NATHAN Green’s good golf is not as good as it was when he was competing on the US PGA tour.
But the 43-year-old Novocastrian hopes it’s good enough for a top-10 finish at the NSW Open and earn a start at the Australian Open next week.
Green added a 70 to an opening-round 69 to be at five over and tied for 21st entering the weekend at Twin Creeks.
Rookie Harrison Endycott (68,64) fired a flawless eight-under 64 to be at 12 under and lead by one from Cameron John (66,67)
Green has scaled back his playing scheduled significantly since returning from the US four years ago.
“I’m playing steady-ish,” Green said. “My good golf is not good as it used to be and my bad golf is a lot worse. I played pretty good on Thursday. Today I played the front nine well. I started to hit some pretty ordinary shots on the back nine but managed to sneak in. I made a good par up the last. My irons have been pretty good, but the driver has got me in a bit of trouble.”
Green, a US PGA Tour winner, received an invite to play at Twin Creeks, his first four-round tournament since tied for 21st at the Queensland PGA in mid-February.
“I was really struggling on Monday and got a lesson off my brother, Darren,” Green said. “He fixed up my driver and the irons. Gave me something to get through the week. You don’t have to smash it and be super long here, which helps me out a bit. I would have to get pretty hot, shoot six or seven under on Saturday, to get amongst it. My goals have changed a little bit. If I finish top 10 that would be a great result. That would get me a start next week [at the Australian Open]. ”
Alongside Green at five under was Charlestown amateur Blake Windred (71,68) and recently turned professional Dylan Perry (69,70). Perry, from Aberdeen but now based on the Gold Coast, got it to seven under before a double bogey and bogey stalled his progress.
Jake Higginbottom was unable to repeat his day-one effort, adding a 74 to his 67 to be at three-under, two strokes ahead of Leigh McKechnie (69,74).
The rest of the Hunter contingent missed the cut.
Callan O’Reilly was on the number at one-under only to finish bogey, bogey.
Aaron Townsend (73,71), Nick Flanagan (75,72), James Nitties (71,78) and amateurs Jye Pickin (75,76), Hayden Gulliver (76,77) and Tom Bateman (78,81) also struggled.
Pickin, though not progressing to the weekend, enjoyed this maiden NSW Open experience.
The year 12 Macquarie College Student had to move his final HSC exam to Glenmore Park, near Twin Creeks, on Thursday to play.
“I was doing a geography test on Thursday morning thinking about golf that afternoon,” Pickin said.
“It was my first professional tournament and a great learning experience. Just the chance to play with a couple of professionals and see how they go about it has been great. I can already see that my good shots are similar to theirs but I really need to improve my poor shots.”