Young Aussie golf champion to return to Australia

Jake Stirling chats to Aussie Golfer about his victory in his final American collegiate golf tournament.

Jake Stirling could be a name to remember in Australian golf. The 22-year-old from Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne won his final American collegiate golf tournament last Friday. Aussie Golfer managed to get in touch  with Stirling before he flies back to Australia to talk about the victory and his future plans.

Representing Meridian Community College in Mississippi, Stirling won the individual title at the 2012 NJCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship in Kansas. In his final collegiate event, Stirling managed to take the lead with two holes to play of the four round tournament, and held on with a couple of clutch pars over the final two holes to claim victory in some extremely tough conditions.

“The win was sweet of course due to the fact that it was my last collegiate tournament, and also it was the national championship. I played really well and I tried to keep the ball as close to the ground as possible. It blew 30~40 mph winds on a fescue riddened layout,” Stirling said. “There were only 2 scores under par for the final round and that was John Paul Blampied, who was my playing partner, and I.”

The national championship is primarily a team event but Stirling’s achievement wasn’t enough to get his team over the line, Meridian eventually finished fourth.

“The team is the priority and it was sad to see the wind get the better of our team. In Mississippi we do not get these kind of winds thus our preparation was not as good as Indian Hills who have played this course many times before. Indian Hills played some great golf and they are a great bunch of guys so it was good to see them win,” Stirling told Aussie Golfer.

“My plans are to go home and take a break for a while, work with my father, go on holiday, and come August I will start training and playing national and local events until I feel comfortable of attempting q-school either in Asia or Europe. This will happen most likely at the end of next year.”

Stirling became the second Australian to win the event after Brad Smith of Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide won the event in 2006.

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