Sport

Hometown hero blitzes rivals to tee up memorable win

Maryborough's Sam Eaves tees off at the 6th.
Maryborough's Sam Eaves tees off at the 6th. Alistair Brightman

ALL Sam Eaves ever wanted was this.

That feeling of elation and joy that sweeps over you after winning a major title on your home course in front of family and friends.

The Maryborough golfer hugged his grandfather, Ernie, then his parents Sue and Alan, as he basked in the applause and cheers that erupted all around him.

It followed the moment the 25-year-old scored the triumph of his career, finishing with back-to-back birdies to complete his drought-breaking Carriers Arms Hotel/Motel Maryborough Pro Am triumph at Maryborough Golf Club on Saturday.

Eaves has often said that the pressure of playing on his home course was never a factor.

He knows the course better than most, dating back to when he started playing there 21 years ago, but after four failed attempts at the title, the frustration was mounting.

At the presentation, he declared the victory "the biggest relief," adding he would forever remember the moment.

The emotion showed Eaves - the cool, calm and composed golfer - as many had never seen him before.

"The pressure that you feel is only the pressure you put on yourself and everyone who is a member of this golf club wants me to win," he said.

"To finally win is the biggest relief not just for myself but for everyone here.

"This place holds a special place in my heart, so to finally win the Maryborough Pro Am is awesome.

"It was so special to have done it in front of my family."

Fifty-two professionals teed off in the 29th staging of the $19,000 pro-am event.

In 2012, Eaves posted one of the most heartbreaking runner-up finishes of his career, losing by one shot after his putter let him down.

But this time he was ready to strike.

Trailing leaders Peter Martin, Craig Hancock and Tim Hart by one shot heading into the final round, Eaves turned in one of the best rounds at Maryborough Golf Club, stunning his rivals with an amazing eight-under 62 - a personal best score at the course.

He completely destroyed his competition, carding six birdies and two eagles to claim a seven-shot victory over Martin, Chris Wood and Mitchell Brown.

The word had certainly made its way through town, as a small gallery followed every shot Eaves hit during the closing nine holes.

"With hard and fast conditions and the greens in perfect conditions, the guys were predicting 11, 12 maybe 13 under to win it so I knew I had to step up my game and focus," Eaves said.

"I certainly had to work hard for it.

"Nothing really went my way off the tee. I knew I was hitting my irons well. Putting is always a bit nervous and even though I started off a bit shaky I started to get on a roll halfway through my round."

Eaves is a golfer who is driven, dynamic and always smiling away from the course. He is passionate about his sport and takes his work seriously.

Five-and-a-half years ago, Eaves made his professional debut and has managed some big wins on the competitive circuit.

But it comes as no surprise he rates Saturday's round as the most accomplished of his life.

With the monkey off his back, Eaves is confident he can move forward and take his game to another level.

"Having a win is the best thing that can happen to your confidence, it just shoots it through the roof," he said.

RESULTS

1 Sam Eaves 127 (-13)

2= Peter Martin 134 (-6)

2= Christopher Wood 134 (-6)

2= Mitchell A. Brown 134 (-6)

5= Kalem Richardson 136 (-4)

5= Troy Cox 136 (-4)

7 Matthew Giles 138 (-2)

8= Chris Gaunt 139 (-1)

8= Craig Hancock 139 (-1)

8= Brett Rankin 139 (-1)

8= Timothy Carss 139 (-1)



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