Date: November 08, 2017
Author: Dave Tease

Duo to make pro debut at NSW Open

New South Wales teammates Travis Smyth and Harrison Endycott have signed off on their impressive amateur careers and will make their professional debuts together in next week’s NSW Open at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club.

Smyth finished his career ranked 11th in the world on the World Amateur Golf Rankings, while Endycott finished 17th.

Smyth’s amateur career featured wins at the Riversdale Cup, medallist honours in the NSW Amateur, a runner-up finish in the 2016 Australian Amateur and a quarter-final appearance in the 2017 US Amateur championship at Riviera Country club.

"The international experience I have got as an amateur has been invaluable,” Smyth said.

"The experience of going to America and playing in the US, all of it has helped me get better."

But undoubtedly for the 22-year-old from Flinders, near Shellharbour on the NSW south coast, the highlight of his amateur career was his wire-to-wire win against the professionals at the Northern Territory PGA in August.

Endycott produced a record-breaking year in 2016, recording an impressive five wins globally including the Lake Macquarie Amateur, Riversdale Cup, Avondale Amateur, South Australian Classic, the Porter Cup Invitational in New York and also winning the Eisenhower Cup for Australia alongside Curtis Luck and Cameron Davis.

Endycott said he felt the team camaraderie was what he would remember best from his amateur days.

"Travelling with a team, seeing the world with my mates has been great," Endycott said.

"I think I've had a pretty good amateur career."

Endycott said the idea of the duo making their professional debuts together was a thrill and he hoped their pro careers may progress in a similar way.

"We have played junior golf together, we went through the Jack Newton program together, then to the NSW state team, interstate series and Australian teams.

"It will be good if one day we are all making a name for ourselves out there on the PGA Tour, together."

Another state teammate of the pair, Dylan Perry, is yet to finalise his plans to turn professional with the big decision due in the next 10 days.

Golf Australia high performance director Brad James acknowledged the pair's rise through the ranks.

“When we first saw Travis and Harrison, they had potential and high expectations, but now they’re professional in so many ways more than title alone,” James said.

“Under New South Wales national coach Dean Kinney and his high performance team, the guys have become great athletes and do so much work off the course to ensure they maintain the highest physical standards you need to succeed these days.

“They have helped put NSW golf back to the forefront of Australian amateur golf in the past couple of seasons.

“It’s time to take all that under-pinning work they’ve put in through the Golf NSW program and transition to the international professional level.”

Kinney was equally proud of the duo’s move to pay-for-play ranks.

“They’ve always been good golfers, but now they’re professional athletes and we think they have learnt so much in the past couple of years to help this next transition be as smooth as possible,” Kinney said.

“They’re fine young men and will be a credit to the professional tours where they will, no doubt, hold cards over the next generation.

“They’ve been great representatives of New South Wales and Australian golf teams – I think they’ll continue to do us proud.”