Tiger Thomas in line for top title
“COMEBACK Queen” Nikita Thomas is on track to repeat her victory of five years ago at the 2010 Bundaberg Motor Group Bargara Golf Club Ladies Classic.
The ultra-popular Bargara club member and former Queensland junior star who took out the prestigious event in 2005 and has returned to the game this year after having a baby and time off for university, moved to the top of the leader-board after yesterday’s second round.
She backed up her 79 in the rain on Monday with a 78 yesterday, for a two-round total of 157.
Thomas is one shot clear of the ultra-competitive Rosalyn Gardiner, of Bribie Island, who had twin rounds of 79.
Two-times defending champion and five times Bargara Classic winner Jo-Anne Atkin, of the Pacific Club of Brisbane, improved on her disappointing first round of 83 to claw her way into third position with a 79 yesterday, to go into today’s final round on 162.
Tournament director Val Bazley said she “still has a big ask in front of her” to join the mix.
Thomas went into the tournament in a purple patch of form after winning both the Bundaberg and Maryborough Ladies Open Days last month, and she is always hard to run down when she gets to the front, but Bazley said the result was “too close and too hard to call”.
“Both girls are playing great golf. Nikita, on her home course and one ahead, will have plenty of local support and she has always been very cool under pressure, but Rosalyn has also been very consistent and it will probably go down to the last hole,” Bazley said.
Rhondelle Ollett, of Redcliffe who started the day on top after a first-up 78, was unable to repeat the effort and she dropped off the pace with an 86, and while she will be hoping to bounce back, she may need a miracle if she is to challenge for the crown after also fading in the third round last year.
After heavy rain fell on Monday, players enjoyed much better conditions yesterday even though the course was still very wet under foot.
“There was only one shower for the day, and the girls said the course was nice, and hopefully we can get good weather for the last round which will help ensure that the best player wins,” Bazley said.
Meanwhile, Bargara players are set to fight it out for both Divisions 2 and 3 honours.
Bargara Ladies captain Dawn Clements is the Division 2 pilot on 196 after rounds of 99 and 97, with her closest pursuers being clubmates Jessica Williams on 198, and Janet McLaughlan and Wendy McNamara on 200.
Three Bargara players occupy the top three spots in Division 3 – Saxby 204, Christine Bloem 205 and 13-year-old Grace Uppman on 206 after carding a brilliant first-round 99, but finding it tougher with 107 yesterday.