Photo: Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club – Golf NSW
The Australasian summer of professional golf begins this Thursday with the staging of the AV Jennings NSW Open at the Graham Marsh designed Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in Luddenham in Sydney’s west.
While the assembled field does not include any of Australia’s leading 15 world ranked players, it has proven to be a great launching pad for golfers in recent years, the success of Perth’s, Jason Scrivener (2017), and Queenslander, Jake McLeod, last year, seeing both golfers advance their game and standing in professional golf considerably as a result of their breakthrough Tier One wins on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
In 2017 Scrivener recorded his first win in professional golf and has gone on to record impressive seasons in Europe in each of the last two years, including in 2019 where he has earned more than €1 million on the European Tour alone and finished 32nd in the Race to Dubai Rankings.
McLeods’ win in 2018 came a week before his very impressive 3rd place at the Australian Open a week later, a finish that would lead to him securing the top spot on the 2018 PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit and allowing him access to the European Tour in 2018.
McLeod lost his status in Europe at season’s end, but he has won it back at the recent tour school in Spain further highlighting the underlying experience and importance of his win at Twin Creeks twelve months ago.
Neither player are in this week’s field but their play since their wins at Twin Creeks highlights the impact such a victory can have on a career.
Now a Tier One event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, this week’s event has attracted an interesting mix of the old and the new, the field headed in terms of world ranking Australians by US based Lismore golfer, Rhein Gibson who regained his PGA Tour status via the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019 where he won his first event on a recognised tour when winning the BMW Charity Pro-Am.
Gibson shared second place through 36 holes at last week’s RMS Classic in Sea Island in Georgia but struggled over the weekend in the PGA Tour event to finish midfield. At his best however Gibson is a brilliant player capable of recording some very low scores and did finish 4th in this event three years agoalbeit at a different venue.
Several players who missed out on gaining European Tour cards at the recent European Tour School will look to bounce back, those players including Dimi Papadatos, Jarryd Felton, Zach Murray, Brett Rumford, Blake Windred, Nick Flanagan and David Micheluzzi looking to atone for the disappointment of last week.
West Australian Jarryd Felton missed out on gaining his European Tour card by just one shot last week so perhaps he more than others will be looking to bounce back from what must have been a gut wrenching moment for him. Felton has finished runner-up and 6th in this event previously.
Windred and Micheluzzi are recent graduates to the professional ranks while another recent outstanding Australian amateur, Min Woo Lee, who has just completed his first season on the European Tour, is also in the field.