Ryan Evans ensured the England flag was flying high Down Under despite the cricket catastrophe by winning the Lake Macquarie International at Belmont in New South Wales.
A closing round of 68 for a 72-hole aggregate of 281, seven under par, gave the England international from Wellingborough a two-shot winning margin from New Zealand’s Luke Toomey and Jarryd Felton from Australia.
Evans, 26, (pictured) was near the top of the leaderboard all week and although his closing 68 was not the best round of the day it was enough to see him to his second overseas title following his success last year in the Biarritz Cup.
Going into the final day, Jordan Zunic led on 210 by three strokes from five players including Evans, Toomey and Felton. But while Zunic well back with 74, the others battled it out for the title. Evans found two birdies on the front nine and added to that by picking up further shots at the tenth, 15th and 17th for his 68.
Although Toomey recorded four front nine birdies, he also dropped three shots and despite coming home in 33 for 70 it wasn’t enough to catch Evans.
Felton was also home in 70 which included a front nine of 34 containing four birdies. But again he came up short.
Harry Casey from Middlesex made the cut but finished down the field on 298.
So Evans, who led the qualifiers from the previous week’s Australian Amateur but went out in the first round of match play in searing heat, is the first English player to win the Lake Macquarie since Adam Gee in 2006.
Leading final scores:
281 R Evans (Eng) 70 69 74 68
283 L Toomey (NZ) 73 69 71 70, J Felton (Aus) 68 70 75 70
284 J Zunic (Aus) 65 75 70 74
Other English score: 298 H Casey 73 73 78 74