Queensland’s Jake McLeod wowed the crowds on site yesterday at the AVJennings NSW Open when he produced a scintillating course record of 10-under-par 62.
Catch all the highlights of his brilliant play then head out to Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in greater western Sydney to see if he can hang on for the win.
He starts the day five shots in front but in golf, anything can happen – especially on a Sunday. Make sure you’re there to watch history unfold in one of Australia’s most historic and prestigious championships.
Family affair at Twin Creeks
It’s a scene that’s no doubt played out countless times over the years though rarely in a tournament setting.
Sydney brothers Scott and Jamie Arnold are paired together for the third round of the AVJennings NSW Open at Twin Creeks after both entered the weekend at 5-under-par.
Scott shot rounds of 67-72 while Jamie returned 70-69 to be seven behind overnight leader Harrison Endycott.
The siblings, who hail from the southern Sydney suburb of Cronulla, also played together in the third round of the Australian Open at Royal Sydney in 2013.
That was the first time they had been paired together in a tournament with Scott revealing at the time they hadn’t played even a social round together for two years prior because of schedules on the opposite sides of the world.
Perfect conditions on moving day.
Ideal conditions have greeted the field for day three of the AVJennings NSW Open at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in greater western Sydney.
Partly cloudy skies, cool temperatures and light breezes promise more low scoring for the morning field as those out early try to go low and apply pressure to the leaders.
All 73 players who made the cut were under par for the first 36 holes, leader Harrison Endycott setting the pace at 12-under, one stroke ahead of rookie professional Cameron John.
Brad Moulds and Blake Proverbs share third place at 10-under with a group of three players at 9-under.
Former PGA Tour player Mark Hensby is at 8-under in his first tournament back after a year long suspension for failing to take a drug test.
So if you’re looking for something to do, get out to Twin Creeks and catch some great golf.
Pay for play no probs for Perry
Former top NSW amateur Dylan Perry has got his professional career off to an ideal start, making the cut on debut at the AVJennings NSW Open at Twin Creeks in greater western Sydney.
The 23-year-old joined the pay for play ranks at the start of the week and added a 2-under 70 to his opening 69 to be 5-under for the tournament and sharing 21st place ahead of the weekend.
“I’m really pleased because I think I made the right decision (to turn professional),” he said.
“The golf isn’t really different. I just don’t have the ‘A’ next to my name any more. But other things change, obviously, including playing for a pay cheque.
“It’s kind of like growing up, really. You have to look after yourself and do all the off-course stuff that mostly gets done for you as an amateur.”
Perry flirted briefly with the fringes of contention when he reeled off three straight birdies to get to 7-under and five off the pace but a double bogey at the very next stopped his momentum.
“I had a bit of adrenaline going and hit it over the back of the fourth green into the hazard,” he said.
“But apart from that I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve played. It’s good to make the cut in my first start and now I just want to go as low as I can over the weekend.”
Conran Jr goes deep at Twin Creeks
Their golf games could hardly be more different but the results are remarkably similar.
Amateur James Conran, son of long time Japan Tour player Steve, reeled off an impressive 7-under 29 to close out his second nine at the AVJennings NSW Open to go from outside the cut line to qualifying for the weekend.
After battling to an opening round 75 and offsetting one birdie with one bogey on his way to the turn, Conran junior suddenly caught fire and, with dad Steve on the bag, produced some fireworks over the closing holes.
A par at the 10th was one of only three on the way to the clubhouse, five birdies and an eagle seeing him comfortably through to the weekend thanks to a 7-under 65 to be 4-under for the week.
“I think I was trying to force it the last day and a half then on the back nine I thought to myself I just need to stand up and hit it,” he said.
The plan worked and now Conran says he wants to keep the momentum going for the weekend.
“The leaders are so far ahead I’m not even thinking about that,” he said. “I just want to have two rounds under par. It doesn’t matter if they’re super low, as long as they’re under par.”
Conran Senior says he’s always known James had talent but was careful not to push the game on the now 19-year-old.
“I could see that he was quite good but it’s difficult as a father to give advice,” he said. “Sons don’t always take it well.
“So the advice really needs to come from someone else so I’ve got him a bit of tuition with Gary Barter down at the Australian and it’s paying off.”
Pickin passes double test
Charlestown amateur Jye Pickin faced two tough examinations on Thursday. He spent the morning at Glenmore Park High School completing his final HSC exam before rushing to nearby Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club for examination number two: the opening round of the AVJennings NSW Open.
Pickin earned a spot in the field when he won the NSW Junior tournament in July but didn’t realise there would be a clash with his school exams until last month.
“I knew geography was my last HSC exam and is was going to be on Novemebr 8th but it wasn’t until I looked up the date for the tournament about a month ago that I realised there was going to be a clash,” the 18-year-old said.
“I thought ‘oh no, what can we do about this?’. But we have a lady at the school who helps out with this sort of thing so I rang her to ask if there was anything we could do.
“The exam was due to finish at 12 o’clock and the last tee time for the tournament was 1.45 so I thought it might be doable.”
Pickin was in luck and when it was agreed he could sit the test at Glenmore Park tournament organisers accommodated a request for a late tee time and his problem was solved.
While he won’t know the results of his geography exam until mid-December, golf provides somewhat more immediate feedback and a 3-over 75 was less than he was hoping for in the first round of the tournament.
But with some improved putting on day two Pickin is confident he can play his way to the weekend which would certainly be considered a pass.
“It’s my first professional tournament and it’s a great learning experience,” he said.
“I had a lot of putts that were close but didn’t go in so hopefully I can make a few of those today and get to the weekend.
“But just the chance to play with a couple of professionals and see how they go about it has been great. I can already see that my good shots are similar to theirs but I really need to improve my poor shots.”
When you’re The owner who can do anything
It’s fair to say Twin Creeks owner representative David Chen is a golf nut, and happy to get out and do his bit whenever possible. Yesterday, on late notice, he was called in to do act as caddy for Victorian David McKenzie in the first round of the AVJennings NSW Open.
Despite having the services of the owner, Mckenzie, the professional that he is, had already planned his strategy for the Graham Marsh designed layout.
“He told me very nicely even though I am the owner of the course, he knew what to do, and where to go, so I just kept quiet.
“He was very professional, very friendly. He taught me a lot about what the caddy had to do.
“He has been a professional for over 30 years, so I cannot help him really,” Chen smiled.
As the course owner, his authority did however come with some privileges, and a post round photo of the occasion with the group was one directive the players where happy to oblige.
For the record, McKenzie carded a two under par 70.
Open under way at Twin Creeks
Perfect early conditions and pure greens have seen hot scoring to start the opening round of the AVJennings NSW Open at the Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in greater Western Sydney.
Clear skies and cool temperatures greeted the first groups out at 6.45am and players are making the most of good conditions with more than half those on course already in red figures through three holes.
Former Australian Open champion Stephen Allan is the early outright leader with three straight birdies to start his day, several players just a shot behind.
More updates to follow.