Former amateur star Cameron Davis has fought back tears after closing with a brilliant seven-under-par 64 to win the Australian Open golf championship in Sydney.
The 22-year-old began Sunday’s final round eight shots adrift of overnight leader Jason Day but amassed six birdies and a spectacular hole-out eagle to steal the Stonehaven Cup at The Australian Golf Club.
Davis finished with a 72-hole total of 11-under 273, one shot better than 2015 champion Matt Jones and Swede Jonas Blixt, who both carded last-day 68s.
“This is a dream come true,” Davis said after having his name etched on the famous trophy alongside golfing greats Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tiger Woods and Greg Norman.
“It doesn’t get much better than this. I’m going to remember this forever. I couldn’t play any better today.”
Fellow US PGA Tour player Cameron Smith, who was runner-up last year in a playoff to Jordan Spieth, suffered another near miss, finishing fourth at nine under after a Sunday 68.
Day finishes 2017 winless after the former world No.1 faded to fifth place at eight under after finding the water and racking up a double bogey on the ninth hole.
Defending champion Spieth charged home with an eagle at the last in his final-round 67 to share eighth spot with 21-year-old Lucas Herbert (73) and Kiwi Mark Brown (68).
But the day belonged to Davis, the world No.1494 who won the national amateur title on the very same course two years ago.
Davis’ victory also completes an amazing comeback from injury.
He broke his wrist hitting a tree root playing in the Monash Medal at his home club on Sydney’s northern beaches and missed the entire 2015 summer before missing the cut at last year’s Open at Royal Sydney.
Davis, who also claimed individual honours while helping Australia win the 2016 world amateur teams’ event, surged up the leaderboard on Sunday with birdies on the first, third, fifth and 10th holes.
But it wasn’t until he holed out from 71 metres for a two on the 380-metre par-four 12 that he became a serious factor.
Davis hit the front with another birdie on the 14th, remained unfazed when he dropped a shot to relinquish his outright lead on No.16 and then began to dream after picking up a priceless shot on the last.
The youngster waited anxiously for almost an hour before his victory was sealed when Blixt missed a three-metre birdie putt on the last trying to force a playoff.