Solid start the key for Martin's Open hopes

If the New South Wales PGA Championship had been in Sydney last week, you could be forgiven for thinking Bendigo golfer Andrew Martin skipped the event on purpose to avoid the Harbour City – where the Australian Open begins tomorrow.

But in reality he just forgot to enter.

“Because the PGA didn’t come on the schedule until late I was in China and realised when it came around I forgot to enter,” Martin said.

“It was an enforced break, really.”

While that might upset the routine of some golfers, Martin wasn’t too fussed.

After all, it meant he didn’t have to travel to Sydney too far in advance of the $1.25m Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club.

“I love the Aussie Open…I want to win it. Just in Sydney everything’s busy, it’s go, go, go, so it’s hard to chill out off the course,” Martin said.

“We’re at the same course again for the third year, I used to enjoy going to different courses, but I guess this way you’re used to the course, so there’s no excuses.”

While Martin has battled in the event the past two years, missing the cut both times, he doesn’t believe The Lakes isn’t suited to his game.

“It’s one of those courses that’s not advantaging anyone who hits it long, if you place yourself well off the tee you can definitely have a good score as well,” he said. 

“I think the biggest thing is make sure you position your ball on the greens because they’re so big. 

“You’re going to hit a lot of greens this week, but you want to make sure you’re not hitting it too far away.”

Aside from the obvious benefits of prizemoney, Martin has plenty to play for this week and in the PGA Championship next week. Currently 13th on the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit, Martin is within range of earning entry into more tournaments on other tours.

But the former Neangar Park golfer is not getting too carried away just yet, focusing on a good start tomorrow.

“I’m not going to have too much expectation, I’m just going to play my game,” Martin said.

“It comes down to who holes the most putts really, I feel like I’ve been putting well lately, so hopefully it can continue.”

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