Chinese Taipei’s Chun-An Yu survived a three-hole play-off to defeat Japan’s Keita Nakajima in the Master of the Amateurs at Royal Melbourne.
Nakajima found himself with a one-shot lead over the field after he found the back of the 72nd green with his second shot.
But three putts and three playoff holes later, it was Chinese Taipei’s Chun-An Yu who hoisted the trophy.
Nakajima successfully fended off all challengers throughout the course of the final round after starting two clear of the field and five ahead of the eventual champion.
But it wasn’t enough for the reigning Australian Amateur champion and last year’s low amateur at the Australian Open.
Five birdies in his first eight holes thrust Yu up the standings and into calculations.
After making birdie at the par-five 12th for the fourth straight day, Yu hit the clubhouse at six-under for the week, still two strokes adrift of a steady Nakajima.
The Japanese prodigy had two putts to claim the title from the back of a slippery 18th green but failed to put Yu away.
Nakajima faced a similar uphill eight-foot putt to claim the silverware on the first and second play-off holes but missed both, before Yu arrowed a beautiful approach to a few feet.
With the leading duo finishing at six-under for the tournament, Sydney’s Blake Windred held down third on the standings, just one stroke further back.
It was an all-Australian showdown in the women’s section, with Sydney’s Steph Kyriacou winning by three shots.
The 18-year-old started the day two back of fellow New South Welshwoman and playing partner Grace Kim, but signed for a brilliant two-under 70 – capped off with a birdie bomb at the last – to finish at two-under for the tournament.
With birdies at the second and fifth holes Kyriacou made light work of the overnight deficit, but back-to-back bogeys before making the turn set up a tense final group shootout between the Blues and the third member of the group, Melbourne’s Julienne Soo.
Birdies at 10 and 12 helped Kyriacou to a two-shot buffer over Soo coming up the last, before she curled home a 20-footer in front of the Royal Melbourne clubhouse to seal the biggest win of her life.
“I was talking to my caddie and he was telling me to stay calm which really helped,” Kyriacou said.
“Bogeys always hurt but I was always going to make bogies around Royal Melbourne. I just tried to make pars from there.”
- Courtesy Golf Australia