keh and smyth 2015 1000

Twenty-year-old Illawarra golfer, Travis Smyth, has taken out the prestigious Riversdale Cup, Australia’s premier amateur golf tournament, in a dramatic play-off at the suburban Melbourne course.

The win, he said, was “the best of my career.”

After 16 holes in the final round, Smyth, from the Kiama Golf Club on the NSW south coast, was on seven-under and trailed Commonwealth’s Lucas Herbert, two holes ahead, by two strokes.

Disaster struck for Herbert, also 20, on the last hole when he miscued a bunker shot, settling for a bogey and a four round total of 280.

For Smyth, the 18th became a make-or-break moment. A birdie would daw him level with Herbert, who had led for most of the final round.

He was equal to the task, bombing his drive through the par-four green to just off the back edge. His chip was pitch perfect.

In the play-off Smyth, who plays pennant in Sydney for The St Michael’s Golf Club, drove to a greenside bunker while Herbert landed short of another bunker in the rough.

Once again Herbert had to settle for a five while Smyth’s bunker shot put him in position for yet another birdie.

After the play-off Smyth said that he had remained “reasonably confident” on the back nine, as he “had played it well on all four days.”

“I wasn’t thinking ahead just trying to stay calm and concentrating on one shot at a time.”

The women’s Riversdale Cup, played in conjunction with the men’s, was won by New Zealand’s best amateur golfer, Munchin Keh.

Keh, who has taken the mantle of New Zealand’s best amateur from world champion Lydia Koh, now a professional, finished the tournament at four-over total of 296.

Keh was a six shot winner over her younger sister, Wenyung, Mt Lawley’s Hannah Green and the current U.S junior girls’ champion, Princess Mary Superal, from The Philippines.