Anthony Quayle has climbed the Isuzu Queensland Open mountain; great mate Jake McLeod is eager to share the summit. And, as ever for athletes with maroon coursing through the veins, the drive for both to excel on home soil at Pelican Waters Golf Club this week adds an extra dimension.
Quayle and McLeod were among the first to confirm their entries for their state championship, each with lofty expectations before heading back to tour duties in Japan and Europe, respectively. Defending champion Quayle, who held his nerve to outlast Jack Thompson in a playoff last year, said his breakthrough win had been vital in his development.
“I’d been in position to contend probably a handful of times since turning pro and to be able to have it come together at home was something I’ll never forget,” Quayle said. “One of the prizes I got was to become an honorary member at Pelican Waters and with the way things worked out in 2020, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to play and practise there a fair bit, so it even feels like more of a home game this time around.
“I feel like my game is not far away, so I’m really looking forward to getting back for my first title defence.”
McLeod has a host of top finishes at state Opens across the country – including a win in New South Wales in 2018 – as well as a third placing in the 2018 Australian Open. Now, recovering from a lower-arm injury, he’s eager to improve on his best, fourth place, in his home-state Open.
“This is a big event, but particularly for those of us who grew up here and always wanted to get our name among the stars on that trophy,” McLeod said. “It would mean a lot. I can’t wait to get out there and have a crack at it.”
Golf Australia’s Queensland state manager Luke Bates said the home-grown talent would be well supported again by golf fans on the Sunshine Coast.
“Pelican Waters proved a great hit last year and we’ve got a great relationship with owners, the Palm Lake Group, who have great plans for the course, the clubhouse and developments in the precinct,” Bates said. “So I’m sure there will be a host of supporters out to take in not only the brilliant golf on display, but also the world-class destination it’s becoming.”