Golf's 'State of Origin' shapes up
THIS weekend’s North Coast Amateur Open is shaping as golf’s “State of Origin” battle.
The best young golfers from New South Wales and Queensland have descended on Coffs Harbour Golf Club in a bid to take home the coveted title.
The NSW Academy team of Kyle Grant, Luke Henwood, Andrius Belkus and Brett Drewitt was confident one of the quartet would claim this year’s prize.
That was until Queensland announced the team its academy was sending.
One of the NSW coaches was reported to have muttered “ooh, they’re sending down the big boys” when he heard that the maroon group of Tim Hart, Gavin Fairfax, Brett Rankin and Kevin Marques were named to play in the Open.
Considering these Queenslanders play off handicaps of plus-one and plus-two and, in Fairfax’s case, plus-six, it’s difficult to see the winner of this weekend’s tournament coming from outside the Queensland squad.
“If you’re playing off scratch you’re a chopper,” was the frank assessment of Coffs Harbour Golf Club’s golf coordinator and marketing manager Clive Herring.
“This is the strongest field that we’ve had probably since the late 1970s.”
Herring and the rest of the staff at the golf club have been run off their feet this week during the 60th annual Festival of Golf.
“This is the best ever festival, without a doubt,” Herring said.
“We had more than 300 starters on Thursday and this week has seen the biggest numbers that we’ve ever had.”
NORTH COAST AMATEUR OPEN CONTENDERS
New South Wales