Bunker challenge: Greg Starr of Yamba about to negotiate his way into the sand to play his shot, watched on by an amused Jay Simpson of Brisbane.
Bunker challenge: Greg Starr of Yamba about to negotiate his way into the sand to play his shot, watched on by an amused Jay Simpson of Brisbane. Lynne Mowbray

Ballard, Scott share Pro-Am spoils

IN-FORM pro Matthew Ballard has claimed his second consecutive Yamba Pro-Am – well sort of.

A two-time winner of the Sunshine Tour this year, Ballard shot a two-round total of 139 but had to share top prize with early leader Grant Scott.

Despite a very wet year which saw the Yamba course closed on a number of occasions, the staff had the greens in superb condition for the inaugural two-day, $17,500 event.

Visiting professional Col Edwards, despite shooting a 79 on the first day, said it was the best prepared club course he had played in the past 10 years – even joking it should be renamed Royal Yamba.

Of the 79 professionals playing from around Australia and New Zealand, the course suited Scott who shot a 66 on Friday to equal Adam Wiseman’s course record and take an early lead in the tournament.

He was closely followed by Corey Hale, Matthew Guyatt, Peter Shaw, Taylor Cooper and Tim Porter, all with 68s.

Another sunny start gave the Saturday morning field perfect conditions and as the day warmed up the greens became very fast with the fourth in particular causing problems for professionals and amateurs alike.

The afternoon field was struck by a couple of showers but on the day only six professionals shot under par, the best rounds being recorded by afternoon players Ballard (67) and Adam Causley (69).

Early leader Scott shot 73 to finish with 139 and Ballard, who has had wins at Rockhampton and Horton Park in this year’s Sunshine Tour, finished 72-67 (139) to share the winner’s prizemoney, each player taking home $2537.

Guyatt picked up $1400 when he finished a clear third with 68-72 (140) with prizemoney extending to the first 35 players.

In the amateur department Pauline McKinnon won the day on Friday with 42 points on a countback from Darb Tonkin with Stephen Killingback from Ballina third with 41 and Matt Chenney fourth (39).

Following the event a number of pros and players adjourned to a floodlight 10th tee and green for the NTP Shootout, which resulted in Geoff Grayson from Maclean winning a $500 Pro Shop voucher and Ballard adding $1000.



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