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John Lyras has locked up a ticket to the 2016 NSW Open with a one shot win in today’s Regional Qualifying event at Camden Golf Club.
The St. Michael’s Golf Club representative shot rounds of 5-under-par 66 and 1-over-par 72 to win by a shot from Jordan Garner of Castle Hill. In third place was Cromer’s Corey Rae.
Lyras was over the moon with his biggest tournament result to date.
“This is big, this is huge, this is mad, this is awesome,” he gushed.
Lyras liked what he saw of the Camden layout from the get go. It suited his eye and he was anticipating a good performance all week.
“I was ecstatic when I saw the course. I came here from a practice round on Monday. It is a nice layout. “There’s some lovely holes, it’s a fun course to play and pleasing to the eye. Oh and a challenge in the wind,” he smiled.
“I had a nice round yesterday, I putted nicely, my iron game was good and I drove it well,” Lyras said. “I was pretty happy with my score today, the wind had made the greens really slick.
Lyras was thrilled to hear that he was in the last group when he arrived at the golf course this morning.
“It was really cool. I got here to play and found out I was in a seeded group. It was a neat surprise to play last group off the first tee with everything up for grabs.”
“I’m really happy with the way I played today. My mindset was to play the best golf I could,
Lyras might have been a little surprised with his winning performance, but he knows it has come through a lot of hard work and dedication to his game over the last year.
“Since I finished high school I said to myself I’m going to stick my head down and go real hard at this with nothing else on my mind,
“I was off about three back then (2014) and got down to plus three by April. I’ve been working hard with my coach John Serhan at St. Michael's. It’s full time golf, eight hours a day."
The teenager is a relatively late arrival onto the amateur tournament scene. He has plenty of belief in his ability and is out to make a name for himself in the State ranks.
“I’ve only been playing in the major amateur events for the last eight months or so. The Federal amateur (last year) was my first ever major amateur event.
“I played a bit of pennant last year and made the team full-time this year. I won 4 but lost 2. It wasn’t pretty but I’m kind of learning tournament golf.
The NSW Open will be the teenager's biggest tournament to date. He’s looking forward to the challenge of playing against the cream of Australian Golf.
“I’ve played Stonecutters Ridge many times,” he grinned.”I’m pretty confident.”
“I’m looking forward to November. 100%, I'm pretty confident that if I play my best golf it will stack up,” he smiled.