For the 96 players that turned out for the NSW Country Championships, it was ACT’s Harry Bolton who got the job done, holding his nerve down the stretch to fend off a determined Jones Comerford from Dubbo.
While it wasn’t Nicklaus and Watson duelling in the sun at Turnberry in 1977 after overnight showers, it was close to the next best thing. The winning team on the day was ACT-Monaro (8-under) ahead of New-castle (4-under). Lachlan Valley finished in a credible 6th spot.
Bolton had to do it the hard way after starting behind first-round leader Dominic Falk, and never found his groove until the 5th where his birdie three suddenly gave him the spark he had been missing. Comerford meanwhile birdied five of the first nine holes in a hot start and was the man to chase as the players headed to the back nine.
As Bolton held firm, Charlestown’s Jye Pickin also made his move up the leader-board culminating in a riveting shot for shot war of attrition over the closing holes with Bolton and Comerford.
Birdies on 12, 13 and 16 helped but a bogey on his last hole of the day – the 17th saw him slip back to -8 for the tournament.
In the end though, it was Bolton’s consistency and ability to make the right play at the right time that got him and the ACT team home. Birdies on 15 and 16 got Bolton to -9, and a brave up-and-down on the last was enough for the spoils.
The win books him into the Golf Challenge NSW Open at Concord Golf Club in March.