CALEB Bromley has been there or thereabouts in a host of major junior tournaments without ticking the box.
It is a statistic that the Waratah 17-year-old hopes to change this week at the Jack Newton Junior Golf State Age Championships at Belmont and Charelstown.
And he is banking a more reliable driver to help get the job done.
"I am starting to hit it a bit further, but it's more important to hit it straight than long at Belmont," the year-11 Cardiff High School Student said. "I have been working pretty hard and my game is in good shape. I have been working with Nathan Green for the past few months. He has concentrated more on my technique. I'm hitting it a lot straighter and have more control."
Earlier this year, Blomley won the Newcastle Juinior Classic, lost to Jack McLeod in a 18-hole play-off for the Charlestown Cup and played A-grade pennants for Waratah. He is currently in the Newcastle District junior team.
"I have played pennants for the past two years and have learnt a lot off those guys," Bromley said. "This is my last year as a junior. I only play the main Jack Newton events and want to finish with a couple of wins."
Blomley is part of a strong Hunter contingent out to repeat the winning feat of Jye Pickin last year.
NSW teammates Corey Lamb (Branxton), Josh Robards (Newcastle) and Jacob Dundas (Toronto), NSW All-Schools representative Brij Ingrey (Newcastle) and Hamish Ellison (Belmont) and Nelson Bay's Harry Cleare enter the 72-hole championships in good form.
As well as the local stars, NSW team members Harrison Crowe (St Michaels), Jeffery Guan (Australian) and Lachlan Jones (Concord) and Queensland guns Louis Dobbelaar, Sam Satler, Bailey Arnott and Connor Whitelock are among 250 players competing in age groups from under-13 to under-18s.
Queenslander Hye Park is aiming to be the first girl to defend the title in a decade. Last year, the 16-year-old closed with an eight-under par 65 to come from five strokes back and claim victory. She added the Australian Girls Championship to her impressive resume with a commanding victory on the Gold Coast in April.
Kiana Toole (Belmont) and Jamine Vesper (Singleton) will lead the Hunter charge in the girls.
The overall winner in the boys and girls earn a start at the NSW Open later in the year.
* Fresh from winning the Queensland Junior Amateur, Corey Lamb hopes to secure a start in a second professional tournament by winning at Belmont this week.
Lamb, who recently left school to concentrate on golf, shot rounds of 66, 69, 74, 69 to finish at six-under at Carbrook Golf Course last Friday and win by five strokes. Muswellbrook's Josh Fuller (72,74,72,78) was tied for eighth.
Lamb was rewarded with a spot in the Queensland Open at Brisbane Golf Course, starting November 1.
"The Queensland Open will be my first pro tournament," the 17-year-old said. "I tried not to think about it, but it (exemption) was in the back of my mind. I played really solid golf."
Lamb's first round 66 set up the win.
"It got quite windy for the last three rounds," he said. "To have six under for the four rounds, I was pretty happy with that. It was my first big win since the Federal Amateur [last November]. I have been practicing hard so it is good to get some results. I'll take a bit of confidence into this week. Hopefully I can win again and get a start at the NSW Open."
* Charlestown-based European tour member Andrew Dodt makes his return from a back injury in Queensland this week. The 33-year-old, who hasn't played a tournament in three months, will tee up in pro-am events in Buderim and Maroochydore.
* Charlestown professional Janelle Smith made a memorable return to Cowra on Saturday, recording a hole-in-one at her home course for the first time since she was 12.
Armed with an eight-iron at the 120 metre par-three 14th hole, Smith hit it flush and slam-dunked the ball into the hole.
"It's a little green surrounded by bunkers," said husband Ryan, who took credit for the ace by providing the correct yardage. "We couldn't see the ball go in it but we heard it. When we walked up to the green, the ball was no where to be seen. It was her eighth hole in one and second at Cowra."
* Blake Windred will be hoping to join an elite group that includes Major winners Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Lucas Glover and Justin Thomas when he tees off in the Players Amateur at Berkeley Hall in South Carolina on Thursday.
In it's 20th year, the Players Amateur has attracted a crack field headed by defending champion John Augenstein.
Windred, from Charlestown, finished tied for 19th last season and has been in camp with the Australian team in Houston.
As well as the Players Amateur, Windred will tee up in the Pacific Coast Amateur (University of New Mexico Golf Club), Western Amateur (Point O' Woods Golf, Michigan) and US Amateur (Pinehurst Golf Club, North Carolina).