2023 02 news proam wrap upTwo of Australian golf’s most respected combatants slugged out a thrilling tie at the Barwon Cleaning Supplies Portarlington Legends Pro-Am on Tuesday.

But Terry Price and Andre Stolz arrived on the podium in very different ways.

Price joked that he thought it was a “gee-up” when he strode to the ninth tee and met his equally follicly challenged playing partners representing Cadel Food Services.

But the “cueball quartet”, as one wag called them, quickly fell into stride and Price was soon three under.

At the exact same time, fellow Queenslander Stolz feared his group, representing Harvey’s Produce, would think he was “complete dud” after he started on the 12th hole with a double-bogey, slumped to three over after the 15th and was still without a birdie until the first.

Price made a bogey on the 15th and then closed with 11 consecutive pars to finish at two under and edge out five players at one under on a windswept day on the perfectly manicured layout.

But Stolz, who had barely made a putt at Curlewis on Sunday, in a Skins game at Portarlington on Monday evening or again through his opening 14 holes, would not lie down.

He burned the cup from close range on holes five, six and seven before finally getting one to drop on the eighth to give him a faint hope.

“I felt like I’d been hitting the ball so well but just couldn’t buy a putt, then they all started coming at once,” Stolz said after completing his round with four consecutive birdies to charge through the pack and join Price at two under.

“I sort of want to keep playing right now, that was an amazing run to finish up.”

Price, in his second visit to Portarlington, has been one of the course’s great advocates given its presentation and playability, so it was no surprise that the love affair was mutual.

“I really enjoy coming here – the course is one of the very best we play all year and you know you get rewarded for good shots,” he said.

“I didn’t know if I’d be able to hang on, but it’s good to share this prize with Stolzy, who’s such a tough competitor.”

Defending champion Mike Harwood couldn’t repeat his 2022 magic, finishing at +2, still good enough for a share of 21st after a tight tussle all day.

Of the other marquee names, Peter Fowler had only one blemish – a double-bogey on the 16th – to back up his runner-up finish at Portarlington last year with a T8 finish at even par, one behind crowd favourite Glenn Joyner, who led early but endured a late bogey to be in the bunch at T3.

Mike Clayton thrilled many in a rare appearance on tour, rattling home to share 14th at one over par.

Another big prize for the day was also shared with the Avalon Airport Trophy for the best total 36-hole score from Curlewis and Portarlington on the Bellarine swing of the Legends Tour rewarded.

Ever-popular Lucien Tinkler carded a 72 at Port to add to his 70 at Curlewis to share top prize with Euan Walters who backed up his winning 69 on Sunday with a 73 at Port as both men finished a combined one under at 142.

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