Zubair Firdaus has holed a seven-metre birdie putt to win a dramatic Queensland Boys’ Amateur over Elvis Smylie on the third play-off hole at Bargara Golf Club.
The Malaysian 16-year-old, a student at Hills International School, prevailed after a gripping final day which featured a tight battle involving left-hander Smylie and third-placed Christian Butterworth.
Gold Coaster Smylie, 16, the son of former tennis star Liz Smylie, forced a play-off when he birdied the 72nd hole to finish tied with Firdaus on 13-under 275.
Butterworth had taken a one stroke lead into the final round but Firdaus grabbed the outright lead when he birdied the 11th and then made further birdies on the 13th and 14th.
Firdaus, who carded a closing four-under 68, was never headed thereafter although Smylie, who finished with a five-under 67, forced the play-off at the death.
“I’m just grateful it fell my way after Elvis and Christian put me under a lot of pressure,’’ said Firdaus. “I came into this week with a lot of confidence after winning in Indonesia last month.
“The course is not too long and I hit my driver a lot this week while some of the others preferred irons off the tee. Driving is probably the strongest part of my game I pretty much hit driver on every hole.’’
Firdaus continued his hot form after winning the Ciputta World Junior Championship under 16 division in Jakarta last month.
His victory at Bargara earns a start in the 2018 Isuzu Queensland Open which will be contested at The Brisbane Golf Club from November 1-4.
“There are a lot of good things happening and I’m excited about that,’’ he said.
In the Queensland Girls’ event, Gold Coast’s Isabelle Taylor led from the outset for a convincing 10-stroke victory over Cassie Porter.
Taylor, a Year 12 student at St Stephen’s College, Coomera, finished on 16-under 276 after a closing 71.
“Last year I was runner-up after losing a three-hole play-off so this win is very satisfying,’’ she said.
“It was my best performance in a four-round tournament and my all-round game was quite consistent all week. I was pleased with my tee shots. I hardly got into any trouble off the tee.’’
Taylor shot rounds of 66-70-69-71 for an aggregate 276. Porter, who closed with a 69, was 10-strokes adrift with a further three shots to Hannah Reeves who also finished with a fine 69.
Taylor, who took up golf five years ago and is coached by Sanctuary Cove pro Michael Jones, will contest the New South Wales Girls’ Amateur next week.
In the J.R. McCracken Plate, Joshua Horswill from Royal Queensland won the boys' event with a total of 85 points (44-41), while Caitlin Vanderkruk of Keperra claimed the girls' event with 79 points (41-38).
The 2019 Queensland Boys' & Girls' Amateur will be held from 2-5 July at Bargara Golf Club.