Whether amateurs or new pros, the “next wave” of talent continues to make its presence felt among the more seasoned ranks of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
With former Victorian state teammates Lucas Herbert and Brett Coletta – the former having turned pro and the latter doubtless considering it – jointly leading the Isuzu Queensland Open, the evidence is clear.
And right on the heels of that 20-year-old pair is strapping Queenslander, Anthony Quayle.
Like good pal Coletta, a recent “teammate” at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship where Australia dominated, Quayle is busily forging his own name and did it no damage with a fine 68 today to move into contention.
And, as with many of his contemporaries to have played the Interstate Series here in May, Quayle is finding the familiar tournament surrounds of the Brisbane Golf Club to his liking.
“It’s probably the best preparation you could have,” Quayle said after adding his second-morning 68 to an opening 70 and watching his stocks rise all the way to T5 as the wind whipped up.
“Any time you can have 10 competitive rounds in a week as opposed to a couple of practice rounds when the intensity is pretty low (before this week), the amateurs have somewhat of an advantage because we’ve seen how it plays under a little bit of pressure.”
It’s this attention to detail and comfort with his game that stood Quayle, 22, in such good stead when he lost in a playoff at the Papua New Guinea Open on the Australasian Tour earlier this year.
And while the comforts of his own bed make this week marginally more appealing, he said he felt a lot of similarities between the tournaments.
“I got heaps out of that week. I felt very comfortable, stayed with some nice people and it’s not unlike this week, actually,” Quayle said.
“I’m in a good headspace and I’m feeling confident about my game.
“I’ve played nicely the past couple of days and … I haven’t felt nervous yet and it’s not often you get to sleep in your own bed at these tournaments so I feel like I’m really … having some fun out there.”
Quayle is unsure of an exact timeline, but with a start upcoming at the second stage of Web.Com Tour Q-school in Alabama, his amateur clock is ticking.
But the move will barely faze him.
“The last few weeks playing overseas has (confirmed that) I feel like I can be competitive at this level.”
And among the “kids”, he’s not alone in that thought.
Local hope Lawry Flynn put behind him an erratic start to his second round, when he was five over after as many holes, to finish with a 74 that left him at two over, alongside newly minted Sydney pro Cam Davis (69, 73).
Three more Queensland amateurs – Doug Klein, Blake Proverbs and Mitchell Smith – made it to the weekend at three over, the same total as emerging Perth star Ben Ferguson.
And five more – Victorian David Micheluzzi, West Australian Haydn Barron, New South Welshman and Queensland duo Shae Wools-Cobb and Zach Maxwell – scrambled themselves two more rounds after finishing on the cut line at five over.
Maxwell, just 16 and the son of Virginia Golf Club professional Brett, only pre-qualified at his home course on Monday and kept his magical week rolling despite two closing bogeys he thought had cost him dearly before the afternoon wind proved his saviour.
That’s 12 amateurs out of 63 who advanced – and with only nine strokes between first and the cut line, who’s to say another famous chapter won’t be written come Sunday.