Townsend is sultan of swing

ONE of Grafton's sons is swinging and chipping a name for himself in the faraway Sultanate of Oman.

Nestled between Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Sea, the Sultanate of Oman is not known for its grassy greens.

Jay Townsend, a 30-year-old former Grafton District Golf Club member, has just won the first national golf tournament in Oman played on grassy greens.

His win in the Masqat Open last weekend was special for him because it was played on a course he and several other Australians helped to create at Masqat Hills golf course. Also, his Gold Coast-based girlfriend joined him as caddy for the two-day tournament.

Townsend was 15 shots clear of the runner-up, carding a consistent 70 in the first round and 69 in the second round of the 36-hole championship, giving him a five-under-par result.

"It's a wonderful effort when you think he doesn't pay in tournaments much, so it's quite a feather in his cap," proud Grafton mother Jen Townsend said.

"Jay is more of a teaching professional than a playing professional," Mrs Townsend said.

Recently selected to coach the Oman national golf team, Townsend has shown he has the skills.

"He was hoping to show the Omanis that he is worthy of being their coach and show them what he could do," she said.

"He enjoys the people and finds them accommodating and friendly."

After a short visit home, he returned to Oman four months ago to run the oldest golf course in Oman, the Gala golf course, which is introducing grassed greens.

Topics:  golf, jay townsend, masqat open



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