FOCUSED: Blake Windred and Charlestown professional and co-coach Ryan Smith work on the 21-year-old’s stroke at the SAM Putting Lab in the club’s pro-shop. Picture: Jonathan CarrollBLAKE Windred will take on some of ’s leading professionals at three state opens during the next month.
His n amateur team roommate Dylan Perry will be among those hoping to earn a cheque after the 23-year-old turned professional last week.
However, Windred has resisted the temptation to join Perry and will stay an amateur for the next 12 months.
The 21-year-old talled the topic over with his co-coach Gary Barter during the US Amateur in August, atwhich he was knocked out in the round of 32 in matchplay. The US Amateur followed a string of solid performances, highlighted by runner-up at the Porter Cup and seventh in the European Amateur.
“I was playing really good golf and my coach rang and asked whether I had thought about turning pro at the end of the year,” Windred said. “He then asked if I was sick of turning up to amateur events and playing for no money. I replied, ‘no, I’m not sick of it. I haven’t won anything major yet. I haven’t achieved all my goals in amateur golf’. He said ‘there is your answer’.”
Windred, who is No. 58 in the world amateur rankings, finished a tie for 24th at the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship last week in Singapore. Perry, who along with Windred was in a six-man n team, also finished even par for the tournament.
“I wasn’t aware he was turning pro until that tournament,” Windred said. “He has a good team around him and is a hard worker. He will make it.”
Windred will get a gauge on where his game is at compared to the professionals over the next month after receiving exemptions for the Western n Open (October 25-28), Queensland Open (November 1-4) and NSW Open (November 8-11).
Before heading to Perth, the right-hander will tee up in the HunterLand Rover Charlestown Big Hole Pro-am on Tuesday.
NEW PATH: Dylan Perry. Picture: David Tease (Golf NSW)
“It is such a fun day,” said Windred, a Charlestown junior. “All the tour pros come back and it is always a good vibe. It helps me out a lot talking to the likes of Nathan Green and James Nitties. They have so much knowledge.”
* Pacific Dunes club pro Jamie Hook will take plenty of confidence into the Charlestown event, which features eight-inch holes, after taking outthe $30,000 Castle Hill pro-am last Tuesday. Hook, who only plays part-time, carded rounds of 65,67 to win by a stroke.
Hewill be joined by some of the region’s leading professionals including Nathan Green, Jake Higginbottom, Cal O’Reilly and Leigh McKechnie.
As well as the overall prize, there will be $1000 Forty Winks Shoot-out on the par-three 18thhole. Each pro will get one shot, with the closest pocketing the money.
* Cal O’Reilly will also tee up at Charelstown in good form after storming home to finish 11th at the Victorian PGA. O’Reilly only just made the cut after opening with rounds of 74,71. However, he found form with the putter to go 66,65 and shoot the lowest score for the weekend. His final round featured a triple bogey at the par-three14th and eagle at the par-four last.
“The 14th was my only bad shot of the day,” O’Reilly said. “I turned one right-to-left and the wind got it and it kept on going into the bush. It was that deep, I was hoping we wouldn’t find it.But we spotted it straight away. I had to play it and took a few to get out.”
At the 280m-18th,he knocked a drive down wind onto the green and sunk a six-metre putt.
“I played really good on the weekend,” he said. “I didn’t think I was going to make the cut and when I did, I just played with a bit of freedom. If my putter gets hot, I’m always a chance to go low because I usually hit a lot of greens.”
O’Reilly has one goal for Charlestown: “I just want to beat Jake Higginbottom.That’s all that matters.”
IN-FORM: Harry Atkinson won the 12 years division at the Fayde State Matchplay Championships.
* Harry Atkinson (Kurri Kurri) led a strong effort by Hunter juniors at the Fayde State Matchplay Championships at Mount Broughton. Atkinson won the 12 years boys final 5 and 5after taking the preliminary matches 7 and 6, 9 and 8 and 2-up. Toronto’s Jake Riley lost the 13 years final at the 19thhole and Harry Cleare (Nelson Bay) went down 3 and 1 in the 15 years final.