Adam Henwood has run away with the NSW Senior Open at Thurgoona Country Club Resort, cruising to a three-shot win from a fast-finishing Scott Barr.
After starting the final day with a four-shot margin, the Victorian was never really in the chasing pack’s sights at any stage. The three-shot winning margin, in the end, was as close as it ever got after hovering between four and six for most of the final round.
Henwood’s 12-under final score also matched the equal tournament record held by Michael Long (2018) and the inaugural winner in 2017, Grant Kenny.
Queensland’s Scott Barr finished in outright second at nine under after an impressive 68 in the breezy conditions, while a fast-finishing Stephen Allen, Peter Lonard and Peter O’Malley tied for third at eight under.
Henwood, however, was always the man to beat. The Victorian was nerveless on the front nine, barely missing a fairway and rolling in birdies on the 4th, 7th and 8th (courtesy of an imperious approach to tap-in range) to build a fortress around his lead.
Perhaps sensing the moment, Henwood made his first error of the day on the dogleg par four 13th. A poor chip that failed to reach the putting surface, followed by an overly aggressive putt, ended in a double bogey.
The chasers, sadly, couldn’t capitalise on the leader’s mistake. When Henwood promptly birdied the par-five 14th, the order was restored.
The only other blemish on his card came at the last, and by then, it was all academic anyway, with the title in his grasp.
“I actually played really, really well today,” Henwood grinned. “I’ve been tinkering with a major grip change for a while, and it’s paid off.”
“I was trying not to think about leading, but coming down the last, I asked Tim (his Caddy), am I leading or not? He told me I was by three, but I thought it was five.
“Then I started to think, how do I manage this? Don’t hit that, don’t hit that,” he recalled.
Henwood said the Thurgoona Course would hold a special place in his heart after his breakout win. He admitted the success, probably his biggest, had been a long time coming, and to do it while staring down the challenge of two of his idols in the final group of the day was extra special.
“Yeah, I love the place,” an ecstatic Henwood added. “I didn’t know what to expect coming in, it’s probably my best win,”
“Those two (Lonard and O’Malley) are heroes of mine, and to beat them feels pretty cool.”