Date: September 25, 2017
Author: Tony Durkin

Local boy Lawry heads list of Open exemptions

Lawry Flynn, the youngest club champion in Brisbane Golf Club‘s prestigious 121-year history, is among a number of amateur golfers to receive an exemption into the field for the Isuzu Queensland Open.

And following his impressive win over fellow 19-year-old Stephen Cox in the 36-hole match play club championship final, the current Queensland State player and member of the Queensland Academy of Sport Golf Program is expected to give the professionals a run for their money.

“An amateur won the Open last year, so why not again,” said Flynn who believes he and his fellow members of the QAS squad have an advantage because they train and play at Brisbane on a weekly basis.

More than a dozen amateurs have received tournament exemptions, including three golfers who have recently won regional Queensland open events.

Adam Mollis (Biloela), John Smoljko (Ryde Parramatta) and Connor Edmonds (Indooroopilly) won the City of Rockhampton, Far North Queensland and the North Queensland open tournaments respectively to secure their spot in the Isuzu Queensland Open field.

Mollis, who lives at Blackwater, beat a field of more than 200 to win in Rockhampton after he won a three-hole play-off against 2016 Queensland Boys’ Amateur Champion, Jay Mackenzie.

For Smoljko, a former Brisbane Golf Club member who now lives in Sydney, the journey back will be nostalgic. He secured the final qualifying exemption after winning the FNQ title at Mossman Golf Club and said he was ‘absolutely stoked’ to be returning to his former stomping ground.

Now studying in Brisbane, Edmonds won the NQ Open at his former club, Mackay, beating former State player, Steven Cox, by a shot.

While Lawry Flynn believes knowledge of his home course will be an advantage, he says any performance is only as good as the effort put into preparation.

“Knowing the course intimately, as we do, is important and a benefit,” he said.

“But plotting the course in the days leading into the tournament and correctly judging distances is what makes the difference. As locals, we will have to treat the event as a tournament, and not just another club round.”

Flynn will be teeing up in the Isuzu Queensland Open for the second time, having made the cut last year and finishing 43rd at eight over the card. And while the enjoyed the experience, he said he expected to play much better this time.

“The pin placements last year were not as tough as I thought they would be, but scoring was still difficult,” he said.

“I shot 68 in the first round and still vividly remember walking up nine and seeing the leaderboard with my name on it. That was a massive thrill and a tremendous motivation to hopefully be there at the end this time.”

Amateur players to have received exemptions into the Isuzu Queensland Open field are:

• 2017 Australian Men's Amateur Champion, Matias Sanches
• 2017 Queensland Men's Amateur Champion, Doug Klein
• 2017 Queensland Men's Stroke Play Champion, Kade McBride
• 2017 Queensland Boy's Junior Champion, Jed Morgan
• 2017 NQ Open Champion, Connor Edmonds
• 2017 Rockhampton Open Champion, Adam Mollis
• 2017 FNQ Open Champion, John Smoljko
• 2016 Greg Norman Masters Boy's Champion, Josh Armstrong
• 2017 Queensland Men's Amateur State Team members, Chris Crabtree, Lawry Flynn, Louis Dobbelaar and Lucas Higgins

Queensland’s two top amateurs, Charlie Dann and Shae Wools-Cobb, are unavailable for the Open as they will be playing the Asia Pacific Amateur in New Zealand the same week.

The Isuzu Queensland Open will be played from 26-29 October 2017 at The Brisbane Golf Club. For more information visit www.qldopen.com.au