Tense sudden death playoff needed to decide North Coast Amateur Open winner

Kempsey’s Andrew Kirkman played four holes of a sudden death playoff before winning the ANZ North Coast Amateur Open. Photo: Green Shoots Marketing.

IT was a five-foot putt on the fourth playoff hole that finally earned Kempsey’s Andrew Kirkman the ANZ North Coast Amateur Open.

Kirkman and Lindsay Ross from Emerald Lakes were locked in a tense sudden death playoff after both finished square with the card when they’d completed the 36 holes across the weekend at the Coffs Harbour Golf Club.

Finishing in a tie meant the pair would continue to play the 18th hole in ‘sudden death’ conditions until a victor was found.

The trouble was that after playing the 18th hole three times, Kirkman and Ross couldn’t be separated.

Prior to teeing off a fourth time in fading light the pair had actually agreed that if they tied the fourth playoff hole that they would happily accept being joint winners of the prestigious event which is the culmination of Coffs Harbour’s annual Balter Festival of Golf.

“I just wanted it to be over,” Kirkman admitted.

“Four holes up that 18th hole hill, walking that too many times and my legs were killing me.”

But when Ross made a bogey on the fourth hole after going over the back of the green with his approach, Kirkman was left with a five-foot par putt that would seal the victory in his own right.

The right-hander had missed two putts earlier in the playoff that could’ve given him the win.

A run of missed putts that frustrated him throughout the final round.

“That was my whole day and it kept going for the whole four (playoff holes) before finally one went in the hole,” he said.

For Kirkman, winning the North Coast Amateur is the fulfilment of a long-term goal.

“It’s been a long time coming to be honest. I played here many years ago back when it was a 54-hole tournament,” he said.

“I went off and did my other things, now I’m back into golf and thought I’d give it a crack.”

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