Blistering round takes out rain-affected pro-am
SHOOTING a brilliant six-under par 66 at Yamba gave former US tour player James Nitties the chocolates in the rain-delayed Yamba Pro-Am.
Nitties' blistering round was two shots better than the 68 which tied up three players - last year's runner-up Steve Jeffress, Brad Burns and Chris Wood.
Heavy rain after a three-month drought showed Yamba officials were right to be worried about the PGA moving this event to August.
They were sitting pretty all week until a huge storm sat right over the top of the course, dumping more than 80mm on the course through the night.
The deluge put two fairways under water, forcing the club to cancel play for Saturday, even though the sun shone brightly all day to dry the course.
On Sunday, golfers woke to sunshine and play was under way, that was until about 8am when the heavens opened and it continued to rain throughout the morning.
Around lunch time when the afternoon field was about to hit off, it wasn't looking good with rain and wind getting stronger every minute officials were running out of time to run another 18 holes.
The PGA and match committee got together and made the call to carry on and see how the afternoon unfolded and with a stroke of luck the rain stopped and the sun even came out, allowing organisers to run the event and some fantastic golf to be played.
The winner of the Duncan's Carpet Cleaners shootout was Paul Hayden, who put it to about 4m, giving him $1000, and in the amateur's shootout Mark MacGregor from Ballina was even closer than the pros, finishing 1.5m from the pin and winning him $500.
The amateur results had the first three places all finish with 39 points, with the countback going to Rob Caldwell from Coffs Harbour ahead of Jan Dampney and third was Barry Bartley. Fourth place went to Harry Peacock with 38 on a countback from Terry Crowe and sixth was Richard Witherden from Coolangatta Tweed with 37 points on a countback.
Nearest to the pins were: on the 9th Mark MacGregor at 501cm; the 10th was Dave Conley at 306cm; the 12th went to Rob Caldwell 139cm; the 17th was Ben Myer at 477cm.
The long drives were: Jarrod Santi for the pros, Ben Chivers from Ballina from the amateurs and the ladies was Isabelle Pinon.