Amateur is big shot
CLUB champion David Hobday will fancy his chances of outshooting a host of top professionals at Monday's Murwillumbah Golf Club Pro-Am.
Last month Hobday, a greenkeeper at Murwillumbah, blitzed the field to win his first club championships by six shots.
Club professional Mike Jenkins yesterday said he wouldn't be surprised to see the in-form Hobday shoot a lower score than many of the professionals.
A quality field has been assembled for this year's tournament, the club's 11th, with 65 professionals to line up in the field of 200-plus players.
With $7000 prizemoney ($1200 for the winner) available, the exciting Shane Tait, who is back from a stint in the US and warmed up with victory at the Casino Pro-Am earlier this week, former two-time winner Peter Harrington and Ossie Moore, both of the Gold Coast, and local pro Adam Causley, who comes off a solid performance at this week's Mullumbimby Pro-Am are among those expected to challenge.
If Hobday, who cannot claim the prizemoney because he is not a professional, were to outscore the pros it would cap a fantastic year for him.
"He'll fancy his chances of beating these guys," Jenkins said.
"I think he's in with a realistic shot of a low score and a chance of pushing them all the way.
"He can belt the ball a long distance."
Hobday shot 307 for his four rounds at the recent club championships, including a round where he equaled the new course record of 69.
This year he has also:
? Won the club's foursomes with Chris Dean;
? Taken out the mixed foursomes with Sue Reguson; and
? Finished runner-up at the regional titles after losing on the fifth play-off hole.
Among his highlights was an eagle on the 14th hole during the club championships.
This is the only hole that has been re-modelled from last year's layout.
"It's still a par-five but we have put in a couple of fairway bunkers, one off the drive and one just short of the green, which makes it a bit tougher," Jenkins said.
He said the course was in good nick and would challenge the professionals, who always enjoyed playing at Murwillumbah.
"It's a good layout," he said.
"If anything we could do with half an inch of rain.
"Our Pro-Am is one of the most popular on the circuit - The PGA gave us an award for the best country competition a couple of years ago."
A couple of positions are still available in Monday's competition. Inquiries call Mike Jenkins on (02) 6672 4200.