Five outstanding amateurs have been recognised with exemptions into this month’s NSW Open at Concord Golf Club.
Australian Amateur Champion Louis Dobbelaar and Western Australian Hayden Hopewell have been added to the field, alongside Avondale’s Chris Fan and the Hunter-based duo of Josh Fuller and Corey Lamb.
Fuller, who won the Tasmanian Open and the World-Amateur Ranked Concord Cup last month, was thrilled when he heard the news confirming his place in the 144 player-strong field.
“I was a bit shocked, actually. I was going to go to pre-Q (pre-qualifying) at Belmont, now I don’t have to, another day of practice,” he grinned.
The NSW Open will be Fuller’s first taste of his home state championship and the 19-year-old said it would be an excellent opportunity to test his game against many of Australia’s best to get an idea of the commitment needed to succeed as a professional golfer.
“I’m working in The Vintage pro-shop at the moment and looking at a pro career eventually, but I want to play a bit of elite amateur golf for a few years to see how I go.
“My goal for the week is to make the cut. If I can make the weekend, it would be awesome.”
After his win in the Concord Cup last month, Fuller said he had learnt a couple of secrets on conquering the Tom Doak-redesigned layout.
” If you can get off the tee well, you’ll always be in good shape.
Lamb, from Branxton, is a former NSW Junior Champion and will be making his second start in the NSW Open in three years after debuting at Twin Creeks in 2019.
Lamb’s two-round total of eight-under to finish in a tie for fifth place at last month’s Dubbo Region Open against some of Australia’s best professionals was one of his best performances, and an indicator of the talent the 18-year-old possesses.
“I’m looking forward to having another go at the Open. I learnt a bit about playing with the pros last time, and I like Concord, so I hope I do well,” Lamb said.
The 2021 Golf Challenge NSW Open is returning to Concord Golf Club for a record 13th time in its 90-year history.
Former winners of the NSW Open include Peter Lonard, Craig Parry, Jack Newton, and Kel Nagle, while Greg Norman made the NSW Open his own during the 1980’s, winning three of his four NSW Open crowns at Concord.