Duntryleague's Robert Payne once again secured Blayney Golf Club's much-coveted gold jacket, sealing his ninth triumph in last weekend's 2019 Open to bolster his bulging trophy cabinet again.
On the nine-hole course's tight fairways and tricky greens Payne finished three-over through 27 holes, despite coming into the event 'out of form'.
He was square through his first round of nine and remained even the second time around, and held on to win despite shooting a three-over, 37 in his third lap of the course.
This year I didn't drive the ball very well but I did chip and putt well.Blayney Open champion Robert Payne
He no doubt had a few nervy moments in the back end too considering, as he explained, all three of those shots he dropped in the home straight.
"I dropped three shots in the last four holes to shoot [three over] across three rounds," Payne, who also won his 13th Parkes Open title earlier this year, said.
He said that's as much testament to the Blayney course's testing nature though as anything else though.
Playing the same set of nine holes thrice in a day might seem an advantage in terms of figuring the layout's intricacies, but it remains a difficult prospect.
Payne took his hat off to former Duntryleague greenkeeper Michael Campbell, who's now at Blayney and has the course looking pristine and playing equally as well.
"I really enjoy the Blayney Open, it really tests your game," he said.
"It's a very tight golf course. You have to position it right off the tee and this year I didn't drive the ball very well but I did chip and putt well.
"I was two under [a couple of times] but made a few bogies. You can do that out there because it's a course where you have to concentrate really hard and keep your mind on the job."
While Payne won the top prize Gavin Stammers claimed the B Grade crown and Ian Forrester won in C Grade.
Payne has already signalled his intention to try and win a 10th Blayney title in 2020, with a couple of Orange-based Opens his next potential prospects.
He didn't claim this year's Country Club Open crown and thus he won't be able to produce another clean-sweep, but he'l no doubt contend at Duntryleague this weekend and Wentworth later in the year.
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