Date: April 27, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Gridley stakes spot in Aussie golf history

2 years ago a 36 handicapper, today NT's first ever winner. Meet Mitch Gridley.

Posted by Golf Australia on Monday, April 27, 2015

A 6-1 loss to Western Australia doesn’t appear anything to write home about on face value.

But for 16-year-old Mitch Gridley, that “1” means just about everything.

Gridley made history when, playing at No.7, he became the first ever Northern Territorian to tee off in the Interstate Teams Championship at Huntingdale Golf Club this morning.

More importantly, though, four hours later he won the Territory’s first point in senior men’s competition.

And when you consider he was playing off a handicap of 36 less than two years ago, his path to the record books is nothing short of amazing.

“I don’t know what happened, something just clicked,” the softly spoken Gridley said after his 1-up win over Benjamin Seward.

“I didn’t even like golf much then, but now I just can’t get enough of it.

“I’m out there practising and playing whenever I can.”

That effort is paying off handsomely.

Gridley won the Alice Springs Junior Open this year and also won a point in the recent Australian Junior Teams Championship in South Australia.

But it’s today’s point that means the world.

“Hopefully it means a fair bit in the future. I think once we (the NT team) gets a bit more experience at this level, we’ll be really competitive,” said Gridley, who first played in Melbourne during last year’s junior titles.

“The conditions weren’t what I’m used to,” he said with a smile of temperatures in the mid-teens and intermittent showers.

“But it’s just great that we’re here and doing this.”

Gridley’s teammates didn’t replicate his heroics, but they also fared well on debut.

Kerryn Heaver pushed the impressive Kiran Day all the way before a 1-down loss, while Will Hetherington was competitive against Golf Australia national squad member Jarryd Felton in the No.1 match before succumbing 3&2.

Northern Territory has the bye this afternoon before taking on Tasmania and Victoria tomorrow.