It wasn’t that long ago Lachie Jones was named the club champion at Dubbo Golf Club.
Now he’s taking on some of the best players in the country.
Jones will make his debut at a professional tournament on Thursday when he tees off in the NSW Open at Twin Peaks Golf and Country Club.
The 16-year-old has enjoyed a stellar year, starting things off by representing his state at the Interstate Teams Matches in Perth in February.
He then booked his place at the NSW Open when winning a regional qualifying event at Moree while he also traveled to play in Canada before returning to take out the top prize at his hometown club.
But nothing will be as big as playing alongside the likes of in-form PGA regulars Matthew Millar, Nick Voke, and Brett Coletta as well as some of this country’s greats in Peter Lonard, Nick O’Hern and Peter O’Malley.
“I’m excited. It’s going to be good fun,” Jones said.
Probably my first goal is to make the cut.Lachie Jones
“I’ve been working with my coach and we’ve worked a lot and I’m hitting them alright.
“Probably my first goal is to make the cut and if I do that then I would love to go on and finish top 20 or top 10.”
The conditions won’t be easy with plenty of rain around Sydney on Wednesday, but Jones did manage to get a hit in during the morning.
The greens are still expected to be relatively quick on what should be a more dry opening day of competition.
While Jones doesn’t have the power of some of his older counterparts, he said the accuracy he has been able to play with in recent times should serve him well.
Also spurring him on will be the support of family and friends, with a big bunch of people making the trip down to cheer the teenager on.
Jones will start his campaign at the $400,000 tournament at 1.25pm on Thursday.
He isn’t the lone hope from the western region with veteran O’Malley hailing from Dubbo while Orange is home to another exciting youngster who will be taking part in the Open.
Dunrtyleague Golf Club’s James Conran will also tee off at Twin Peaks Golf and Country Club and he heads into the event having won last weekend’s Canowindra Open.
There will be 156 players in total contesting the NSW Open.