“The Jack”, golf’s traditional year-end party/pro-am, returned after a year’s absence and anointed a local as the winner

Black Windred capped an incredible run by winning the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic in his own backyard of the Hunter region.

Newcastle’s Windred and New South Wales Central Coast pro Nikki Garrett battled down the stretch in an exciting finish as Windred followed his opening-round 71 with a red-hot 65 to secure the win with a six-under par total at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley course.

Windred turned pro only at the end of 2019 but with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, he feels like 2021 was his first full year. 

After spending time playing on the European Challenge Tour, the 24-year-old finished 2021 on a high. He notched his maiden professional victory earlier in December at the Victorian PGA Championship at Moonah Links before taking out the beloved 36-hole pro-am played amid Christmas cheer.

Windred said this particular win was close to his heart. Like most players who came through Jack Newton Junior Golf, he paid tribute to Jack Newton and wife Jackie, and the JNJG program for getting him prepared for a pro golf career. Starting as a cadet at 9 years of age, Windred said the Jack Newton system gave him the ideal platform and left him a much better prepared and more mature player at 18 years of age than he would otherwise have been.

“Though Charlestown is my local club when home in Newcastle, every club in Newcastle feels like family and it is nice to be surrounded by that kind of support,” Windred said.

Former NRL player Sam Burgess took out the top celebrity prize, with “Ninja Warrior” star Charlie Robbins in second place as equal third went to NRL legend Tim Brasher and “The Jack” veteran Frank Barrett.