Four isn’t an ugly number in golf, except on the green. For Dimi Papadatos, the four putts he took at the 14th hole at The Lakes on Sunday could have derailed not one but two major golfing dreams.
It crushed what little chance he had of chasing down runaway winner Abraham Ancer. But little did Papadatos know, his response would lead him to Royal Portrush and The Open Championship in July. Papadatos added two birdies to his card in the final four holes to card 67, which was good enough to finish Australian Open runner-up, five shots behind Ancer.
“I had been playing good. I had so many opportunities before 14 – nearly every hole,” Papadatos said. “I was annoyed and I realised – not that I had much of a chance – but that was my chance [of winning] gone there. I bounced back pretty good with a birdie straight away, and I finished pretty good. I walked off 15 and I saw Jake Mcleod had posted a pretty low score, and I knew birdies were going to help.”
It was a remarkable round from Papadatos, who had 27 putts overall, including the four on 14th. He didn’t realise what was on the line but picked up shots at the 15th, with a laser-like iron from 180m on the par 3, and 17th, with another great wedge, to book his ticket to Northern Ireland next July. He will be joined on the plane by McLeod, whose final-round 66 earned him a start in The Open.