Matt Docking is chasing a fourth PGA Professionals Championship at Hamilton Island this week.
Matt Docking is chasing a fourth PGA Professionals Championship at Hamilton Island this week. PGA of Australia

Four to the floor

GOLF: Matt Docking is eyeing off an unprecedented fourth Dan Cullen Cup at Hamilton Island Golf Club.

Since 1987 only Brad Burns and Docking have won the prestigious title three times, but the defending champ is keen to become the first name on the Cup four times and book another appearance at the Australian PGA Championship.

"The only pressure is what I'm putting on myself really, the chance to become the first four-time winner is something I'd love to achieve,” Docking said.

"First things first though, I need to hit some good golf shots and we'll see what happens from there.

"Some nice warm weather is a nice change from what we've had in Hobart recently, three days in a row will be beautiful.”

Docking has made the move from Gailes Golf Club in Queensland to become the Head Professional at Royal Hobart Golf Club earlier this year, a role he's enjoying after receiving great support from his new members.

"It's very relaxed, the membership has taken my wife Courtney and myself coming into the shop with some new ideas really well, they've been very supportive.

"The weather is a bit colder but it's the second driest capital in Australia so we don't have many rain days which is great.

"We've been really well accepted and it's been an awesome start to the new business down there.”

Back in the familiar climate of Queensland, Docking said he's looking forward to taking on the unforgiving Hamilton Island layout this week.

"I just see a lot of golf shots out here, you can't get ahead of yourself out here which is probably a good thing for me, all you've got to worry about is where you hit your next golf shot,” added Docking.

"There's not really any shot out there where you can relax and go 'oh if I let this go I'll be okay,' there's none of that around here.

"You've really got to stay in the moment and that's very good for me, it helps me focus.”

The Peter Thomson designed course is certainly challenging but with breathtaking views coming to the fore on the back-9, the final run of holes in particular are some of Docking's favourite on the course.

"The 15th hole right through to the 18th hole is probably the most spectacular and intimidating finish to a golf course I've seen.

"What he's managed to achieve on this island with the topography, he's outdone himself so it's pretty special to be here on one of his last official course designs.”

The PGA Professionals Championship tees off at Hamilton Island from 7.45am on Tuesday morning.

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