ROBERT Payne has won back-to-back Bathurst Golf Open titles after a commanding performance which saw him win by 10 shots.
The Duntryleague member shot rounds of 68 and 71 (139) to finish well clear of Bathurst golfer Jarryd Bird, who had rounds of 74 and 75 (149) and Paul Bright, who was a further shot behind on 150.
Payne has been the man to beat this season, capturing several tournaments across the region including Dubbo and Parkes.
Bathurst was absolutely no different as he raced to a comfortable opening round of three-under 68 that put him five shots clear of the field.
"I'm pretty pleased with the effort over the two days, it was pretty solid," Payne said.
"That's my sixth Bathurst Open title but there's something special about coming back and defending a title and I will be back again next year, doing my best to make it three (in a row).
"The thing was I drove well both days and I putted exceptionally well both days. The greens were conducive to good putting."
Payne had a very solid lead at the end of the first day, he didn't get ahead of himself.
He was in a similar position last year, only to come up against a windy course where he had to settle for a gritty 76.
On that occasion, it was still good enough for a six-shot win over Bird but this time he was able to back it up with an even par 71 second round.
"I wouldn't say I was over-confident. All I was trying to do was hit it on the fairway, hit it on the green and if the putts go in, they go in," Payne said.
"My first round was very similar to last year. I shot four-under in the first round last year and then encountered really tough conditions on the Sunday. We had ideal weather for the two days this time and the greens were fantastic.
"Today [Sunday] my course management was okay. I parred the first eight holes, birdied the ninth, bogeyed the 10th and finished with another eight pars coming in so it was pretty consistent."
Payne is in outstanding form coming into the final few tournaments of the season, including his home event, the Duntryleague Open.
"I've got the Country Championships in Muswellbrook next week (November 3 and 4), then the week after that is our own open at Duntryleague. Then we move on to Ex-Servies, Blayney and Wentworth, so five weeks to go.
"I'm pretty happy with the way I'm playing. I struggled a bit earlier in the year but as the weather gets better, everybody starts to play a bit better."
While Payne took out the NJ Holmes Cup for A grade scratch, Bathurst Golf Club member Brian Walsh won the A grade handicap by nine shots from John Boserio.
Bathurst City cricketer Kirby Earle took out the Brooke Moore Cup for B grade scratch with rounds of 82 and 81 to finish a shot ahead of Jaise Delaney, while the C Grade winner was Christian Dowling by two shots from Adam Powell.