TWO–time European Tour winner Stacey Keating feared she had blown her chance to win the inaugural Vintage Ladies Pro Am after she dropped shots at the final two holes on Tuesday.
The Victorian had been at five under approaching the 35th hole before making two errant iron shots and back-to-back bogeys.
Despite the poor finish, the 26-year-old cruised to victory by two shots from West Australian Whitney Hillier (74, 67)
‘‘I didn’t have a clue where I was on the leader board,’’ a relieved Keating said.
‘‘I just got a bit greedy on the last two holes.
‘‘I hit a poor iron into the par three 17th and didn’t get up and down.
‘‘Then at the 18th I pulled the second shot into the trap. It was the only really poor shot of my round.
‘‘It was a great surprise when told I had won. It was a really good field.’’
Keating grabbed headlines when she broke through for her maiden European tour win in the Spanish Open in October and followed it up two weeks later with victory in the French Open.
She intends to play out the remainder of the Australian summer, including the Antill Park Pro-Am on Thursday and 36-hole Mount Broughton Pro-Am starting Saturday, before returning to Europe in early March.
She began on Tuesday at two under as joint leader with Victorian Lee Park.
After a steady start, Keating, a former Australian amateur champion, made a move at the seventh with the first three straight birdies.
She holed a long par-putt at 15 and picked up another shot at the 16th before the late slip-up.
Park had a horror day, crashing to a six-over 77 to be 10th at four over.
Forster Tuncurry’s Sarah Kemp (72, 70) finished in a tie for third alongside Stephanie Na (76, 66) and Emma De Groot (72, 70).
Four-time major winner Laura Davies followed her opening-round 78 with a 73 on Tuesday to be tied for 23rd at nine over.