Australian Open golf 2017: Cameron Davis comes from clouds to win Stonehaven Cup

Australian Open golf 2017: Cameron Davis comes from clouds to win Stonehaven Cup

On Sunday, even when Davis was blazing another near flawless 64 to win the Australian Open by a shot when six shots behind a former world No.1 going into the last day still not many people were watching.

Well, start with Davis' caddie, Andrew Tschudin, playing partner Matt Guyatt and a few friends and family if you want to double-check how a player who missed the NSW Open cut last week and bookmakers rated a pre-tournament $151 chance just won the most coveted trophy in Australian golf.


"I was just trying to get over that cut line," said 22-year-old Davis (-11), who won by a shot from 2015 champion Matt Jones and fellow US PGA Tour winner Jonas Blixt as the trio booked their British Open spots for 2018.  

"Before the week started that was the aim - I wanted to play the weekend in the Australian Open. It's the biggest tournament I've played in, I just want to get over the cut and play all four days and soak up the entire weekend.

"I didn't even see the leaderboard before I hit that [birdie] putt on the last hole.

"I made that, and I thought, 'I'll be up around the top'. But to come into the scorer's hut and see where I was at, I was kind of blown away. I had no idea I was going to be there."

Hot favourite and overnight leader Jason Day (-8) as well as playing partner Lucas Herbert (-7) dragged most of the crowds around with them and then dragged themselves down the leaderboard.

Then Davis came from nowhere.

Ranked No.1494 in the world, he holed an approach from more than 70 metres to eagle the 12th hole on Sunday, then pumped his fist after draining a mid-range birdie putt on the last.

Then he waited for five groups behind him to finish.

He whisked himself to the range to keep loose in the eventuality of a play-off, and then needed to be told twice he had actually won a trophy that has the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Adam Scott splashed all over it after Blixt and Jones missed a birdie and eagle putt respectively.

He mouthed: "Oh, really?" 

Yes, really. How does it feel?

"It's a little bit numb at the moment, I think," Davis said. "I just didn't expect to be in this situation.

"I was not prepared to be told that I'd won [on the practice range]. I was just doing my own thing, and then someone came over and told me that it was all over. I didn't really know what to say, it was just a bit of a shock really."

The second eldest of four brothers, Davis has been staying at his Sydney family home all week as courtesy cars have ferried the tournament's big guns to and from plush five-star hotels all week. 

"He was confident this morning he could do it," Davis' mum Linda said. "The two younger ones didn't want to come out today because they didn't think he would win.

"I was saying to everyone he will just come home [after the win] and his younger brothers will go, 'Let's have a game of table tennis'. They're all down to earth at home."

Which was needed when he suffered a career-threatening wrist injury a couple of years ago after his clubhead became stuck when playing a shot out some bushes.

The Australian Amateur champion needed surgery and vowed to go again.

So unthinkable was his Australian Open win you have to go back to 1998 to find a Stonehaven Cup champion, Greg Chalmers, who has shot two rounds over par and still won the national championship. Somehow, Davis repeated the dose almost two decades on.

His opening round 63 and final-day 64 bookended a couple of middling days, where he plunged down the leaderboard only to climb it when no one thought he would.

Asked if he had any top-10 tournament finishes since turning professional in October last year, he had to stretch into a far recess of his brain. He couldn't think of any. Yet he won't forget this one.

Even when he wakes up to think about it.


Adam Pengilly

Sydney Morning Herald



Back to Articles