Defending champion Bryden Macpherson playing well enough to contend again – photo Golf NSW
One of Australian golf’s more iconic titles is to be decided this week at the Concord Golf Club in Sydney, the Golf Challenge NSW Open one of the more lucrative of the PGA Tour of Australasia after Covid had taken its toll on the pre-pandemic schedule.
The $400,000 event and its $72,000 first prize cheque will play a key role in the finalisation of the Order of Merit to be decided later this year, more especially because the leading three players at season’s end will earn the right to play the DP World Tour in 2023.
The leading three currently are Jed Morgan, Andrew Dodt and Dimi Papdatos although a win this week by any of the leading twenty or so could catapult them into that all important top three.
The Concord Golf Club has staged this event just twice in the past 35 years, Victoria’s Bryden Macpherson winning in 2021 and Greg Norman the previous winner in 1988.
Redesigned in recent years by one of the modern-day greats of golf course design, Tom Doak, Concord’s location in the inner west of Sydney and revamp, make it one of Sydney’s most sought-after clubs and its reallocation of such a significant event reflects its revised standing in NSW golf.
This week’s event brings together the typical line-up of Australasian golfers seen at recent events on the schedule although in this case the women are not involved, their own NSW Open being played at Coolangatta Tweeds Heads in early May as part of the WAPGA and Ladies European Tour.
Former British Amateur Champion, Macpherson, defends the title he won by three shots over Elvis Smylie and Jack Thomson twelve months ago. Macpherson has played well enough of late to be a consideration this week having recorded two top tens in recent starts in the TPS Series of events. He has now won two PGA Tour of Australasia events and twice on the China Tour so has the credentials to add another NSW Open to his resume.
Recent Australian PGA Championship winner, Jed Morgan, Queensland PGA Champion Anthony Quayle, recent rejuvenated winner of the TPS Sydney, Jarryd Felton, last week’s TPS Hunter Valley winner, Aaron Pike, 15 time Japan Tour event winner, Brendan Jones and up and coming New Zealander, Denzel Ieremia, are others who could be considered amongst the likely contenders.