In the lead-up to the 2017 Wentworth Open, all the club wanted was for one of its own to drink from the Atlas Copco Cup as the tournament’s champion.
On Sunday, the club got its wish – sort of.
A former member and past winner of the Wentworth Open, Craig Stojanovic took took out the 2017 title with rounds of 70 and 74, his 36-hole scratch total of 144 a massive seven shots in front of his nearest rival, Wenty long-bomber Jordan Clark.
It’s Stojanovic’s first open win at his old home since 2006, an 11 year stretch that’s peppered with six Robert Payne wins.
In fact, Payne has 12 Wenty crowns in total and headed into last weekend’s open as the defending champion.
Ominously, the Duntryleague member was Stojanovic’s biggest rival headed into Sunday’s final round after firing a 74 on Saturday to sit in second position along side Mark Fliedner.
But the four stroke margin over night, coupled with a 42 around the front nine on Sunday afternoon, proved too great a hurdle for Payne.
“It’s always good to beat him. You know you have to play well to be up there with him,” Stojanovic, now a member at Duntryleague, said on Sunday evening.
“It’s good that he’s given someone else a go,” he smiled.
After a relatively plane-sailing opening round of 70 – par for the Wentworth course – that netted Stojanovic a four shot lead heading into Sunday, the 38-year-old knew consistency would be the key throughout the second round of 18 holes.
The wind, though, made the goal infinitely tougher.
After turning the opening nine holes three over, Stojanovic then settled the nerves with a birdie on 11.
“And at that point I was ok,” he said.
“(Sunday) was a rough … there was a couple of shanks (which came on holes 13 and 17), but I got away with those in the end.”
The 2017 champion said playing with both Bruce Cousins and Duncan Gibbs in the second round helped keep him on track.
“I was getting a bit nervy. I try and have a bit of fun with these two blokes.”
Clark rounded the 36 holes with a scratch total of 151, while Duntryleague leftie Rob Parfett was third with 154 off the stick.