South Australian Nick Cullen has won the 2014 BetEasy Masters at Metropolitan Golf Club.
Starting the day two shots off the lead, Cullen fired an impressive 3-under 69 for a tournament total of 9-under 279.
Cullen won the title by just one shot from defending champion Adam Scott, New South Welshman James Nitties and Victorian Josh Younger.
“You always think about winning and you want to win. You envision it but to be sitting here is just unreal,” said Cullen in his winner’s media conference.
“I wanted to play better, to contend a little bit, be close, but to win the event with guys like Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy playing is unreal.”
Walking onto the 18th with a one shot lead, Cullen put his approach shot into the bunker, playing one of the best sand shots of his life he had a short par putt to seal the title.
“I hit a great bunker shot and got lucky; I didn’t have a very long putt on the last,” added Cullen.
“I am glad it wasn’t any longer, I was nervous enough over that.”
“I was trying to concentrate; I knew Adam was one shot back, so I didn’t really want to go into a playoff with him if it came to that.”
A relieved and emotional winner, Cullen has secured the biggest win of his career, collecting a pay cheque of AU$180,000 to go with his gold jacket.
“Before this week I didn’t have any status locked up on any Tour, so to have a win and make a little bit of money is fantastic,” said Cullen who now has status on the PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of 2014 and the following five years.
“It’s more of a relief than anything; it’s been a bit of a struggle this year to say the least so to have a win is just an amazing feeling.”
Thanks to the PGA Tour of Australasia being a part of the International Federation of PGA Tours, Cullen also receives an exemption into the World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational next August.
Adam Scott put up a solid title defence however a first round 1-over 73 proved too much to overcome in his quest for a third consecutive Australian Masters title.
“It’s hard to win a tournament, let alone three years in a row,” said Scott.
“Defending was a big thrill for me, but it is very difficult to show up and win every year, it doesn’t happen very much.”
“Unfortunately I think Thursday was a bit costly for me, I was playing better than that but it is what it is.”
Rounding out the top-5 on the leaderboard on 7-under 281 were Matthew Griffin (VIC), Aron Price (NSW), Adam Bland (SA) and Paul Spargo (SA).
The round of the day belonged to Rhein Gibson who shot a course record equalling round of 7-under 65 to finish tied 9th with Robert Allenby on 6-under 282.