A superb six-under-par third round catapulted Frazer Droop to the top of the leaderboard by four strokes going into the final round of the Rich River Trainee Classic last Thursday.
A solid par round of 72 on Friday for an overall 11-under-par total of 277 got the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort trainee home by one stroke.
The recently turned 22-year-old beat just over 100 trainees throughout Australia in the event, with Newcastle’s and reigning champion Brayden Peterson and Travis Tatt from Ballarat tied for second on 10-under.
It was Droop’s second win at Rich River as a trainee, having won the national event in 2017.
It was also his fifth national four-round victory in 10 outings in the just over two years he has been a trainee professional golfer.
The third and final year trainee was naturally pleased with his latest victory, on Rich River Golf Resort’s East Course. “It’s always nice to go back to a course you’ve won at before and to do it close to home,” he told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
Redesigned by Peter Thomson in 1998, Rich River’s East Course is links style with water coming into play on several holes. The back nine is particularly challenging with the last five holes having strategic water hazards and tough bunkers.
Droop’s first round of three-under-par 69 had him three shots from the leader. “I hit it solid – nothing special,” he said.
Day one leader was 22-year-old first-year YMGCR trainee Dale Crothers who shot a brilliant six-under 66 with four birdies and an eagle. Also making his presence felt was third-year YMGCR trainee Jamie Stapleton, 26, who was one-under-par.
“I hit it solid second round and the minus six (third round) had no bogeys – a couple more putts went in,” the eventual winner said.
“The final round, just hit to the middle of the green all day. It was pretty tough.”
Stapleton finished overall plus two for a tied eighth position. Crothers finished tied 11th after his plus three total.
It was the first time the three trainees from Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort have played together in a four-round tournament. And the club was the most represented club in the Rich River Trainee Classic, with our three trainees.
“It was great to have all three figure prominently,” their proud coach and YMGCR Pro Shop chief, Evan Droop, said.
Frazer Droop is in glorious form and is on track, at this early stage of the year, to make it a hat-trick as trainee professional of the year.