BEN Lockwood overcame high scores and fast greens to defend his Mudgee Open title on the weekend.
The Tamworth golfer took out the 82nd event with a score of seven over (149) from Matthew Burns of the NSW Golf Club who finished with a score of 151 strokes.
It was Lockwood’s third Mudgee Open crown after he won as a 19-year-old in 1997 and again 14 years later.
His win continues a run of back-to-back titles for the Open after Mudgee’s Andrew Best took out the crown in 2009 and 2010.
Mudgee golf professional Peter Mayson said the downpour on Friday night had little impact on the course.
“It did not affect it at all,” Mayson said.
“A lot of players said the greens were very quick but others said they were looking their best in the history of the Open.
“Ben said the course was different, the greens were quicker and a lot smoother.”
Lockwood had to fight back in the second round to win the 2012 Open.
Karuah’s Mark Johnson was the leader at the end of the first round but he could not sustain it on Sunday.
Lockwood, Burns and Bathurst’s Paul Bright were in contention during the second round.
Bright was on track to go one better than 2011 but a disastrous hole on the 13th saw him fall away.
Lockwood, who won last year in a five-hole play-off against Bright, wasn’t going to win the title in those circumstances again.
He made sure he won the 82nd Open within the 36 holes.