After starring at the Western Open earlier this week, Dubbo Golf Club professional Craig Mears hopes the interest around the tournament results in more players on the fairways.
The Dubbo course received a huge amount of praise during the Open, which was held on Monday and Tuesday and attracted some of the best players in the country.
Mears was one of a number of players from the local area who took part and he finished in a creditable tie for 26th spot after shooting an impressive -5 in the second round.
Sydneysider Daniel Gale won the event with a score of -14.
"We didn't think that score would be out there but it just goes to show how good some of these young players are," Mears said.
There was a strong contingent from the local area which took part in the event and Dubbo junior Jones Comerford, who is now based in Sydney, was a standout with a final score of -4.
Mears was proud of Comerford's efforts back at his home club, while he was hugely satisfied with his own score of -3 and savoured the chance to have his son, Zac, act as caddy.
"I hit them quite well the first day but couldn't make any putts and when I missed a fairway I was in trouble," Mears said.
"I hit them well."
Mears was one of the players affected by a rain delay during round two, and he was forced to wait for more than an hour to play his final hole.
A huge amount of rain had also fallen on the course in the days leading up to the tournament, which was part of the NSW Regional Open Series, but it was still in top condition for Sunday's Pro-Am and two rounds of competition.
"The course is absolutely fantastic," Mears said.
"It was received really well and it's in wonderful knick and that's a compliment to (course superintendent) Michael Wherritt and his staff for all they've done to get it ready for the event."
It's the best I've ever seen it, it looks amazing.Craig Mears on the Dubbo course
It's been a period of real success for the club, with the Regional Open Series stopping at Dubbo twice in the past year while the NSW Women's Open, part of the European Tour, has also been played at the course.
On top of that, memberships at the Dubbo club soared as golf was one of only a handful of activities that could continue during the COVID pandemic.
"We've hosted the event twice in one calendar year and that's a huge achievement given COVID and we had the Ladies European Event too," Mears said.
"Hopefully this leads to people wanting to come out. We're into summer and daylight savings and while it might be a wet summer I was walking the course this morning and it was just absolutely superb.
"It's the best I've ever seen it, it looks amazing.
"On top of the rain we've had and the irrigation upgrade we've done, there's so much coverage now. To think where the course was ion 2019 was the drought to now, you can't believe it.
"I just encourage people to come out and play."
Mears also made a point of thanking Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders for supporting the club through funding and his push to have events in regional areas.
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