By TONY WHITE
BIG Matt Worthing teed off in the second round of the 36-hole men's Jacaranda Open at Grafton District Golf Club yesterday with a two-shot lead in a jovial and buoyant mood.
The 29-year-old was on the verge of rewriting the Jacaranda Open annals, shooting for an historic third straight victory in the annual event first staged in 1948.
After an superb opening four under-par 69 with only one bogey, Worthing only had to hold his nerve for his name to again grace the winners' trophy.
His tee shot was short. His chip was short and incredibly, he missed the return putt.
Inside Worthing's massive frame a volcano erupted. He admitted uttering plenty of expletives under his breath.
"You bloody idiot," he gasped audibly. "Your silly dope."
The self admonishment is common in Worthing's golf psyche, but it works for him.
He admitted unleashing the pent up frustration when he got to the second tee.
"I was cranky. Let's just say I gave it everything I had, I didn't hold back," he said as a massive drive launched down the fairway.
By the 3rd he was back in birdie territory and back in the groove.
Worthing birdied holes 10 and 18 as well and with the opening bogey finished with a two-under 69 for a 36-hole total of 136 to score a popular four shot win over Steve Sinclair, the A-Grade Club Champion from Virginia in Queensland, who had rounds of 71-69 (140).
Local Graham Dewberry, the 1986 Jacaranda Open winner, flagged yesterday shooting 75 after an opening round 69 to finish third.
There were 170 competitors on Saturday and 140 yesterday.
Worthing, this year's Grafton A grade club champion, previously won the Jacaranda Open in 1998.
"I managed to hit the ball good again, super all weekend," Worthing said.
"I was pretty pleased I only had two bogeys although the one on the first was bloody awful.
"I struck the ball far better on Saturday, it could have been anything if I'd holed a few more putts, then today (Sunday) I got a bit of luck off a few trees and things which helped.
"I don't know why but just before the club championships my swing clicked. I haven't been doing anything different but everything just clicked."
Apart from the club championships and Jacaranda Open, Worthing was also a member of Grafton's Division 1 Pennants team that won the Mid North Coast Championships.
And he also won the Grafton match play championships.
On Saturday he birdied holes 2, 8, 9, 10 and 13 which included chipping in on the 8th.
"That was the key on Saturday, it really got me going and I birdied two of the next three holes," Worthing said.
The 10th was dream time territory, finishing 145cm from the cup on the opening day and 40cm yesterday.
"Mate this is great. I come out to play golf, have a few drinks and have fun," he said.
Results in tomorrow's Daily Examiner.