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Mark Hale has grabbed the second regional qualifying spot on offer for the 2016 NSW Open Golf Championship after a thrilling finish to the Northern NSW Amateur Championships at Gunnedah Golf Club over the weekend.
The Mudgee Golf Club member posted rounds of 2-under par 68 on Saturday followed by a 1-over par 71 on Sunday to win by two shots from last year’s champion and Gunnedah Golf Club local Luke Streater.
Although Hale seemed to be heading towards an easy win late in the second round, back-to-back birdies on the 16th and 17th from his playing partner Streater meant it was going to be a nail-biting finish on the final hole. The man from Mudgee didn't disappoint and sealed the deal with a 40 metre pitch-in eagle to grab the victory.
Hale is now guaranteed a place in the 2016 NSW Open Championship at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club this November. It will be the second time he's teed it up in the State's premier golf championship. "It feels awesome, I cant wait," Hale said. "I played at the Vintage a couple of years ago but I missed the cut."
"I want to make the cut this time for sure. That's my goal to play the weekend for sure," he smiled.
The Northern NSW Amateur win caps off a solid run of results this year for Hale. He was an integral part of the Mudgee team that won the Central West District A grade Pennant title in June – the Club’s first A grade pennant in its 109 year history.
On hand to present Hale with his invitation to compete in this year’s NSW Open was Golf NSW Match Committee Chairman Peter Mitchell and Kevin Anderson, Member for Tamworth.
The NSW Open Golf Championship is proudly supported by the NSW Government and Destination NSW, and will be held at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Course in Greater Western Sydney from November 10th to 13th 2016. The Championship will form a key part of the 2016 Australian Summer of Golf.
The NSW Open Golf Championship – Defining Legends since 1931