Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

{Harvo Handles Pressure} {at Last - Harvison Has His Day}

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

{Harvo Handles Pressure} {at Last - Harvison Has His Day}

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Carroll sport@dailyexaminer.com.au

GREG Harvison's name appears at least 10 times in the runner-up column on the club championship honour board at the Grafton District Golf Club.

As of Saturday, his name will also appear as a winner of the championship after more than 20 years of trying.

Harvison overcame nerves and a stern challenge from defending champion Grant Rickwood to clinch the 2009 championship by a single stroke with a four-round total of 291.

The 48-year-old, who moved to Grafton in 1982, entered the fourth and final round with a slender two-shot lead over Rickwood.

Rickwood played early on Saturday, carding a one-over par 72.

"They told me Rickwood's score before I teed off. I knew I needed 73 or better to win," Harvison said.

Despite boasting decades of golfing experience - including winning consecutive club championships as a 14- and 15-year-old at Narrandera on the NSW South Coast - Harvison admitted to feeling the pressure on Saturday.

"Absolutely, I was nervous all the way around," the four-marker said.

"The nerves are worse than ever now.

"Your swing seems to change when you feel the pressure. It's a matter of keeping your swing consistent and doing what has been working for you."

Harvison's start belied the fact he was feeling tense.

He birdied three of the first five holes. However, he made consecutive bogeys on the always difficult seventh hole and another on the eighth, before making par on the ninth to go out in one-under par 35.

Only nine holes stood between Harvison and his first Grafton club championship, and on the back nine, the nerves began to show. He failed to make a birdie on the incoming nine.

He had bogeys at 13 and 14, but steadied the round with three pars.

Coming to the par five 18th, Harvison knew a six would clinch the title. …

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