Robert Payne wins the NSW Seniors in a close battle at Bathurst
2017 Results Round 3
It might not have been the prettiest golf ever witnessed, but Duntryleague’s Robert Payne has done enough to take out the NSW Senior Amateur Championship today at Bathurst Golf Club.
The 58-year old grabbed the title by three shots from his final-round playing partner, New Zealand’s Michael Barltrop. In a tie for third place was defending Champion, Mona Vale’s Stefan Albinski and Queenslander Martin Minogue.
Payne, who was happy to be leading the event after 36 holes, let the pressure get to him early, which allowed his opponents a sniff of victory.
“My front nine was terrible. It was very tough out there, I don’t know why I was so nervous,
“They were two and three behind, and I found myself playing them and not the golf course,
“Golf a funny game and I’ve played it long enough to know not to get into this situation,” Payne said.Martin Minogue
As one mistake led to another for the tournament leader, challengers started to appear. Playing in the group ahead of Payne, the Queenslander Minogue got himself into contention with a tidy front nine of one-over par 37.
After an uncharacteristic bogey on the 10th by Payne after failing to extricate himself from a green side bunker, the lead had evaporated and his playing partner, Barltrop, was still in with a chance of snatching the win.
Payne, realising he had a battle on his hands to grab the trophy, made a gutsy birdie on 14th hole to re establish his lead, before closing out the Championship with a couple of late pars.
“I knew I was two up with three to go. Both of us made a bogey on 16, then on 17 Michael three putted and I saved par. It gave me a buffer coming up the last,”
“I hit a nice drive and a good approach shot in on the 18th. That took a lot of pressure off me. If it had been a one-shot lead it would have been a different story,” Payne smiled.
Despite carding a disappointing final round 5-over par 76, Payne was happy to take the title.
“To card 76 at the end was a little disappointing, but the victory is very, very sweet,”
The win is Payne’s third major state title and will sit alongside his 2000 Country Championship triumph and the 2001 NSW Amateur Championship Crown. This one however feels pretty special to the Central West Local.
“This win is good not only for Duntryleague, but the Central West District,”
“The State Amateur I won felt fantastic. But this one has got to be up there with it. I’m 58 yrs old and still competitive, so I’m very proud of this one,”
“Kate My wife will be really pleased, to get this, it fills the set,” Payne smiled.
2017 Round 2
It’s plain sailing for Duntryleague’s Robert Payne after the second round of the Men’s NSW Amateur Championship at Bathurst Golf Club.
Payne sits alone at the top of the leaderboard after carding a one-under par 70 to go with his first round two-over par 73. In second place two shots behind is the first round leader, New Zealand’s Michael Barlthrop. Concord Golf Club’s Ken Brewer and Queensland’s Michael Minogue are equal third position another one shot back.
“I drove the ball well today. I didn’t make any triple bogeys today, that was pleasing,” Payne laughed.
Officials had to reorganise draw for the second round of the championship after fog caused a two-hour delay for the morning players. After the haze had lifted, a fresh Westerly wind arrived to test the mettle of the afternoon field.
The delay and wind did little to upset Payne however, even though he arrived for his adjusted tee-time three hours early.
?“ I was here three hours before teeing off,” he smiled.
After a bad start, Payne made a couple of solid pars before saving par with a good chip on the 13th, before following it up with a birdie on the 14th.
“I hit a beautiful drive down the 7th (his 16th) to set up another birdie, all I had to do was get into the clubhouse from there,”
“I putted well when it mattered,” Payne smiled.
“I’m a very strong wind player, very confident.”
Payne believes his local knowledge will be the key advantage in the final round and he’s happy to be playing in the last group with his nearest competitors. With some wet weather predicted, Payne could be even tougher to catch.
“My local knowledge is a benefit, and with some severe weather coming, I think I could have a distinct advantage tomorrow,”
As for coming face to face with his opponents in tomorrow's seeded final round, Payne grinned.
“I’ve got a good front running record; I prefer the seeded draw. My opponents can see me, and I can watch them,” he smiled.
As for any particular final round preparations, Payne doesn’t intend to change a thing.
“I’m just going home to a normal tea with the Mrs tonight. I’m not changing anything,” ??“Tomorrow I’ll just try and hit fairways and greens. It’s up to them to catch me, not me come back to them,” he laughed.
2017 Round 1
New Zealand’s Michael Barltrop is the first round leader of the NSW Men’s Senior Amateur Championship at Bathurst Golf Club.
The semi-retired 60-year-old From Royal Auckland and the Grange Golf Club fired a tidy one - under par 71 in ideal morning conditions to grab a two-shot lead over Lakeland Golf Club’s Michael Minogue. Sitting in a tie for third a further one shot back is Duntryleague’s Robert Payne and Mona Vale’s Trevor Beale.
Barltrop was pleased with his round which included three birdies and two bogeys. He felt the key to his round was a more consistent putter and a tip from a local about the tricky greens.
“I chipped and putted pretty good, the two birdies on the back nine, I chipped in once and sunk a good putt,”
“Someone mentioned to me yesterday about how this course slopes because it sits on the side of a mountain. I finally read some putts correctly and hit them online,”
The Kiwi was disappointed to finish with a late bogey but remained philosophical.
“I hit two average shots,” he smiled.
With two rounds to go, Barltrop believes consistency and patience will be the key to taking out the championship.
“It's a very tricky, very narrow golf course. Everyone is going to find the odd tree out there. You’ve got to be careful and stay calm,” Barltrop smiled.
Local hope, Duntryleagues’ Robert Payne from Orange, took full advantage of the early morning start racing to three under par after nine holes.
A disastrous triple-bogey eight on the 15th hole, however, meant Payne eventually signed for a one-over par 73.
“It was a comedy of errors going up 15,” Payne lamented. ”I hit a tree; it went into the water - straight left. I hit a hazard peg on my next shot, and it went back 60 metres,”
Despite the poor finish, Payne felt his score would be competitive as the afternoon conditions worsened. The seven-time Bathurst Open winner is confident his local knowledge will be a significant advantage as the tournament progresses.
“I don’t think my score will be too far away, If you had asked me before I hit off I would have taken even (par) or one over,”
“I’ve played this course more than anyone else except the locals, the greens can be really tricky, so I think it’s still a real advantage for me.” Payne grinned.