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Amateurs ready for breakthrough win

In the opinion of the coach of current Australian amateur champion Cameron Smith, his pupil is on the verge of winning his first professional tournament.

Smith, along with fellow Golf Queensland state team members Viraat Badhwar, Taylor Macdonald Jake McLeod and Kevin Marques, will tee off in the Coca Cola Queensland PGA Championship at Toowoomba’s City Golf Club on Thursday February 14.

And Grant Field, his coach of eight years, tips Smith could well score his breakthrough win next week or the week after, at the Victorian Open.

“A lot of our young amateurs have vast tournament experience and these guys won’t be overawed by this field,” he said.

“And wins in professional tournaments recently by fellow young amateurs Jake Higginbottom and Oliver Goss gives them an indication of how close they are to winning at this level.

“Without putting too much pressure on Cameron, I honestly believe he is close to a win at this level. He is striking the ball beautifully and is in a good place mentally.”

Field said there was no better environment for young amateurs than to pit their game and their wits against seasoned professionals. And he is confident the four Queenslanders would emerge from the tournament better golfers.

“For a young bloke eyeing a professional career, playing against mostly seasoned pros who are, in general, battling each week to make a decent wage, is a terrific learning curve,” he said.

“These pros are real fighters because not only is it their living, but in many cases they are playing to put food of the table. This is grassroots professional golf, and to play well and score well in this environment will do these guys untold good.”

Another Queensland youngster to have gained invaluable experience from playing in a professional tournament recently was Gold Coast 14 year-old Becky Kay, who played in the first two rounds of the Australian Ladies Masters at Royal Pines last week.

Although missing the cut and finishing at the tail of the field after successive rounds of 10 over, the experience was a massive learning curve for the budding champion.

“She did very well. She played off the men’s black tees and some par fours were just impossible for her to reach, but she was terrific,” said he dad Scott.

“Becky was disappointed with her score but the experience was invaluable.” 




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