A tough time for some of our young golf professionals

Sixteen year old amateur Ryan Ruffles clearly enjoyed playing with Rory McIlroy in the final round of the 2014 Australian Open in Sydney.
Sixteen year old amateur Ryan Ruffles clearly enjoyed playing with Rory McIlroy in the final round of the 2014 Australian Open in Sydney.

By Larry Canning

Let me pose this question.

If you have a putt worth $25,000 and one worth absolutely nothing except a title and some media attention, which one would be the most difficult to make?… I’m assuming you don’t have that much dosh tucked away that 25k is loose change on the floor of the car.

At this point I need to point out, I’m a fan of amateurs playing in professional events and we’ve seen some fantastic achievements by the youngsters at the Aussie Masters and Open over the past couple of weeks. The experience, the likes of Ryan Ruffles, Tod Sinnott and Lucas Herbert have gained playing alongside Rory Mcilroy and Adam Scott has been priceless. These youngsters are clearly going to be at the forefront  Australian Golf in the  future and they are bloody kids as well, but ….

We also have a group of extremely talented young professionals playing for their car payments, maxed out credit cards and maybe even their houses.

Some of these young guns aren’t even getting starts because the fields are full and they’ve been thrown into golfs version of Lotto – “Pre-qualifying”.

That’s usually a Monday event where a bunch of good players are belting each other up for two or three spots. One three putt and you’re watching the tournament on TV and hoping the bank manager needs a free golf lesson.

I was at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Course recently covering the NSW open for radio and I have to tell you, it was some of the best shot making under pressure, I’ve seen in years. The type of pressure an amateur and perhaps the odd golf fan, may not fully understand.

As I’m writing this, I’m on the net, looking at the NSW PGA Championship leader board and seeing another talented amateur at the top at 13 under. Troy Moses from Bonnie Doon Golf Club in Sydney shot a brilliant nine under par 62 to go along with his opening 67 and currently holds the lead from Queensland Professional Peter Martin who is 3 back. Scott Arnold, who plays the Asian Tour, is 9 under with 6 players tied at minus 8.

I’d love to see this kid play brilliantly over the weekend and set some new 4 round NSW PGA record but let’s not lose sight of the unheralded young professionals, playing their backsides off for a lot more than a trophy!

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Larry Canning
Larry Canning has been a fixture on the Australian golf scene for more years than he cares to remember. As a tour player, club professional, writer, radio presenter and annoying protagonist. He knows the game, the stories and the people and loves nothing better than to offer up his opinions and yarns on to anyone who wants to listen. As well as his media gigs, Larry also plays the Australasian Legends Tour which means he has access to some true Aussie Legends. Larry’s reports are sometimes quirky, usually very humorous, but always deeply insightful.

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