When Sam Slater won last year’s South Australian Amateur, he announced he would turn professional ‘when I’m good enough’.
But now that he has raised his first Brisbane Golf Club Men’s Championship trophy – alongside Women’s second-time Champion Lesa Lambert – he is still somewhat undecided where his golfing future lies.
“Maybe next year, but I’m still not really sure,” said the 19-year-old who beat Wade Edwards 5&3 in Sunday’s 36-hole Match Play Championship finale.
But for Lesa, who beat 13- year-old Safina Kyprianou 2&1 in a gripping final, there are no thoughts whatsoever of a change in her golfing status. She came in to the final as the eighth qualifier and on her way to the Championship beat No.1 seed Aspen Sugars (3&1) in the quarter finals and No.4 seed Angela Fong (1up) in the semi-final.
“I am very happy to continue playing my club competitions one day a week,” said the 11-handicapper who caused the upset of the Championship in beating scratch marker Safina over 35 holes.
“Besides, at 55 I’m too old to give up my day job,” joked the book-keeper who won her first TBGC Championship in 2012.
For Sam, whose handicap is plus three, it was his fourth time in the Championship play-offs after winning three Junior titles in 2017, 2018 and 2019. And following two semi-final defeats and a loss to Conor Whitelock in the 2019 final, he was extremely happy with his win on Sunday.
“I don’t think I played particularly well today, but I did what I had to do,” he said.
“The fact that I was able to get in front from the second hole and never be headed, is a pretty good feeling.”
At one stage during the final – after 26 holes – Sam was 7-up and an early finish was on the cards. But Wade (handicap plus two) hit back to be four down with four to play before Sam put the match to bed at the 33rd hole.
Sam, who was born in NSW but moved north with his family five years ago, was seeded No.3 for Match Play and had two big wins on the way to the final, beating both Zack Halpin and Sam Howse 7&5.
For Lesa and Sam these Championships are particularly special. They are the respective Men’s and Women’s Champions in the 125th year of The Brisbane Golf Club.
Other Club Championships results were: Men – Plate, Jordan Hampson; B Grade, Connor O’Dea; C Grade, Rob Hollingworth; Junior Champion, Campbell Kerr; Senior Champion, Warwick Oxenford; Veterans Matchplay, David Prince; Byneset Trophy, Danial Callaghan.
Women – B Grade, Jenny Somers; C Grade, Sue Gargett; Junior Champion – Kiara Smith. – TONY DURKIN