MUrWILLUMBAH club champion David Hobday.
MUrWILLUMBAH club champion David Hobday.

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.

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