BLAKE Windred was frustrated that he “couldn’t get a putt to drop” but the boom Charlestown amateur is confident that his experience at the Major Champions Invitational in Florida will pay dividends down the track.
The brainchild of three-time US Masters and Open champion Nick Faldo, the event comprised of 19 teams made up of four players. Each team represented a Major Championship winner.
Windred was part of the Adam Scott team.
For three days he, Josh Greer, Isabelle Taylor and Kono Matsumoto were treated like tour players.
Australia finished the 54-hole teams event tied for fifth. Windred had rounds of 72, 73, 73 to finish equal 24th in the individual section. An American team representing Dustin Johnson were the inaugural winners.
“America was a great experience,” Windred said. “It would have been nice if I holed a few more putts. I just couldn’t get anything going. That was the most frustrating part. I was hitting my driver the best I had ever hit it. I didn’t putt badly but I just didn’t hole anything. I couldn’t get the speed and shot three average rounds.”
It was the 20-year-old’s first tournament in Florida.
“It is a lot different to playing courses here,” he said. “The weather and the grass is a bit different. I learnt a few things about travelling as well. They are the little pieces of golf that I am trying to learn before I turn pro.”
Scott’s team were to participate in a with the US Masters winner.
“Unfortunately, he was sick and he was also preparing for the Arnold Palmer Invitational,” Windred said. “We were disappointed not to see him, but he put $25,000 into the tournament, sent us over there and paid for everything.
“It was an amazing week. We were treated like tour pros. We went to Bay Hill (Arnold Palmer Invitational) before we flew out and I watched Tiger Woods and couple of my mates who were playing, Curtis Luck and Doc Redman. Curtis gave us clubhouse passes. It was another experience and another eye-opener in my development.”
Windred arrived back Saturday and on Sunday helped defending Sydney major pennants champions The Australian secure a place in the semi-final against Bonnie Doon at Riverside.
While in the US, Winded was named in the NSW team to compete at the Interstate series for a third straight year. The series is being held at the Grange in Adelaide from May 8-11.
* Toronto’s Clayton Bridges will be out to continue his solid form on the Riverina swing of the pro-am circuit this week. The 25-year-old shot rounds of 65,73 to finish runner-up in the $40,000 Leeton pro-am last weekend. That followed a tie for sixth at the $15,000 Griffith event last Friday. Leigh McKechnie finished alongside Bridges in equal sixth at Griffith and was 13th in Leeton. Both are entered in the $11,000 Yenda pro-am on Tuesday.
They will be joined by Nathan Green, Jake Higginbottom, James Nitties, Aaron Townsend and Jamie Hook at the $40,000 Wagga Wagga pro-am on Thursday and Friday.
* The inaugural Sugar Valley Cup will held on Saturday.
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