DUNTRYLEAGUE’S Robert Payne has come from behind to win a 14th City of Orange Golf Championship following a final round three-under par 67 at Wentworth yesterday.
Trailing Links Shell Cove ace Ian Armer by a stroke after rounds at Orange Ex-Services Country Club and Duntryleague, Payne produced the round of the tournament to win his fourth consecutive City of Orange crown by nine strokes.
Impressively, his overall scratch score of 215 could have been much better.
Hitting a 73 at Country Club then 75 at Duntryleague, Payne had missed opportunities in his final nine holes at Wentworth which included a three-putt on the second and a missed birdie opportunity on the third.
But it didn’t matter, with a one-under par back nine immediately followed by an eagle on the first as Payne stormed home to claim the title at Wentworth.
“That gave me a bit of a cushion,” Payne said of his eagle.
“The first two days were pretty ordinary and today I knew what I had to do and played really solid. Course management was fantastic, I drove the ball well, hit a lot of good iron shots and putted particularly well.
“Probably, 67, three under, is the worst score I could have had. When you have a round like that, it’s always pretty confidence building.”
Finishing nine shots behind the eventual winner, Armer ended with rounds of 74, 73 and 77 for an overall scratch score of 224, while 76, 73 and 75 earned Duntryleague golfer Dean Turner the same overall score.
Payne, though, was thrilled with his fightback.
“I just held it together and thought my way around the golf course,” he said.
“I was that excited with the win. I couldn’t have played much better off the tee and really, it’s one of the best rounds I’ve concentrated in for a long, long time.
“That’s really pleasing for me.”
Following a disappointing end to the Parkes Open where he bogeyed the last four holes in late September, Payne’s nine-shot victory is his first of the season.
Alison Seib won her fourth consecutive ladies City of Orange Golf Championship title.
Also trailing after two rounds, the Country Club golfer produced a final round 78 to edge out Monash’s Jacqui Morgan by five strokes.
Seib carded consistently for rounds of 79, 77 and 78 for a total of 234, as Morgan let her first two rounds of 79 and 76 slip with 84 yesterday to finish with 239.
Duntryleague’s Colin Radburn won the B grade City of Orange Golf Championship with rounds of 83, 79 and 90 for a total of 252, while Forbes’ Adrian Acheson took home C grade with 86, 91 and 87 for 264.
Maitland’s Sharon Eyb took home the ladies B grade with a three-round scratch total of 303.