Rarely will a golfer be under par after two rounds of a tournament but not play on the weekend, but that’s what happened to Andrew Martin at last year’s Victorian PGA Championships.
The Neangar Park golfer was sensationally disqualified after his playing partner incorrectly marked his card.
Bitterly disappointed at the time, Martin has put all that behind him ahead of today’s return to Forest Resort Creswick for this year’s tournament.
“I’ll try and continue from last year with the same game plan. Golf’s golf, one shot at a time is the only way you can really go with it,” Martin said.
“(Creswick’s) quite slopey and hilly, from all accounts it’s in better condition than last year. They’ve put a bit more water on the fairways to make it a bit more playable.”
Following a good year on the PGA Tour of Australasia, Martin took some time off over Christmas and has only played a handful of Pro-Ams in the lead-up to today’s 8am tee-off. A couple of top-10 finishes suggest he’s finding his best form.
“They’re a bit of fun, I feel like I played alright,” he said.
“I feel very refreshed for the year, being the first event it’s hard to say what expectations are. No-ones had much competition play for a while so it will be interesting to see how we go.”
TAB Sportsbet has Martin at $67 to win the Championships, while in-form Axedale golfer Kris Mueck, who tees-off at 12:50pm, is $126.
Four players share equal-favouritism at $15, including defending champion Gareth Paddison.
Those who travel across to Creswick may be a bit surprised at the players’ informal attire for the Championships, with a new rule that players can wear shorts.
Martin’s a big fan of the idea, which the PGA has approved for tier-two events which aren’t broadcast on TV.
“I’m just noticing today there’s a lot of guys who have gone the shorts option. I’ve got the shorts on, I haven’t worn a pair of pants since Coolum (Australian PGA Championships),” Martin said yesterday.
“I like that the way they’re doing it, some people don’t think it’s professional enough – but each to their own – but I think the PGA is showing a bit of forward thinking.”
Martin has a busy few months ahead with the Heritage Classic, British Open qualifiers, Queensland PGA, Victorian Open and New Zealand PGA before March.