"Three-peat" at the Australian Open - Tom Rickit
Tom Rickit was in familiar company as he faced into his final round at the 2018 Australian Open. "I have played with Jack Kalis and Lionel Fisher in many “final groups” so know them well", says Tom. "I appreciate their abilities and behaviour and I’m thankful." He holds Fisher particularly in high esteem. "I recently wrote the website for APPA and have included Lionel as a life member for APPA that is how much I regard his efforts for the game in Australia."
By his own admission, Tom didn't have his best day on Saturday but he was still right in the mix overnight to retain his title. "Jack had a shot lead after Saturday’s two rounds and Lionel was a stroke back from myself."
Tom's fast start on Sunday meant he leapt well ahead of his playing partners. "After shooting 20 in the first nine of the final round I knew both Jack and Lionel were out of contention."
A familiar friendly foe made his presence felt on Australian Open Sunday. "James Rogerson, a few groups in front, was making noise all over the course so I knew he was playing well – screaming when he got hole in one on the 8th hole! I knew I had a six shot lead over him so did not consider him a threat. I maintained my composure and kept the Pitch and Putt mantra going - ‘hit the green and putt it in’. James was playing his mind games, as usual, raving on about his 11 under so I was aware of his efforts but I knew I was streets ahead. After his final round he also was taking phone videos of groups still on the course to again apply mind pressure!"
Pitching the 54th hole, Tom held an unassailable lead and a missed tiddler on the last green was but a minor annoyance. "The small putt on 18th for birdie would have given me an 11 under, same as James, but alas, I missed and settled for 10 under and the 2018 Australian Open title for a 'three-peat.'" is how Tom succinctly sums up his amazing achievement.
An Irish contestant at the Open (who finished fifth on 157) is singled out by Tom for a lovely tribute from the multiple Australian Open champion. "Must mention a fellow player here - David O’Leary. Not sure where he is from in Ireland but he is an absolute credit to his family, his girlfriend, his country and to soccer and Pitch and Putt. Nice lad."
The venue for the 2019 Open has yet to be finally decided but Tom will approach either choice with his customary equanimity. "I love playing at Wagga Wagga (Wiradjuri), not that my scores indicate this, but I prefer Waverley."
Few would back against Tom Rickit making it four-in-a-row.