Magenta Shores CC, March 29-31, 2024

Sensational Scaysbrook Shoots Low & Secures NSW Open Spot

Ella Scaysbrook played one of the great rounds ever witnessed at Bathurst Golf Club today to secure her passage to the Women’s NSW Open – and a legitimate right to dream even bigger.

Novocastrian Scaysbrook, who turned 18 just last month, edged out Thai sensation Tunrada Piddon on the second playoff hole after the pair staged an epic shootout by carding twin rounds of seven-under-par 65 to street the Regional Qualifier field.

Sadly, neither will count as a course record at the venerable venue because of the “preferred lies” rule in effect.

But those who witnessed the pair combine for four eagles – including a hole-in-one – and 12 birdies in just 20 holes will never forget the magic.

The pair’s 11-under total in 36 holes relegated Lydia Hall, of Wales, to a distant third at five under, while Sydney’s Celina Yuan tied for fifth at three under, but also reached her state Open championship as the next best player not previously qualified.

But the day belonged to Scaysbrook, the softly-spoken teen who ticked off a major career goal by winning a professional tournament while still an amateur.

“Yeah, that was pretty cool,” said Scaysbrook, who remarkably set her round alight with back-to-back eagles on the par-5 ninth and tenth holes.

“I’ve never done that before … but then again, I haven’t done much like any of that.”

The round matched the recently selected NSW state team debutant’s lowest round but was even more important than her seven-under en route to victory at the NSW Junior Championship at Ocean Shores last year.

Scaysbrook, off the back of a bogey-free opening 68, began steadily and looked good with a birdie on the second as her playing partners ebbed and flowed in their challenge.

Scaysbrook admitted that, just after establishing her lead on the fourth, Piddon’s ace on the 140m fifth hole dealt her hopes a blow.

“But I just kept playing my own game and then, yeah, it was pretty good there for a while,” she said in massive understatement.

In four holes from 9-12, the sweet-swinging right-hander went six under to blow open the tournament.

Again remarkably, it took another 90m hole-out from Piddon for eagle on the par-4 11th hole to halt her escape bid.

And then when Scaysbook finally stumbled with an unlucky bogey on the 15th hole, it coincided with a stunning streak from the newly minted Thai pro.

Piddon birdied 15, 16, and 17 to pull level again and then watched as Scaysbrook’s birdie attempt on the final hole finished half a roll short.

They each birdied the first playoff hole – Scaysbrook from just 50cm – before the Thai finally succumbed to yet another birdie from The Australian Golf Club’s pennants star on the second extra hole.

“I played really good … she just beat me,” Piddon said of her rival.

“Sometimes you can’t do anything about it.”

Scaysbrook has no immediate plans to turn professional, preferring to hone her craft on the amateur circuit for at least another year.

But it would be no surprise to see her name far more regularly at this level and beyond in years to come.

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