Frustrating putting day fails to halt champion Kieron
WORCS: Thursday June 10th
Kieron Austin endured a frustrating day on the greens but produced a stand-out iron shot when it really mattered to grab his first Worcestershire County Championship title at Hollywood Golf Club last night.
The 27-year-old had parred his way into contention in the second round of the 36-hole strokeplay competition and stood on the tee of the long par three 13th having hit 10/12 greens but not holed a putt of any note.
However the Hagley member rolled one in for a two from 15 feet and then got up and down for a birdie on the par five 16th to get himself under par. Then came the heroics at the 18th where his drive found trouble. He chipped out to leave himself 160 yards uphill and into the wind but fired his iron shot to three feet and made no mistake for his four to close with a two under par 70.
With three groups still out on the course he faced a nervous wait to find out if he had finished top, which he did by one shot from Worcester’s Shaun Roberts.
“That shot at 18 was my best of the day,” said the former Worcestershire Open winner.
“But the birdie on 13 gave me the confidence to think I still had a chance. That got me level par and I knew that wasn’t going to be far away. I did joke with my playing partner that I would have to chip one in to get a birdie just before, but sometimes you have to stay patient and keep giving yourself a chance.”
Kieron started the second round three back of Nathan Slater of Bewdley Pines. He recorded the only sub-par 70 round of the day in the morning and enjoyed a remarkable run around the turn. Starting at eight he bagged five birdies on the trot and would close with a 69. Behind him were three players on 72.
In the afternoon two double bogeys on the back nine halted the charge of the Bewdley Pines player while Kieron had just one bogey on his front nine and was bogey-free coming home as he moved to the top of the leaderboard.
The top eight players will now also compete in the Worcestershire Men’s Matchplay Championship later this season.