Little-known Victorian Nathan Holman has won a thrilling playoff at Royal Pines on Sunday to claim the Australian PGA Championship.
Victorian Nathan Holman has won the Australian PGA Championship, edging American Harold Varner III and South African Dylan Frittelli in a riveting playoff on Sunday.
It was the second time in as many years the tournament was decided beyond regulation play but unlike last year’s marathon seven-hole playoff between Greg Chalmers, Adam Scott and Wade Ormsby, only one hole was needed.
Holman, 24, held his nerve to make par on the 18th hole – one of the toughest in the new-look back nine at Royal Pines – while Varner and Frittelli both made bogeys.
It continues years of Australian dominance at the event, which hasn’t been won by an international player since New Zealand’s Greg Turner triumphed in 1989.
Holman now receives a full European Tour card for the next two years courtesy of a new co-sanctioning agreement with the Australian PGA.
Holman, Varner and Frittelli all finished on even par for the tournament – indicative of the windy conditions and the uncompromising nature of the remodelled back nine.
Varner only narrowly missed a nine-foot putt at the last, which would have seen him claim victory.
Holman looked poised to win it much earlier until nerves set in and he coughed up back-to-back bogeys on the final two holes – the only blemishes on his card aside from a double-bogey on the first.
Zander Lombard, the 20-year-old former South African amateur whiz who was tied for the overnight lead with Varner and Frittelli, finished fourth after a four-over-par 76.
Australian young gun Cameron Smith (73) made a strong push and at one stage shared the lead with Varner, but came undone with three bogeys on his inward nine.
Only six players of 71 managed to complete their fourth rounds below par, with the best score coming from Adam Stephens and South African Colin Nel, who both fired two-under-par 70s.