Hunter products Blake Windred and Dylan Perry hope to bounce back hungrier for success at the St Andrews Links Trophy and British Amateur titles after a heart-breaking loss with NSW in the Australian Interstate Men’s Teams final.
NSW were undefeated through the round-robin at Melville Glades Golf Club in Western Australia last week but lost the final to Victoria 4.5-3.5 on Friday.
Charlestown’s Windred, one of four players in the tournament undefeated in the round-robin, lost his match 4 and 3 to Lukas Michel in the final, which came down to the clash between Perry and national boys’ amateur champion Cameron John.
Perry, a former player at The Vintage who now competes for Sanctuary Cove, led the deciding match by four before John fought back and edged ahead. Perry responded with wins on 16 and 17 to be one up with a hole to play and had a chance to seal the title for NSW with a 1.5 metre putt. However, the ball horseshoed around the cup and out, leaving John a short putt to birdie the hole, halve the match and secure victory for Victoria.
Windred felt for good mate Perry, who he will be travelling to the UK with for the June 9 St Andrews Links Trophy and June 19 British Amateur.
“He was pretty shattered, as we all were,” said Windred, who helped NSW claim the tournament last year. “We really couldn’t believe it. At the end of it, I walked up to him and gave him a pat on the back and said, ‘you’re the one who had to experience the tough part of it but it’s just as much my fault’.
“He was the one who had the unlucky putt on the last, but if I’d squared or won my match, we would have won anyway. I think we’re all looking at it as a life lesson and it makes us all hungry to work a bit harder and hopefully win it in the next couple of years.”
Windred was looking forward to a different test next month.
“I played St Andrews last year and it’s such a tough tournament because you’ve got the best amateurs in the world and only 40 make the cut,” he said. “It’s probably one of the hardest cuts to make but you learn a lot about about your game because it’s so much different to Australia and America.”
** Blake Windred will first be competing at the Waratah Cup, which is part of a big weekend in the Newcastle order of merit.
The Waratah Cup has twice been delayed because of wet weather but is set down for Saturday and will lead into the Newcastle district championship on Sunday at Merewether.
Again a one-day, 18-hole tournament, the NDGA titles offer double points in the OOM race, which is at the halfway stage.
Waratah pair Ben Hillard (570 points) and Mitch Coutman (410) top the standings. Mick Wade (Charlestown) is next best on 360.
NDGA secretary Rod Carruthers expected more than 120 players to compete at Merewether.
Tanilba Bay’s Carter Nepia, who won as a 16-year-old last year with a two-under 70, is no longer playing competitively.