Golfers must dig deep
Tuesday, 16th July, 2013
By Darrin Manuel
Interstate golfers are poised to swoop on the Outback Open trophy as local players battle for fitness ahead of the marquee event.
The city’s top golfers have just finished a draining pennant circuit that has left a fitness cloud over some players.
Broken Hill Golf Club Captain, Peter Jeffery, said talented duo Jamie Greeney and Tim O’Neill were in doubt, and that a number of other players would be sore from weeks of competition.
“Our A-Graders are coming off four weeks of pennant play, so our top players are really feeling the pinch,” he said.
“They played all across Sunraysia, pretty much on every course and they’re pretty sore.
“And there’s a lot of players coming from away, there’s 35 players coming from Mildura so there’s a bit of mystery there.
“We get players from all across Australia - we even get some from Queensland, so it will be a very strong field.”
Broken Hill should still have ample talent to challenge the interstate raiders however, with Ross McKay heading a core of talented players in the A-Grade division.
“Ross McKay would be a very good chance, he’d be our local to be looked at,” said Mr Jeffery.
“He captained our division two pennant team to the final, and you’d have to say he’s the form player coming in.
“He’s got good distance and he’s very good around the greens - he’s just about got it all covered and he’s very committed to his game.
“Nick Millsteed is another one, although he can be a bit hit and miss, but on his day he’s virtually unstoppable.
“All he’ll need is to hit a bit of form and he’ll be well on his way.”
Jeffery said the consistency of back-to-back Open winner Trevor Henderson also cannot be ignored.
Last year Henderson shot a par round of 72 before finishing with a stellar four under par on Sunday to claim the title.
Despite a low-key preparation leading up to the event, his brilliant short game should ensure he remains a threat right throughout the weekend.
“He’s been very steady throughout the last year or so, but he’s gone very quiet recently,” said Mr Jeffery.
“You can never say he won’t be there though - if he’s not the winner, you know he’ll be around the mark.”
In the women’s category Jenny Stephenson shapes as the city’s best hope, but will face stiff competition from Mildura’s Sue Laird.
The Outback Open will be held across 36 holes over two days from July 20.
The event is open to all golfers that hold a Golf Australia handicap and are financial members of a recognised golf club.
Players may select their own partners and tee off at any time after 7am, however all score cards must be presented to the captain by 4.30pm each day.
Trophies will be awarded to the champions in A, B, C and women’s grades, along with a new junior grade this year.