Worthing chases record ninth Jaca Cup victory
GOLF: Despite an injury ravaged preparation and a dip in form, Grafton Golf Club member Mat Worthing will still give his all this weekend as he chases a record-breaking ninth Jacaranda Cup title.
The defending champion has put plenty of time in on the greens in recent weeks as he works back to the form that had him clinch last year's title by default - when Woolgoolga golfer Logan Toms was unable to return to the club for a first place play-off.
Worthing joined club stalwart Graham Dewberry at the top of the list of all-time Jacaranda Cup winners.
But he now faces an uphill battle to claim the honour outright with a field of about 180 golfers ready to tee off in this weekend's 36-hole feature.
Almost 50 of those challengers will be travelling down from Brisbane-based sister club Virginia Golf Club while another strong contingent will come from Wantima.
Grafton Golf Club president Trevor Townsend admitted it will be tough for the local competitors with close to a dozen visitors playing off a scratch handicap.
"This has to be our best interest in the Jacaranda Open in the past decade," Townsend said.
"I think that has a lot to do with the exposure we have gotten with hosting the PGA Pro-Am events in recent years."
Grafton Golf Club pro Greg Harvison has been touted as another "one to watch" with the former two-time champion also getting in a lot of practice ahead of the event.
The 2015 runner-up Toms will make the short trip up the highway again to compete for the Cup and with a handicap of +2 he is in fine form.
Club champion Matt McKee has also battled injury and spent time away from the course but with the Jacaranda Cup being the only silverware to evade his grasp it is expected he will not miss the opportunity.
Townsend, who was on course yesterday, said it was in top shape and would be perfect for the weekend's competition after a green clip and roll.