CHARLESTOWN professional golfer Blake Windred is glad to be back at work - even if he has to spend time in isolation.
Windred, 23, will tee up in the $125,00 Gippsland Super 6 at the Yallourn Golf Club in Morwell on Thursday.
The Super 6 is the first of four consecutive four-round PGA tour events being held in Victoria over the next four weeks - the closest thing to normality since COVID-19 brought professional golf in Australia to a standstill last March.
"This is the first stretch of tournaments since the the start of 2020," Windred said. "It's good to get back to a little bit of normality and hopefully play some good golf and get something going. If we get through the next four weeks, hopefully it leads to other tournaments going ahead."
Windred and Coffs Harbour-based professional Jack Poutney travelled to Victoria on Sunday and spent Monday self isolating at the Always Welcome Motor Inn.
"We drove down Sunday night because we had to get tested at the border," Windred said. "Now we are isolating in a motel room until we get the test results back. Being in the hotel room, I need to do as much preparation as I can before I get out of the course. The ceiling is probably high enough to swing a few clubs. At least we are back working."
Jake Higginbottom is also in the Super 6 field.
Windred's last Australasian PGA event was the Northern Territory PGA in October - the only tournament since the COVID outbreak - where he finished tied for 17th.
There were encouraging signs at the three local pro-am events last week.
Windred shot rounds of 69,66 to be tied for fourth, a stroke behind the winners, at Merewether. He carded a four-under 67 to be runner-up to Nathan Green at Waratah and was tied for 11 at one-under at Belmont.
"I didn't expect to hit the ball as well as I did last week," Windred said. "I have been practicing with a Trackman for the past few months, which has helped with my distance game. I have dialled in my numbers and have never had as much confidence with how far my shots are going. It has helped me a lot and last week really showed that."
However, his form on the greens was not as pleasing.
"Usually I roll a few putts in," he said. "Playing on different greens every day, they were all different speeds and I couldn't really get the hang of it. Still, I feel like my game is in good shape."
Windred also plans to use the next month as preparation for trip to Europe, where he will play a host of Challenge Tour events.
"I spoke to my [Europe based] manager the other day and they want me to let them know when I'm comfortable to go over there," he said.
"At this stage I'm looking at late April. It is a pretty bad situation with COVID at the moment.
"With how young I am, I feel I'm pretty fit. I know it's unknown with COVID but I think it is too much of an opportunity to pass up two years in a row.
"I don't feel I have much of a choice if I want to get my career started overseas then missing another year of golf at age 23 is not an option. If I can go I will go and look to stay until September."
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