Top field for Seniors tournament

Byron Bay Golf Club course superintendent Shaun Cross and club professional Greg Stewart above the finishing hole.
Byron Bay Golf Club course superintendent Shaun Cross and club professional Greg Stewart above the finishing hole.
The Fiducian Legends Australian PGA Seniors championship which starts tomorrow at the Byron Bay Golf Club promises two contests in the one event.

As well as chasing a win in the event, six golfers are in the hunt for top spot in the seniors’ order of merit list which opens up wider opportunities in Europe.

Heading the list is Garry Merrick, who will be lining up in tomorrow’s field.

He will be joined by more than 70 other pros, including Peter Senior, Rodger Davis, Mike Ferguson, defending champion Noel Ratcliffe and Mike Harwood, who has just recorded a win in Europe.

Club professional Greg Stewart said course preparations were right on schedule.

“I think it’s well ahead of where it was last year,” he said. “There is a bit more grass on the fairways and the greens are fantastic.”

First players will hit off at 6.30 am, with the last group of the day teeing up at 1.30.

Like last year, the course will be reversed, with the back nine becoming the front nine.

Stewart said the par 13th hole (the 4th on the front nine) was the course’s signature hole and it could well determine the outcome.

“With a bit of speed and pin positions, no doubt it will be a talking point,” said Stewart.

“It will be the crunch hole.”

The small course staff, led by course superintendent Shaun Cross, has been working up to 70 hours a week to get the course in the best possible shape for the event.

Stewart said Cross was the ‘most important person in the club’ and had done a fantastic job.
“His crew are a credit to him,” he said.

Club members have also chipped in with some volunteer labour over the last few weeks.

The $80,000 54-hole event will be played over three days, with the presentation expected to be around 3.30 to 4 pm on Sunday.

The professionals will be joined by more than 80 amateurs on the first two days.

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