat and shook Bayliss's hand with a grin from ear to ear because it was the first time he had been crowned the open champion.