Simon Pope was praying for a miracle after the rain

The event winner, professional golfer Simon Pope with the Cobar event organiser Narelle Kriz.

A double dose of practice rounds at Two Wells Golf Club in Adelaide paid off handsomely for Simon Pope who claimed the inaugural Cobar Legends Pro-Am on the sand scrapes of Cobar Bowling & Golf Club course on Sunday.

The heavens opened on the eve of the tournament and dumped 50mm of rain, the equivalent of more than 12 per cent of Cobar’s average annual rainfall.

That forced the closure of the course and the cancellation of Round 1, and the PGA Legends Tour players conducted chipping competitions in the backyards of their accommodation and partook in some of Cobar’s social offerings.

Players were able to get on course on Sunday with Pope’s 4-under 67 three strokes better than the rest of the field with Warren Legends winner Adam Henwood snaring second at 1-under 70.

For Pope, getting accustomed to sand greens before leaving Adelaide proved to be the difference on challenging surfaces.

“I had two practice rounds on sand scrapes last week at a course in Adelaide called Two Wells so I did a bit of preparation,” Pope said.

“It was hard trying to judge the speed of the scrapes.

“Some of them ran on, some of them stopped but I was surprised that I won by three.

“I was happy with that.”

Drawn to start from the 11th tee on the more difficult part of the golf course, Pope defied convention and burst out to an early lead.

He birdied the 368-metre par-4 12th and the 386-metre par-4 14th before making eagle at the par-5 17th.

As the rest of the field wrestled with par, Pope moved out to 5-under with a birdie at the short par-4 fifth, his only blemish coming on his final hole where he made bogey.

“I started on the tough part of the course and I thought to myself that if I could get through those holes in maybe 2-under, that’s going to be really, really good because the course gets a lot easier after the first and second hole, which was my 10th.

“I did look at the scoreboard and got a bit nervous so I didn’t really capitalise on the easier holes but a lot of the damage for me came on the harder holes where I made some birdies that were really helpful.

“I just thought that as long as I played good golf tee to green and keep it steady around the scrapes everything will be fine.

“My short game sometimes can be a little dicey so when you’re playing on scrapes you tend not to worry about being too fine with your chipping, you just belt it and get it around the hole.

“I putted well from about 10 feet.

“I holed five or six putts from eight to 10 feet which I think would have been the difference.”—Report by Tony Webeck, PGA Australia