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Jake McLeod another first time winner on Australasian Tour

McLeod wins Tier One Australian title (Photo: Golf NSW)
24 year old Queensland professional, Jake McLeod, has today won his first event as a professional with a two-shot victory over Victorian rookie Cameron John at the A.V Jennings NSW Open at Twin Creeks in Sydney’s west.

McLeod has been twice runner-up in his two years as a professional, one of those coming at the Victorian Open and the other in an Asian Tour event but this event not only carries a first prize of $A72,000 but two years exemption on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

McLeod will take a huge leap in the world ranking to just inside the top 200 from his current 437th and - all of a sudden - he has arrived as one of Australia’s emerging talents to go with the likes of Lucas Herbert, Cameron Davis and others and his career takes on a whole new dimension.

The former Central Queensland but now Brisbane based golfer began the final round with a four- shot lead courtesy of his brilliant course record round of 62 yesterday but putting two such rounds together is always a tough task and by the turn John was just one back.

Even an eagle at the par 5 11th did not free Mcleod of his challenger and when John birdied four of six holes in the middle of his back nine things were still very tight as McLeod walked to the 17th hole just one ahead.

John though would bogey the 17th and 18th and the title was McLeod’s.

“It was tough out there today. I started pretty average, but sort of hung in there on those par-5s on the front-9 and that eagle on the 11th hole was huge,” said McLeod.

“I had a perfect yardage for my 3-wood and hit a great shot to about 12 feet and holed the putt down the hill. I was pretty stoked, but I think the putt on 13 to save par was just as good.”

“I'm pretty stoked. I've got no words at the moment but it feels pretty good. Hopefully, I can win a few more,” added McLeod.

“I just think when I'm in contention more often I'll be able to come back to this situation knowing I've done it before and will hopefully be able to do it again. Hopefully, that will be in an Aussie Open or PGA in the next few weeks.

“It is exhausting. I'm looking forward to the Aussie Open next week, then a week off before the PGA. I played pretty well at both last year and I'm looking to do the same thing.”

John has also played well in 2018 his rookie year as a professional. In recent weeks he has recorded top tens in three of his last four PGA Tour of Australasia starts and despite missing an opportunity today with his costly finish he will be buoyed that he was able to go so close to a breakthrough.

NSW amateur Blake Windred tied for 3rd with Victorian Josh Younger and Gold Coast based NSW golfer Dylan Perry. For Perry it was an impressive start to his professional career.

Last week Perry played his way into the Final Stage of Qualifying for the 2019 Japan Tour and turned professional in time for his own State Open.

The PGA Tour of Australasia now moves to the Lakes Golf Club in Sydney's east for this week's Australian Open. 

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