By Roy Fleming/Golf NSW
Sydney golf professional Jason King has a simple mantra on his Facebook page, and that is to be an excellent coach and play the odd tournament.
If his blistering start on opening day at the 2016 NSW Golf Open is any indicator, that Facebook profile could easily be reversed. Through the first five holes at Stonecutters Ridge, the host course of this year’s event, he is fiver under and leading the field by two shots.
This year’s field of 156 players includes some great names in Australian golf, including Craig Parry, Peter Lonard, Peter Senior, Robert Allenby and Jarrod Lyle, with a smattering of youngsters including amateur Brett Coletta – winner of the Queensland Open two weeks ago – Harrison Endycott from Avondale Golf Club, a local junior who started well this morning in the group with former PGA winner Craig Parry, and a rising star of Australian golf Todd Sinnott.
In all there are 84 PGATA professionals, 20 Asian professionals, 18 international amateurs, eight elite amateurs, eight regional amateur qualifiers, 10 pre-qualifiers and eight tournament invitees playing in the NSW Open.
The event site, Stonecutters Ridge, is one of the best public access golf courses in NSW, set in the heartland of Sydney’s west, about a 50-minute drive from the Sydney CBD. The course is a rolling links style layout, with wide fairways, but penal knee-length grass which will no doubt cause some problems throughout the event.
Among the surprises already this morning was Parry’s start. A double bogey on the 10th (his first hole) with a three putt, was followed with bogies on 11 and 12, to be at four over after three holes.
Stay with us throughout the day as we bring you updates on this quality event, with Sunday’s winner earning automatic entry into next week’s Australian Open at Royal Sydney – provided they are professional. The winner also earns exemption on the IPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia for the next three years and $72,000 winner’s cheque.