AFTER a six-month hiatus from competition golf, Toronto professional Cal O'Reilly is looking forward to finally taking his finger off the pause button.
What's more, O'Reilly will be playing on home turf.
The 28-year-old will be joined by fellow Newcastle professionals Jake Higginbottom, Andrew Dodt, Nathan Green and Blake Windred, Dimi Papadatos (Central Coast), Sydneysider Dale Brandt-Richards and Wollongong's Jordan Zunich for the inaugural Toronto Modified Super Sixes matchplay tournament on Friday.
The events, as well as give the players desperately needed competition, is also designed to help promote the recently opened driving range at the Toronto Country Club.
The players will be split into two groups of four. Matches will be drawn from a hat. There are three parts to the event, spread across six holes each. Winners from the initial one-on-one battles play each other. Leaders from the next section cross over to meet in a final for the remainder of the round.
The players will warm-up on the driving range and do a meet and greet with members and spectators from 10.30am.
The event is the brainchild of O'Reilly's father Tim, who is on the board of the Toronto Workers Club, which operates the golf club.
"They were looking for different ways to promote the range," Cal O'Reilly said.
"It will be really good. Socially, we haven't been around these guys in a group for a long time. The competition will be awesome. I'm really appreciative to the club for putting it on."
O'Reilly is supposed to be playing on the Japan Challenge Tour but has been "off work" since COVID-19 brought golf to a standstill on March 14.
Higginbottom and Dodt are on the Asian Tour, Papadatos has status on the European Tour, Windred would also be based in Europe playing on the second-tier Challenge Tour.
In terms of major events in Australia, there is little on the horizon.
The Australian Open at Kingston Heath and and the European co-sanctioned Australian PGA (Brisbane) have been put back to the new year but are not certain to proceed. Even the NSW pro-am circuit is on hold.
"Our careers have been put on pause," said O'Reilly, who has been working casually in the pro shop at Toronto.
"We are lucky that we are classed as a sole trader and receive JobKeeper. I have been ticking over with that. It has been OK. There are people worse off than me."
Most tours will carry the current status of players over to next year. The 2021 Japan Challenge Tour starts in April.
"I will see what is happening when that comes around," O'Reilly said.
For now, all O'Reilly is focused on is Friday, where he hopes local knowledge will provide a winning edge.
"Dimi has played Toronto once, Dale maybe twice and Jordan has never played it. I know it like the back and front of my hand," O'Reilly said.
"Higgo will be tough to beat, but I should go OK out there too."
Toronto head professional Darren Green was simply glad to give the players something to compete in.
"Cal could be in Japan now," Green said.
"The boys have nothing to play in so it is something fore them and we will all benefit out of it a bit."
Spectators are welcome on Friday but social distancing rules will apply.
** DARREN Green created his own headlines with his first hole-in-one in 20 years in an ambrose event at Toronto on Saturday.
Green hit a "knock down eight-iron" at the 133-metre par-three which landed on the edge of the green, bit to the right, spun, went down the hill and into the cup.
"It was always left but it was coming off the slope and I thought it might be alright if it got the right little bounce," Green said. "As we were walking off the tee, we thought it disappeared and we had to grab the scopes and double check it.
"It was my fifth or six ace but it has been a while. I had one on the 12th hole on my 30th birthday so that was 20 years ago.
"I was plating with a group of boys I regularly have a hit with. We were four under through three but it didn't amount to anything. We lost by two at the end of the day."
** FORMER Waratah club champion and WE Alexander winner Ken Hughes has called Bulahdelah home since his retirement. However, his competitive spirit is as strong as ever. Turning 76 next month and playing off a handicap of 12, Hughes won the B-grade club championship on Saturday. The win comes 20 months after he had quadruple bypass surgery.
Geoff Harvey was the winner in A-Grade and Allan Johnson took out C-Grade.
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