I had shot 75 and 71 on the opening two days to be four-over, and knew it would be a tall ask to catch the leader. I got off to a slow start, too, playing his opening three holes in one-over. But then I found my groove, making three birdies on the trot from the fourth, and would make the turn in a couple under. With the leader Liu shooting one-over in his opening nine, I had cut the lead to two.
After making seven pars in a row, followed by a birdie on the 17th, now I had taken sole possession of the lead and stood on the final hole four shots in front.
Packed full of adrenaline, blasted my second shot to the par 5 final hole over the green and out of bounds, leaving the door slightly ajar for Liu. However, I kept my composure, hitting my fourth shot short of the green, where I was able to make up and down to save bogey and win by three.
It felt great to come from behind and win a national title. “I’m really stoked. It was a tough fight out there; I really had to work for it, but it was awesome. I just wanted to hit 18 greens; that’s all I was working on. If I’m hitting lots of greens, it minimises the chance of making bogeys, so that was a big part of the game plan today.”
My heart rate increased after hitting his second shot on the last hole out of bounds, but was happy with a final round of 69. “That was tough. My heart was in my mouth for a second there. Thankfully, I hit my provisional short, so I could chip it up to the hole and hole the putt. I’m smiling.”