Gerringong has a new sporting star on the horizon after local Jake Reay claimed the New South Wales Golf Club Championship on Sunday.
From the renowned hamlet on the south coast famous for Michael Cronin, Sally Fitzgibbon, Rod Wishart, the Sims clan (Ruan, Ashton, Tariq & Korbin) and a surf wear shop that’s ‘Definitely Worth the Drive‘, Reay’s name is another likely to become familiar around town very soon.
Reay stepped up in yesterday’s 36 hole final, defeating his opponent Shaun Cameron 6 & 5.
The 21-year-old had earlier qualified for the matchplay as the second seed, and during the knock out phase managed to claim several impressive scalps. He took care of fellow south coast local Zinyo Garcia in the second round, before taking down one of the club’s big guns, former State representative Zac Mullins, two up in the semi-finals.
It is a maiden club championship at the storied Mackenzie layout on the La Perouse headland for Reay, and hopefully, it won’t be his last.
“I’ve won the Gerringong Club Champs before, but this one is a bit bigger,” he beamed.
I was pretty stoked when I finished; it didn’t quite hit me till the presentation, then they began reading the names of the past champions.”
Reay’s progress through to the championship match also caught the attention of plenty of the Gerringong locals. A good crowd made the trek up to support the 21-year-old, led by his Dad, Andy, and mum, Kim.
“It was a good atmosphere, a lot of the members came out, and I had a little Reay army following as well,” he beamed.
The win also meant a change in the Sunday hours back at Michael Cronin’s Gerringong Hotel with Reay, who works behind the bar at the local, racing back down the coast to celebrate.
“The pub usually closes early on Sunday, but when they heard I had won, they stayed open a bit later to celebrate. When I arrived, everyone was there.”
Reay said the championship was one of several goals he had set for himself in the sport. Next up is to qualify for this month’s AVJennings NSW Open at Twin Creeks.
“Hopefully, I will get into the NSW Open. It was a big goal of mine for this year.”
Determined to forge a path in golf as a touring professional at some stage, the next year or so is shaping up as an important one for the Gerringong tyro.
“This will be a good confidence boost for me, leading into the early part of next year. I will play the Aussie Am (Amateur) in Queensland, the NSW Am and Avondale.
“I’ve never made the cut for the matchplay in one of those big events,” Reay said. “Hopefully this will stand me in good stead.”