Michel stands tall in playoff drama

Kyle Michel
Kyle Michel is all smiles after winning at the Mandurah Country Club. Picture: GOLF WA

Victorian Kyle Michel has clinched a dramatic victory at the Mandurah Amateur Open after defeating South Australian Jack Thompson on the second playoff hole on Monday afternoon.

The Shepparton member coolly two-putted from the edge of the green to secure the elusive title with a par on the ninth, completing a remarkable come-from-behind victory in the national ranking event.

The pair couldn’t be split on the first extra hole, despite Michel hitting a tree with his second shot, as both players recorded bogeys.

But Michel kept his cool, finding the middle of the fairway on their second attempt at the ninth, before his approach found the edge of the green. From there his putting was clutch, while Thompson faulted, unable to get out of the side bunker.

“I am pretty pumped about that win,” Michel said.

“I didn’t really expect anything with nine holes to go. I was a few shots back, but made a couple of putts coming in and was able to get to a playoff and then the win.”

Michel was pleased to get the victory despite the close finish, nearly finding the hole with  a putt off the green to grab the title.

“I was happy that I only needed two putts to win and didn’t have to hole it, he claimed.”

“I hit a really good putt, I still don’t know how it didn’t go in, but I will take the win.”

Despite performing strongly in the US recently, Michel rates this victory as one of his finest thus far.

“This is definitely right up there with my best wins,” he mentioned.

“I haven’t won a national ranking event for about three years now. I have had a lot of second placed finishes, just waiting to have my time to get over the line.”

“I am glad it was today.”

Earlier, it was a titanic battle between Michel, Thompson, Hayden Hopewell and defending champion Hayden Barron - and no one gave an inch.

Barron trailed Thompson throughout the back nine, and couldn’t recover late with a bogey on 13 ruling the West Aussie out of a title charge.

Michel was the surprise packet with four back-nine birdies catapulting the Victorian up the leaderboard.

A crucial birdie on 17 saw the youngster walk up the last in a tie for the lead, but the drama wasn’t done there. A birdie putt on the last narrowly missed to the left, leaving Michel with the clubhouse lead at seven under.

The equation became simple for South Australian Jack Thompson: birdie the last and the Mandurah Amateur Open was his.

Cruelly, the South Australian missed a similar putt to Michel on 18, resulting in a playoff for the title.

Hayden Hopewell finished a fantastic home tournament at six under-par and in third place.

Cooper Geddes tried incredibly hard all weekend to finish at five-under and a tie for fourth with fellow West Aussie Barron.

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