SOUTH-west golfer Stacey Keating yesterday claimed her biggest win on Australian soil, triumphing in the Victorian Open at Thirteenth Beach.
She might have grown up down the road at Cressy and played her junior golf at courses like Lismore, but the final round was no stroll in the park.
Keating, who started the final round with a four-shot lead, found herself one behind after seven holes.
But an eagle at the par-five ninth started a tournament-winning run. She parred the 10th and then made birdies at 11, 12 and 14 to skip three clear.
She maintained the cushion until a bogey on the final hole but she had done enough, recording a popular two-shot victory over England’s Hannah Bourke and West Australian Kristie Smith.
“(I’m) very excited,” Keating said.
“It means everything, this win.”
Former world junior golf champion Matthew Giles produced a long-awaited tournament victory in Australia by taking out the men’s title.
Giles displayed renewed steel with a convincing birdie on the last hole to shoot a closing 67 and finish with a tournament total of 13-under par 275.
It was good enough to snatch a one-shot win over up-and-coming amateur Nathan Holman (70) and rookie pro Ryan Lynch (68).
Stephen Dartnall and Neven Basic shared equal fourth place at 11-under after registering identical final rounds of 66.
Giles, from Sydney, has long been regarded as an international prospect since joining Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Jason Day as world junior champions when he won the title in 2006.
But the strongly-built redhead has failed to live up to that promise since turning professional.
“(This win) does a lot for the confidence,” he said.
“I haven’t had the greatest year last year in 2012 and didn’t have a very good summer (but) now the win takes care of that with an exemption so it’s nice, gives me a little bit of cash.”with AAP