DAVID Bagust made five birdies to earn a place in the final of Port Macquarie Golf Club’s Match Play Championship.
Bagust was always in control in his match against Terry Davis and his birdies at the fourth, fifth, ninth, 11th and 12th holes set up a comfortable five and four win.
When asked his thoughts on the match Davis said of his opponent, “he was too good.
“He was a birdie machine.”
In the final Bagust will come up against John Hutchison, who won a cliffhanger against Stefan Walker.
Both Walker and Hutchison started slowly and two of the first four holes were halved with bogeys and Walker won another with a par to be one up before the quality of the golf suddenly improved at the fifth hole, which Hutchison won with a birdie.
The next few holes were halved in pars before fate took a hand at the ninth hole.
Hutchison had hit a great drive and when he tried to put his second shot on the green he hit a lone stick of bamboo sticking up and the ball came back and ran in behind a clump of bamboo.
He had no shot but tried to get it through the bamboo, but could only hit it to a position from which he could not hit it. As Walker was on the green with a birdie putt, Hutchison conceded the hole for Walker to turn one up.
Hutchison birdied the 10th hole to get back to square and another birdie at the 12th saw him go to one up before Walker won the 13th with a par.
With the match all square fate again stepped in and this time it was Walker’s turn for a dose of bad luck. He hit his second shot into the left hand bunker at the 15th hole and his ball was plugged under the back lip. He had to stand with one foot in the bunker and one out and all that he could was chop down onto the ball. Not surprisingly he failed to get the ball out of the bunker.
In the meantime Hutchison was having troubles of his own on the other side of the green and he was surprised to find that he had won the hole with a bogey as he did not see Walker’s first bunker shot.
Neither player was striking the ball as well as he could, and both were making some great par saves.
Hutchison made a great save at the 16th hole to halve that hole and when he won the 18th hole he had the match two up. This was the only time that the margin was greater than one hole.
The final will be played on Sunday at 12.15pm. Both Bagust and Hutchison have won this championship twice.
Bagust won in 2001 and 2008 and Hutchison’s wins were in 2005 and 2010.
In A Reserve grade Stefan Tessede was too strong for Bob Higham, winning five and four while Sam Hutchison and John Heagney had a battle royal.
Heagney established an early lead and at one stage on the back nine was three up. However the youngster fought back and, playing the last hole, led by one hole only to see Heagney sink a birdie putt from off the green to send the match into extra holes.
Heagney made a par five at the first extra hole to Hutchison’s six to progress to the final.
In B grade Greg Clark and Andrew Goulding went even further taking two extra holes to get a result. Their match fluctuated throughout with first one going to the front and then the other.
Clark won at the 20th hole and will meet Matt Cutcliffe in the final.
Cutcliffe had a comfortable six and five win over Ken Miller. The highlight of this match was an eagle two to Cutcliffe at the 328 metre par four 10th hole.
The match play championship is sponsored by Peter Schroder, the club’s Patron.