November 2024 – Murray Downs Golf Resort

2024 NSW Open Golf Logo

Gulliver travels to grab Open Ticket

by Dave Tease

Hayden Gulliver has beenn doing some travelling around NSW in recent weeks after just one thing – a spot in this year’s NSW Open at Twin Creeks in November.

On Sunday, in the Thurgoona Bowl, he cemented it with a sublime display of golf.

The 21-year-old from Maitland in the Hunter Valley carded rounds of 68 and 69 for a 7 under total of 137. In a distant second, some 10 shots behind were Daniel Gill and defending champion Zach Murray.

“It was a good two days,” Gulliver smiled.

“Yesterday I hit about 16 or 17 greens; I holed a few putts, it could’ve had a little bit less, but 68 is still a good score.

“Today I hit the first 13, maybe 14 greens in regulation. I played solid. I was five under through 14 but bogeyed two on the way home.

“It just sort of all clicked.”

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Gulliver has been a regular competitor in the NSW Open Regional Qualifying series over the last couple of years. He has been close a few times, just three weeks ago he finished runner-up in the Moree event and last week made the trek to Camden without success.

“I tried doing the RQ’s last year. I got close a few times.

“I thought I could jag one of the regional ones this year,” he smiled.

Gulliver has been in solid form all year. He began 2018 with a pleasing 19th place finish in the medal rounds of the Australian Amateur, before losing in the round of 32 of the matchplay. He said working part-time in a department store has given him plenty of time to improve his game.

“I work four-hour shifts at Big W, but get to play golf for the rest of the day.

“It suits me golf-wise except the 5.30am shifts. I don’t like doing them.

“I would rather wake up to go to golf than work,” he laughed.

The NSW Open will be Gulliver’s first start in a pro tournament. It is a goal he has chased for a while and part of a journey he hopes will one day take him into the professional ranks.

“This will be my first start in a pro tournament. It will be a good experience.

“It’s worth the trip, I can’t wait; I’ll be ready to go,” he smiled.

Dave Robb and Jason Cawthray have grabbed the two qualifying places for the 2018 NSW Senior Open at Thurgoona in October.



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