Alex Simpson on his way to winning the NSW PGA trainee championship at Coffs Harbour Golf Club.
Alex Simpson on his way to winning the NSW PGA trainee championship at Coffs Harbour Golf Club.

Alex shoots course lights out

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

LEADING by only a single shot at the beginning of the final round, PGA Trainee Alex Simpson shot the lights out at Coffs Harbour yesterday to run away with the NSW Trainee Championships by a massive 10 strokes.

Shooting a six-under par 66 in windy conditions, the Bowral trainee's ability to master the variable gusts throughout his round while others around him crumbled, proved to be the key to his success.

"The wind picked up a little bit today but it certainly wasn't as tough as it was for the first round," the 22 year-old said.

"Today I just didn't make any mistakes which was my goal going out and I was happy with how it turned out."

Leading the tournament from wire to wire, Simpson admitted that it wasn't until the third round that he felt truly comfortable about how he was playing.

"The first two and a half rounds I was struggling with my putting," he explained.

"The last eight holes yesterday and all today, I got it sorted and started rolling it a lot better.

"That along with not making any mistakes today resulted in the round I had."

A major factor in Simpson's ability to be one of only four players to break par yesterday was managing to find a zone where he was able to shut out all outside influences that could disrupt his round.

"I didn't know what the other guys were or who was closest to me, I was just focussing on what I had to do so I could shoot the best score I could," Simpson said.

"It's hard to do that on a regular basis but that's what I aim to do every time I play.

"Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."

With total prizemoney for the tournament standing at $32,500, the Trainee Champs are the second richest trainee event on the calendar, with only the National Futures Championship offering a biggerprize purse.

Simpson won't shy away from the fact that the prizemoney he's earned over the four rounds will come in more than handy.

"Definitely, I'm only on a trainee wage so you need it, that's for sure."



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