Thomas Heaton has become the first player to book a place in the 2022 Golf Challenge NSW Open with victory in the Forbes Open over the weekend.
The current Australian Golf Club Champion did it the hard way – surviving a four-way sudden-death playoff to claim the crown after finishing the regulation 18 holes in two under par, alongside Josh Gadd ( Penrith), Will Moody (Avondale), and Joseph Curran (Moore Park).
Moody and Curran failed to advance beyond the first hole of sudden death after failing to make par, and after playing the second hole in near darkness, Heaton prevailed with a solid birdie after Gadd blew his approach shot over the back of the green.
“It was unfortunate that Josh’s second shot run behind a bush, blocking a clear chance for a birdie. It didn’t make my putt any easier, but that is golf,” Heaton said post-round.
The Forbes’ title is Heaton’s second Regional Amateur Qualifying event victory in as many years after claiming the Cessnock Cup in 2020, and the 18-year-old was justifiably thrilled with the win.
“I am very pleased to have won, and qualifying for the NSW Open means a lot to me,” Heaton added.
In the over 50’s, Adam Ferguson (Mudgee) and Steve Beattie (Condobolin) took the two positions on offer for this year’s Lincoln Place NSW Senior Open at the Thurgoona Golf & Country Club Resort in October.
One hundred sixty-four players turned out for the Forbes Open, with visitors from 26 clubs represented.