AUSSIE golfing veterans Peter Lonard and Peter O’Malley are among the strong field taking on the Riverside Oaks Golf Resort in north western Sydney for the NSW PGA Championship this week.
Lonard and O’Malley joined a list including some very talented golfers who didn’t make the cut at the Australian Open last weekend at a very tough Australian Golf Course and will no doubt be looking to make amends when the PGA Tour of Australasia rolls into Cataii on Thursday.
In fact, many of the names featuring at the Open last week will be backing up this week and looking to hone their games ahead of the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast next week.
One of those is up and coming 22 year old Victorian Greg Drakeford, who will tee off with Lonard and O’Malley Thursday in the 11.45am threesome.
Drakeford was playing his first professional event last week at the Australian Open when his second round 1-under 70 saw him go into the weekend at 3-under, equal with eventual winner Jordan Spieth, one in front of Adam Scott and just one behind Rory McIlroy.
“When your name is up next to them you’re pretty happy with yourself,” Drakeford said at the time.
Unfortunately he blew out in the third round but came home with another very competitive 70 in the final round to finish the tournament at 1-under tied for 35th.
Another golfer impressing recently is fellow Victorian Josh Younger, who finished 10th on the weekend in Sydney and runner-up the previous week at the Australian Masters in Melbourne.
“It’s been good the past couple of weeks, a little bit of a surprise but looking to build on it now,” the 30 year old Younger said ahead of the NSW championship.
“Everything has been pretty good, I played really well at the Masters and just got better each day, then last week it was a bit the same.”
Riding a wave of confidence, Younger has changed his approach to tournaments and it seems to be paying dividends.
“I am taking it for what it is but I am definitely feeling more confident going into the next two weeks,” added Younger.
“I am just trying to have a bit of fun and enjoy it a bit more rather than stressing out about it.”
A win this week would earn Younger the lion’s share of the AU$110,000 prize purse which would move him to sixth on the Order of Merit.
In addition to prizemoney the winner will also receive Official World Golf Rankings points and will be exempt onto the PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of this season and the following two years.
The NSW PGA Championship will be played at Riverside Oaks Golf Resort in Cattai from 4-7 December.
Spectators are welcome and entry is free.2014 NSW PGA Championship Leaderboard