Daniel Gale believes regional qualifying is the ideal way for an amateur to cement a spot in the 2016 NSW Open Golf Championship, and he has the experience to prove it.
“I planned out a regional qualifying strategy last year, and saw it as a great opportunity. Wagga Wagga fitted in perfectly,” he said.
Gale blew the field away in the City of Wagga Open, recording a six-shot win along the way and grabbing his second start in the NSW Open.
“If I hadn’t won the Wagga Open, there were two more (Qualifying Events) I could’ve played in. If you don’t play well in one, you’ve got the chance to tee it up again,” he said.
A member of the 2016 NSW Men’s State Team, Gale believes locking his spot away in the Championship was instrumental in his performance last year.
“I ended up coming 18th in the NSW Open last year. It was a pretty successful week,”
Gale posted four tidy rounds along the way, the highlight being his opening round 7-under par 65.
The opportunity to try and qualify by playing in more than one event is also there for amateurs in 2016. A fact Gale feels more amateurs should take advantage of.
“In a Regional Qualifier you’re only against other amateurs, not against the professionals. It’s definitely more comfortable.”
“Tee it up in the Monday qualifier and you're against pros you’ve seen on TV. You’re a bit in awe, you’ve got to beat them, and it gets at your confidence a bit,” he said.
Gale took the Monday qualifying route in 2014, and while he got through, the experience was exhausting.
“When I pre qualified the year before it was straight after the Federal Amateur. The first couple of rounds were okay, but after I made the cut I was just wrecked. I don’t want to go through that again,” he said.
Gale is relishing the opportunity to compete in the Championship this year. After witnessing his good friend Ben Eccles take out the title out last year, the Castle Hill Member is ready to take a step up.
“To see Ben win last year was a big motivator for all of us. If you’re in the HP squad, or an elite amateur you’re as good a chance as anyone to do what he did last year and win it, absolutely!”
“I’d love to sit down like Ben did on the Monday last year and have a career decision to make. It would be a really big decision, one that you couldn’t turn down, especially with the Australian Open on the very next week,” he smiled.
The 2016 New South Wales Open Golf Championship will be played at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club from November 10th to 13th 2016. The Championship is a key tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia and will kick-off the 2016 Australian Summer of Golf.
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The NSW Open Golf Championship – Defining Legends Since 1931.