Masterton golfer Kerry Mountcastle is making waves in his first year on the Australian PGA Tour, winning his first title and topping the Order of Merit.
In only his seventh start on tour, Mountcastle had to survive a nervy tiebreaker to qualify for Sunday’s playoffs for the Gippsland Super 6’s at the Warragul Country Club in Victoria. He then won all five matches to claim the championship.
The unique format sees the top 24 players after three rounds qualify for Sunday’s Super 6 strokeplay matches, a format familiar to Mountcastle, who won the 2021 Manawatu Super 6 tournament.
To make the final cut, Mountcastle endured a 10-man playoff for the final eight places after finishing in a tie for 17th at 6 under par. He started Sunday seeded 19th and won his first three matches comfortably before a 1-up victory in his semifinals.
In the final, Australian Jake McLeod took the lead with a birdie on the first hole, but Mountcastle fought back with birdies on the third and sixth holes to secure his first victory. He is also guaranteed automatic entry to the Australian PGA Championship in Brisbane, the Australian Open in Sydney, and the 2024 New Zealand Open.
“It’s huge, obviously, in my first season, and you want to win and to be able to do that on my seventh event is just crazy,” said Mountcastle, who reckons that the win sets him up nicely for the rest of the Australian season.
“Now I don’t have to worry about it.
“There’s no pressure of qualifying for another tournament or having to worry about earning points to keep the card for next year.
I’ve got the job security, I’ve got into all the events, and I’ve already proved that I can win, and I can put myself up there as well, and that builds confidence, and I’ve proven to myself I belong out there.”
Mountcastle said topping the Order of Merit was an added bonus and came as a welcome surprise after he and his fellow golfers looked at the table in the Warragul clubrooms after Sunday’s win.
Mountcastle’s victory follows a top-10 finish in the Papua New Guinea Open and a fourth equal at the Western Australian Open, where he was in contention going “down the stretch.”
He pocketed A$36000 for his win in the Gippsland Super 6.