Local hope Mat Crandell has moved to the top of the leaderboard after a second successive even par round at the 2023 Srixon NSW Mid Amateur Championship currently underway at Byron Bay and Ocean Shores Golf Clubs.
“I’m very happy with the start, I’ve had two solid rounds of 72,” the Byron Bay local smiled.
“Being my home course is obviously a big advantage because it can be tricky, especially when the greens are this quick and there’s a bit of wind. It’s definitely been an advantage knowing the ins and outs of the place. I’ve played a lot of golf too at Ocean Shores.”
Crandell says he’s been ‘grinding it out over the past two days to make as many pars as possible’ and is pleased to be at the top of the leaderboard. The experience made all the better by being in his local area.
“It’s great. It’s a good opportunity for both Byron Bay and Ocean Shores to show off their courses but it’s also good to have an event like this as far north, in the Northern Rivers, which doesn’t happen too often.”
Over at Ocean Shores, the golfing gods were in tournament leader Lucie Quilliam’s corner as she achieved the amazing feat of an ace on the par three 17th.
“The hole in one was a eight iron that just cleared the bunker.
“We couldn’t see it, and this lovely lady that was following us around started clapping and pointing that it had gone I, but we weren’t sure until we got up there.
“It’s my third hole in one so I’m very happy,” an elated Quilliam grinned while recounting the master stroke.
“It helped because I doubled the previous par three so it was good to get two shots back in that fashion.”
Helped in part by the hole-in-ione, Quilliam also managed to hold on to her overnight lead, carding a handy four-over-par 78 on the testing Ocean Shores layout.
“I played okay. It was a real grind today and I just couldn’t really get anything going but it was okay.”
Heading into the final round tomorrow, the 2020 champion says she doesn’t have much of a game plan.
“I’m going to keep it tidy. Byron I think is a bit narrower, a bit tighter. I’ll try and limit damage and take it from there,” she said.
“I came in here with no expectations, anything that happens is great and a hole in one is awesome. I’m just looking forward to playing a bit of golf.”
84 men and 16 women (plus ties) will battle it out at Byron Bay Golf Club tomorrow for the title of 2023 Srixon NSW Mid-Amateur Champion, with the final round getting underway at 7:15am.