Higginbottom after a dynamic double

History will be made next month when the first major event of the newly-formed Golf NSW hits off at some of Sydney’s leading golf clubs.

The fact that golfers who went on to become the biggest names in the game have won this event, only adds to the pressure when a field of aspiring champions tackle the 2011 NSW Amateur Championship.

Jake Higginbottom Jake Higginbottom

The list of former winners contains a who’s who of NSW and Australian Golf greats including the likes of Bruce Devlin, Jack Newton, Tony Gresham, Brett Ogle, Peter O’Malley, Michael Campbell and Brendan Jones.

This event also incorporates the NSW Medal and the 2010 NSW Champion of Champions.

So as well as being the first men’s championship of the year, it will be particularly important as it’s the first for Golf NSW, which was formed after the NSW Golf Association and Women’s Golf NSW formed their long-awaited merger.

Aside from that it is also one of the major national amateur tournaments with both national and world ranking points up for grabs.

This championship is open to male amateur golfers who hold a current Australian or overseas equivalent handicap that not exceeding 5.4.

All the 2010 club champions from NSW golf clubs are also eligible to enter the championship, providing their handicap is no greater than 5.4.

The NSW Medal will be played at Liverpool and Cumberland Golf Clubs on January 25, 27 and 28, 2011.

It will be four rounds of 18 holes strokeplay, played over three days with 18 holes on the first day (Tuesday), 18 holes on the second day (Thursday), and 36 holes on the third day (Friday).

The field is then divided up between the two venues for the first day’s play with players changing venues for their second round on the Thursday.

The leading 60 players plus ties after the first 36 holes qualify for the final 36 holes on the third day, which will be played at Cumberland Golf Club.

The winner of the 72 holes stroke play section of the championship will be the winner of the 2011 NSW Medal.

The 2010 Champion of Champions will be played in conjunction with the first 36 holes of the Medal.

The leading 32 players from the NSW Medal will be eligible to compete in the NSW Amateur Championship Match Play, with each match played over 18 holes until the 36-hole Final.

The matchplay will be seeded and players will head for the highly-rated New South Wales Golf Club from January 31 to February 2, 2011.

The morning session on the first day (Monday) will see all 32 players compete. The afternoon session will have the winning 16 players from the morning session playing another round.

Tuesday’s morning session, the quarter finals, has eight players competing, while the afternoon session and semi-final will see the top four players challenging for a spot in the Final.

The final will be played on Wednesday, February 2 and the top two players will battle it out over 36 holes to be crowned the 2010 NSW Amateur Champion.

The NSW Amateur Championship is the oldest major event still being run by the NSW amateur body, having first been played in 1898.

One of the toughest to beat in 2011 will undoubtedly be the 2010 champion, 16-year-old Jake Higginbottom.

The 2009 champion, Michael Smyth as well as the 2008 champion, Mona Vale’s Michael Raseta will also be looking to add to their records.

They will be joined by a host of NSW state, colts and junior representative players, interstate visitors and there is always a team of potential stars from New Zealand, Wales, England and Scotland here to compete as well.

Entries are now open at www.golfnsw.org and close on January 7, 2011.

The first combined Golf NSW fixtures list is now available online at www.golfnsw.org.

For further information contact Christy Collier.