Golfers tee-off in fi­nals

The Weekend Post - - Sport - JA­COB GRAMS

THE prac­tice range has copped a ham­mer­ing all week and the time is fi­nally here for the re­gion’s best golfers to earn the spoils in the FNQ Golf As­so­ci­a­tion In­ter Club Pen­nants this week­end.

Clubs will con­verge on Palmer Sea Reef golf course, Port Dou­glas, this morn­ing for the semi-fi­nal of the team match­play show­case in A, B and C grades, to be com­pleted with today’s win­ners play­ing in the fi­nal to­mor­row.

Par­adise Palms player Matt Velicki said his side was look­ing to go one bet­ter than a semi­fi­nal exit last year when they take on South­ern Dis­tricts.

“If we get to the fi­nal we’re pretty con­fi­dent we can com­pete with any­one we’re matched up against,” he said.

Velicki will need to do his part and beat Jake Perkins, un­de­feated this sea­son so far, and while nor­mally a friendly af­fair, he said things might be a bit more se­ri­ous in the bat­tle.

“I would think it would be amped up a lit­tle bit more. We’ve prac­tised a lit­tle more this week than other weeks and I’m ready to go and keen as mus­tard,” he said.

South­ern Dis­tricts cap­tain Perkins said the team had de­fied ex­pec­ta­tions all sea­son so there was no rea­son they couldn’t turn around the 4-1 de­feat against the same op­po­nent in the reg­u­lar sea­son.

“I hope we do but we’ll see how the day pans out,” he said.

“It will be a chal­lenge but good con­di­tions and we’ll hope for the best.”

Perkins talked up his team, in­clud­ing the ad­di­tion of Rhys Camil­leri, who has beaten him five times to the club cham­pi­onship at El Ar­ish, and in form Niall Trickey and Chris Bowman to pull through vic­to­ri­ous.

But all the talk is about Cairns Golf Club and Max Ford will be hop­ing to win the No.1 bat­tle of the young guns against Gor­don­vale’s Trent Met­calf.

“I’m def­i­nitely look­ing for­ward to the match-up and I haven’t been No.1 be­fore so it should be a good learn­ing curve,” he said.

Ford, a Queens­land rep, said while his team never bought into the ex­pec­ta­tions around them, he wanted to live up to them at one of his favourite cour­ses, in his last pen­nant match be­fore he moves to Bris­bane.

Gor­don­vale’s Rob Rig­gall will be lead­ing the charge in Bgrade and hoped it was time for his side to ditch the brides­maid tag. He said the spirit be­tween the grades could prove the dif­fer­ence.

“A lot of peo­ple are get­ting be­hind the play­ers, which is great from the club and a lot of the A-graders have said if they don’t make the fi­nal they’ll hang around and sup­port Bgrade and we’ll do the same, whether it be cad­dy­ing or what­ever, we’re all will­ing to put our hand up and help each other out,” Rig­gall said.

Pic­ture: STEWART McLEAN

FIERCE RI­VALRY: Rob Rig­gall (Gor­don­vale Golf Club), Colin Hard­ings (Cairns), Jake Perkins (South­ern Dis­tricts) and Matt Velicki (Par­adise Palms) are ready for the FNQ Golf As­so­ci­a­tion In­ter Club Pen­nants fi­nals.

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