Three-time runner-up finally wins Rocky Pro-Am
GOLF: A three-time runner-up at the event, Canberra's Matt Millar broke through for his maiden victory at the Ian Weigh Toyota Rockhampton Pro-Am on Sunday.
The 42-year-old almost crowned his victory with a birdie on the 18th hole but his lengthy putt ran out of gas as it got to the hole and veered right.
Millar tapped in to claim the title with a tournament total of 20 under par 268, one shot clear of Victorian Andrew Martin.
Tim Hart was third on 275, with former Yeppoon professional Adam Blyth one shot back on 276.
Defending champion Jacob Boyce finished fifth on 276.
Sixty-five professionals teed off in the pro-am chasing a share of the $75,000 prize purse, the biggest ever offered at the event.
Millar was thrilled to finally get his hands on the trophy.
"I've been coming to Rocky for quite a few years. Three times I've come second, as some people have reminded me, so it's fantastic to come out in front,” he said.
"I'm really delighted to get the win.
"It's up there certainly. I've been lucky enough to win on the Tour of Australasia twice but pro-am wise, this would be one of the biggest wins for me.”
Millar shot rounds of 66, 68 and 66 to hold a two-shot lead heading into the final day's play at the Rockhampton Golf Club on Sunday.
He got off to a solid start on the front nine, and he and playing partner Martin both made the turn at two-under par 34.
Millar extended his lead to three shots courtesy of a birdie on the 10th hole.
Martin got it back to two with a birdie on the 12th and the gap was reduced to one when Millar had a bogey, his only one of the day, on the par-four 13th.
The pair both made birdies on the 14th hole before Millar birdied the 17th to again lead by two with just one hole to play.
Martin birdied the 18th but it was not enough to catch Millar, who finished with a par, a round of 68 and the long-awaited victory.
Millar set himself a target of 20 under for the tournament, and said he played steady golf over the four rounds.
"I didn't do a lot wrong, I guess. You've got to be in play around here and I did that,” he said.
"To make 26 birdies for the week out of the 72 holes means you're in play; you're hitting shots close and you're making putts.
"Overall, the whole game was pretty solid but I felt I hit some good-quality iron shots at times.”
Millar said the Rockhampton course was as good as he had seen it, and it was great to see so many spectators supporting the event.
The next stop on the Ladbrokes PGA Pro-Am Series is the Emu Park Golf Club Pro-Am, which starts at 10.30am today.