Young guns ready for return of Qld Open
BY PGA of Australia | Australasian PGA Tour | 2013 Isuzu Queensland Open | Preview | 16 Aug 2013
The future of Australian golf will be on show at Brookwater Golf and Country Club next week when the Isuzu Queensland Open tees off from the 22nd – 25th August.
Renowned for developing future stars, the Queensland Open has previously been won by Greg Norman, Peter Senior, Ian Baker-Finch and Stuart Appleby, with many Professionals hoping to put their name on the trophy in 2013.
One rising star looking for success in the Sunshine State is Matthew Stieger who in 2012 only months after turning Professional won the NSW PGA Championship.
After a two month break spent in his hometown of Narrabri, Stieger now has his sights set on claiming the Isuzu Queensland Open.
“It’s my first tournament back after two months off so I’m looking for a top-10 finish. A win would be great but the real aim is to play some decent golf,” said Stieger.
“As I was growing up Greg Norman was always one of my idols so to put my name alongside one of Australia’s greats would be unbelievable; I’m getting excited just thinking about it.”
Touted as one of Australia’s most promising talents Stieger admits he is starting to feel the pressure as he embarks on a career as a Touring Professional.
“To jump out of the ropes like I did, it’s what I wanted but it was a bit unexpected so there is that little bit of pressure,” said Stieger referring to his NSW PGA victory.
“But I look back to that and think there are people looking to me and expecting me to do good things which only makes me practice harder and try harder when I am out on the golf course.”
“I am pretty passionate about my golf and I am really intense on myself when I play a bad shot but that’s just showing my love for the game.”
While Stieger already has his card secure thanks to a win in his rookie season, other young guns in the field are looking to secure their first title and future.
In just his second year on Tour, Victorian Ryan Lynch has already experienced coming agonisingly close to winning the Victorian Open in February this year, finishing second behind Matthew Giles.
“I was really proud that I was in contention at the Vic Open. Apart from maybe one hole I got everything out of it that I possibly could and I played really nicely,” said Lynch whose putt on the 18th to force a play-off lipped out.
However the 24 year old says he is ready to put what he learnt from the Victorian Open into practice at Brookwater Golf and Country Club.
“I think if you can put yourself in that position as many times as possible it can only help.”
“From learning what I did last year, after struggling a little bit, I have been able to put it all together and acknowledge that I am good enough to be out here and win these tournaments.”
While the winner’s share of the $110,000 Isuzu Queensland Open prize purse is attractive the other benefits, such as Official World Golf Ranking points, associated with victory are also at the forefront of players’ minds.
“Any four round event where we are playing for money is massive and we all really look forward to it.”
“But it would be huge for me to win – it would guarantee me spots into all the big tournaments this year and free up a little bit of time to go to international Q-Schools over the next year or two knowing that I have full exemptions at home.”
Other young guns looking to make their mark at the Isuzu Queensland Open include Asian Tour winner Kieran Pratt, New Zealand Open champion Jake Higginbottom and Victorian Open champion Matthew Giles.
The Isuzu Queensland Open will be held from the 22-25 August 2013 at Brookwater Golf and Country Club.
Player pre-qualifying will be held on 19 August 2013 at Virginia and Keperra Golf Clubs.
Spectators are welcome and entry is free.