Brookwater golfer toast of Qld after winning Men's Amateur
LOUIS Dobbelaar will not quickly forget his 17th birthday, after the Brookwater golfer celebrated his first Queensland Men's Amateur Championship win at Gailes Golf Club on August 31.
With a string of friends and family in-tow, Dobbelaar qualified sixth after strokeplay and twice won on extra holes in matchplay on the way to a 6&4 win over Victorian Blake Collyer in the final.
Dobbelaar added his name to the Men's trophy three years removed from his Queensland Junior Amateur title, completing a rare double.
The well-spoken Dobbelaar said the "unexpected" win was "a very cool present" after a tough year on the golf course.
"Honestly it could have gone either way really quickly," Dobbelaar said, referencing how close each of his matchplay results were.
"There were a lot of upsets with some good interstate players getting knocked out early. I think there was four QAS players in the top eight.
"That was the toughest part for me, I had to play a couple of my good mates (on the way to the final)."
Juggling Year 12 studies with a limited golf calendar this year, Dobbelaar said it felt like he was "treading water" at times in 2018.
Winning the Men's Amateur helped reassure him he was still on the right path.
"This year has been especially tough, I've selected to play a lot less events while I'm in Year 12," Dobbelaar said, currently in the midst of exams.
"I've had to be picky with what I've played this year, and it's made me realise a few things about myself.
"The priority this year was to get school done. To get this result was reassuring - it's definitely the highlight of my career so far."
Despite a comparatively limited amount of time on the course this year, Dobbelaar still showed the mental steel he is known for on the way to winning his latest title.
"I was down the whole day in terms of the score, but it never felt that way - I always felt like I was in control," he said.
"Getting nervous was part of it, but it was nice to see myself in that position again (to win a tournament) because I hadn't been there in a long time.
"I could comfort myself with that, and play some good golf. It paid off, which I'm really happy about."
Aside from the significant piece of silverware to add to his collection, Dobbelaar's win also automatically qualified him for the Queensland Open at Brisbane Golf Course on November 1-4.
Before then, Dobbelaar travels to Moonah Links Golf Course for the Victorian Boys Championships beginning September 24.
Sandwiched between the two marquee events is a quick trip to the US, where Dobbelaar will spend a week with Australian professional Cam Smith.