Sun shines on garden city golfers for PGA tournament

Toowoomba City Golf Club president Eddie Britnell can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Before the weekend he was spending as much time watching the radar images of Tropical Cyclone Marcia as he was the greens being prepared.

“We did a fair bit of praying when that cyclone was coming down,” he admitted.

“Thursday was very windy, but there was no damage to the course, just damage to some people’s games!”

The play on Friday was delayed, but when TC Marcia slowed down, spirits lifted on the golf course.

“We ended up playing the whole 72 holes of the tournament and we even finished on time,” he said.

“It turned out brilliantly.”

Ryan Fox from New Zealand won the event with a 17-under score of 263. Queensland’s Cameron Smith and ACT’s Matthew Millar tied for second at 16-under.

The president says in addition to the ever-changing course layout – “continual development is the name of the game here” – the upgraded corporate area and an online video stream of the play added to the experience.

“For our first dip in the water of that sort of thing it worked really well,” Mr Britnell said.

Toowoomba is known as the garden city, and Mr Britnell says its greens and fairways are getting a good reputation.

“I might be biased of course, but we’ve had a lot of visitors from all over the country here this weekend,” he said.

Young members of the club acted as caddies for the professionals over the weekend.

“They got to see how it all worked firsthand. They’re still telling stories about it today,” Mr Britnell said.

He says the youngsters picked up valuable experience.

“These young fellas have minds like a sponge when it comes to golf and soak it all up. I’ve seen them practising, trying out all the things they’ve seen,” he said.

“All I can say is that is if you try and hit it hard around here you’ll get into trouble.

“Just get it straight, keep it on the grass, and you’ll have a lovely time.”

Mr Britnell said keen local players hit the greens on Monday morning hoping for a bit of PGA class to rub off.

“They were champing at the bit to get out there this morning,” he said.

The club has secured the PGA Championship until 2017.

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