Rising star Scott Arnold upstaged OneAsia winners Kurt Barnes and Michael Hendry to lift the Victorian Open on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
Australia’s Arnold, ranked the number one amateur in the world when he joined the pro ranks in 2009, closed with a 68 to win by a stroke from big-hitting countryman Barnes.
It was the highly rated Arnold’s first win as a professional and will have boosted his confidence ahead of the 2012 season on OneAsia.
Arnold, 26, started the round tied at the top with Kiwi Hendry, the 2010 Indonesia Open champion, but it was Barnes who piled on the pressure during a thrilling final round at Spring Valley Golf Club.
Barnes, who won the SK Telecom Open on OneAsia, last season stormed to a five-under-par 66 to finish runner up with Hendry in third a further four shots behind.
“I didn’t play fantastic golf but was still playing within myself and getting done what I needed to do,” said Arnold.
“Barnesey was really putting the heat on, especially on the back nine at 11 and 12 and 13, I got out of my little zone and had to get back in and I was happy that I pulled it off.”
Arnold finished a creditable 20th on the OneAsia Order of Merit in his rookie season in 2010, including a third place finish in the Maekyung Open, but slipped to 30th last season because of a dip in form.
The OneAsia season, which will boast at least 14 tournaments worth nearly US$16 million in prize money, starts with the US$1 million Indonesia Open, to be played from March 15 to 18.