England’s Raymond wins in Australia

Neil Raymond

England international Neil Raymond became the second English golfer in a week to triumph on foreign soil when he won the weather-curtailed New South Wales Medal after a tense playoff in Australia.

Just days after Toby Tree won a junior title in South Africa, a par at the first extra hole proved sufficient for Raymond to beat Aussie Brett Drewitt at Mona Vale Golf Club.

With the event reduced to 36 holes after heavy rain ruled out the final two rounds, Brabazon Trophy winner Raymond and Drewitt were tied on 141, so the title was decided on a playoff.

On Mona Vale's par-three sixth hole, Raymond (photo courtesy of Tom Ward) looked to be in trouble when he pulled his tee shot left after watching Drewitt find the putting surface.

However, Raymond chipped to 15 feet, with Drewitt then leaving his first putt six feet away from the hole. Raymond then calmly rolled his ball in for three to put the pressure back on Drewitt.
The Aussie then missed his putt which would have extended the contest, handing Raymond the tournament.

With the Medal being played in wind and rain from the start, low scores were hard to come by among the field of 260 players over two courses, but Raymond demonstrated his skills with an opening 67 at Long Reef to lead by one from home member Patrick Wilson.  However, Raymond added 74 in round two and while Wilson went round in 81, Drewitt drew alongside Raymond with 68 to go with his opening 73.

When heavy rain forced the final two rounds to be abandoned it left the pair to fight it out for the title.
The result means that Raymond qualifies among the leading 32 as the number one seed for next week's New South Wales Amateur Championship at Elanora Golf Club. He will play the 32nd qualifier Matt Stieger, the 2011 Australian Amateur champion, in the opening round on Monday.

Of the other English players in the field, Ashley Chesters finished tied 23rd to qualify for the match play but Ben Loughrey missed out after ending joint 42nd.

Leading final scores:
141 B Drewitt (Aus) 73 68, N Raymond (Eng) 67 74
(Raymond won at first extra hole)
142 D Morgan (Aus) 70 72

Other English scores:
147 A Chesters 73 74
150 B Loughrey 78 72