The 2023 Australian Golf Tournament is finally done and dusted just in time with rainy weather at the Royal Australian Golf Club in Sydney. First of all, we entered Championship day with our Aussie own Min Woo Lee and Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino as the joint leaders as they both battle it out upfront once again this time for the Stonehaven Cup. Now Hoshino has bounced back through the end to score a playoff shootout but not with Min Woo though as the 25-year-old from Perth did not have a great weekend out, even though he finished two strokes shy of third with a final score today at two over 72.
The same can be said with fellow Aussies Adam Scott & Lucas Herbert who sniffed around top spot earlier in the day for a while & they weren’t also bad too in the Top 10 alongside Min Woo, but both of them couldn’t keep up the consistency particularly at the back nine in Tied 4th & outright 7th respectively. Instead, Hoshino was met by a new challenger in none other than Joaquin Niemann Chile after he was simply outstanding today at five under 66.
So both Niemann & Hoshino were tied at -14 ahead of the two-hole Playoff shootout with Niemann keeping it straight, while Hoshino couldn’t get the ball land through the middle of the fairway as it ended up going wide either near the trees or the bunker. Yes, Hoshino is excellent at getting out of trouble, especially when he was lucky the first time around after Niemann missed that eagle put. However, Hoshino’s luck eventually ran out at the 2nd attempt when Niemann’s perfect eagle performance on Par 5 18 has all but confirmed the Chilean with the Stonehaven Cup trophy by just one stroke.
Great day by Niemann who had to wait for like two hours with some driving & putting practice before he had to play again at the 18th hole twice with Hoshino for the Playoff shootout. But his final day performance has been extraordinary with some sensational drives & shots along the way that saw him move his way up front as he deserves to win the 2023 Australian Open Golf tournament – well done!!
And on Hoshino, it’s hard to see him fall short once again like he was last weekend to Min Woo Lee at the Australian PGA Championship as no one likes to miss out the top prize in 2nd place. He has been an top player to watch though where Hoshino knows how to get into the game late during the final weekend rounds over the last two weeks & if he can keep the consistency all along from start to finish, then he’ll sure win sooner rather than later.
It was a fantastic two week show of major Australian Golf Tournaments this year as they’ve been brilliant hosts to all players both here & overseas across Brisbane for the Australian PGA Championship & Sydney over the last four days with the Australian Open. They will be back back bigger & better for the next one in 2024.