Toomey holes bunker shot on second playoff hole
Luke Toomey produced one of the shots of his career to win the inaugural Pegasus Open in North Canterbury in extra holes, claiming his maiden Charles Tour victory.
Toomey holed a bunker shot from behind the 18th green for birdie to beat fellow professionals Lachie McDonald and Daniel Pearce on the second playoff hole, after they had all finished at 10-under for the tournament during regular play.
Toomey looked to be in trouble on the second hole of the playoff, hitting his difficult third shot over the back of the green into the greenside bunker. He subsequently splashed his fourth shot out, and watched it roll into the hole and celebrated accordingly.
“I honestly don’t know where to start or what to think,’’ was Toomey’s first comment afterwards.
“You watch that kind of stuff on TV and you never think that kind of thing will happen to you. Watching that ball fall over the front lip was a pretty unique and special feeling.
“To win my first four-round professional event in that fashion is something I’ve dreamt about, and to do it here in New Zealand is a dream come true.”
Toomey knew what the state of affairs was all day and knew he had to make birdie on the 72nd hole to force a playoff.
“I think I was annoying Phil (assistant tournament director) all day,’’ Toomey added.
“I like knowing where I stand so I knew exactly what I needed to do going up the last. To go and execute the required shots just so I had a chance at winning was very pleasing.”
Toomey had rounds of 71, 69, 67, and 71 to finish regular tournament play at 10-under par.
Meanwhile, Mary Chen won the women’s division of the Pegasus Open, sponsored by DVS, in emphatic fashion, claiming her first tournament win by three shots.
Chen finished on a total of 11-over for the tournament, holding off a fast-finishing Vivian Lu.
Chen, from Auckland, said she couldn’t have been happier with how she handled the final day pressures of tournament golf.
“This is my first tournament so I’m over the moon,’’ Chen said.
“I was really nervous out there, especially on the last hole. But I played well the whole week, so I felt as though I was in control. It was certainly a challenging day out there.”
Chen carded rounds of 72, 81, 72, and 74 to finish three shots clear of the reigning New Zealand Amateur Champion.