Kade McBride and his Geoff King Motors North Coast Open trophy- photo David Tease Golf NSW

The North Coast of NSW and the Tweed Coast beyond, have suffered from a deluge of rain this past week but, despite it all, two $50,000 36 hole events have been decided, Gold Coast professional Kade McBride winning one and Queensland amateur, Will Florimo, heading a field of professionals at the rain shortened Tweed Coast Open to win the other.

On Wednesday McBride, from the Sanctuary Cove Golf Club, came from well off the first-round pace to win the Geoff King North Coast Open at the Coffs Harbour Golf Club after rain had interrupted play on two occasions on day one, forcing the first round into day two.

McBride, who has played the China and Australasian Tours in the early stages of his professional career, has been restricted from playing opportunities other than, essentially,  pro-ams in recent times, but he has shown a little bit of form in recent weeks in events such as the Queensland PGA Championship and the TPS Series events in Victoria.

McBride began the final round at Coffs Harbour two shots behind the joint first round leaders Corey Lamb and Coffs Harbour member and University of Iowa graduate, Amelia Mehmet-Grohn, in the 36-hole event but by the time he reached the 10th tee he led by two.

In increasing rain and on a rain drenched golf course and with the threat of play being called off, McBride would birdie two further holes on his closing nine but a double bogey opened the door for the 20 year old amateur (soon to be professional) Corey Lamb from Branxton in the Hunter Valley.

Lamb, who won the Concord Cup a few weeks ago and played his way into the upcoming NSW Open in the process, recovered from a shaky start to fight his way back and when McBride stumbled at the 17th he was just one back.

Lamb then birdied the par five 17th but, in the group ahead, McBride hit a delightful shot from the right rough to five feet at the last and made the putt for birdie.

It was enough for McBride to win by one and take the historic title and the $9,000 cheque.

Lamb finished second while Mehmet-Grohn was another three shots back in 3rd place and claiming a cheque for $5400, having turned professional just two months ago.

The players then headed north to Tweed Heads for the Tweed Heads Open at the Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club with the prospect of the event even being played under a cloud, literally.

Tweed Heads appeared to be in a rain shadow of sorts between the deluges being experienced further south and further north and play was completed on day one with Queensland amateur William Florimo producing an amazing round of 10 under par 62 to lead at the completion of the opening 19 holes.

22 year old Florimo’s brilliance established a two-shot lead over Lismore’s former Hong Kong Open winner, Sam Brazel.

Organisers were again forced to play the final round as a shotgun start as rain storms loomed and as Florimo began to feel the effects of leading several quality players chasing him down including Brazel and former PGA Tour player, Michael Sim, he fell off the pace and by the turn he trailed Brazel by four.

Douglas Klein and local Damien Jordan moved into a share of second and three from the lead when storms forced players from the course and play to be abandoned with the final group on the 11th hole.

Scores reverted back to the day one results and Will Florimo was declared the winner over Sam Brazel, Brazel claiming the first prize of $9000 with Florimo’s amateur status precluding him from taking any share of the purse.

While the events were small in nature compared to PGA Tour of Australasia events most have played in recent times, they provided a great opportunity for both male and female professional amateurs to play competitive golf for a solid purse for 36 hole events but for

The events also offered the chance the chance for those not otherwise qualified to play their way into the NSW Open in a few week’s time should they finish inside the top three not otherwise qualified for the event at the Concord Golf Club in mid March.

In Coffs Harbour it would be Kade McBride, Neven Basic and Jordan Mullaney who earned those honours while at Tweed Heads although it was Florimo, Brazel and Jay McKenzie.

Florimo was delighted to have earned the chance to test his game against the strong field likely at Concord Golf Club ahead of a decision to turn professional later in the year.

“Honestly I can’t wait,” Florimo beamed. “It’s going to be great to play one last event at this level as an amateur, and hopefully I will finish my career off with a good stretch of golf.”

It was a week where tournament organisers from both Golf NSW and the PGA of Australia were stretched to the limit by the issues created by a rain depression hovering over the east coast for much of the week but for those who played, just having a chance to compete was welcomed.

Live stream of North Coast Open


Will Florimo – photo golf NSW

Yours truly looking a little more respectable than five hours later