Gadd stuns Open field with record run

Jeff Gadd produced a performance for the ages when he fired an incredible nine-under-par 63 to claim the Penrith Open on Saturday.

In his march to victory, Gadd equalled the five decades old course record set by former club professional Graeme Abbott. Gadd carded 11 birdies as he won by eight shots from his son, Josh, who played in the same group and became a cheerleader as his dad tore the course apart.

Starting from the 10th hole, Gadd senior went immediately into action, birdieing his opening hole and parring the difficult 11th before two more birdies at the 12th and 13th completed a dream start.

After pars on the 14th and 15th holes, Gadd went into overdrive with birdies on 16, 17 and 18 to make the turn in six-under-par 30 and then birdied the 1st, 3rd and 4th holes to be nine under through 12 holes. A bogey at the 5th was followed by birdies at the 6th and 7th as Gadd charged to 10 under par.

A closing bogey on the long par-four 9th, Penrith’s hardest hole, did nothing to diminish an incredible round of golf.

Josh Gadd made four birdies in his one-under-par 71, which in any other circumstance would have been a round to celebrate on the challenging Penrith layout under championship conditions.

Jeff and Josh now have the distinction of both having won the Penrith Golf Club championship and Penrith Open.

To add further context to Gadd’s record round, and the specialness of it, is the fact that many of Australia’s best professional and amateur golfers over half a century had failed to match Abbott’s mark. The club has hosted the Australian Senior PGA Championship, NSW Open and NSW PGA, so the list of challengers is a long one indeed. Many of the club’s long-serving members would approve of Abbott’s mark being equalled rather than broken, given the wonderful legacy of service Abbott left with the club.

As a NSW Vardon event, the Penrith Open attracted a quality field of more than 220 players and visiting players certainly made their presence felt. In equal third with par round 72s were Jonah Metuangaro (Twin Creeks) and Brock Egan (Lithgow), and on 73 there was the quintet of Shane Fitzpatrick (Massey Park), Cameron Glenday (The Lakes), John Fearnley (Dunheved), Michael Williams (Randwick) and David Limbach (Springwood).

The handicap division was taken out by Penrith’s Adrian Corbett with a nett 66. Like a good stayer, Corbett came with a late burst to rein in the field and claim the victory spoils. Completing the podium positions were Mark Hatton and Bob Higgins, also Penrith members, on nett 67.