IMPROVED FANCUTT STAYS HUMBLE
DEFENDING champion Tom Fancutt is a superior player to 12 months ago but that makes him no less wary of a talentladen field at this weekend’s Ingham Open.
The Brisbane- based player has risen to No. 36 in Australia and returns to North Queensland looking to take back- toback titles at the Australian Money Tournament.
The 20- year- old had a successful swing through the North Queensland AMT last year, winning at Ingham, Mount Isa and Innisfail as well as making finals in Townsville and Cairns.
This year he will play at Ingham and Townsville to try and earn the cash to help him get back overseas to play in South Korea and Chinese Taipei.
Fancutt spent six weeks in Asia playing at Futures tournaments in Guam, Japan and Hong Kong through May and June, making a semi- final on clay in Japan, which helped him raise his world ranking by 500 places, up to 890th.
“It’s definitely been a good 12 months,” he said.
“I didn’t have a professional ranking when I played the ( north Queensland) tournaments last year and my ranking is now 894 in the world.
“So 12 months, I’m a differ- ent player to what I was last year. It was my first real stint overseas playing professional tournaments and I had a bit of success in Japan, making a semi- final and I improved my ranking about 500 spots.
“It was a big experience learning from the top guys and seeing what they’re doing.”
Despite all his experience, Fancutt wasn’t expecting a walkover when he comes up against a tough entry list at the Ingham Open.
The eight seeded players are all inside the top- 275 in Australia and include Townsville products Brad Clews, David Single and Ryan Schwab as well as New Zealander Howard Ho and Cairns’ Rhan Burton, who is currently playing in the US college system.
“It’s really strong and all the guys up north that made seeds are really strong,” Fancutt said.
“You’ve even got Sam Bradshaw floating around who is not even seeded.
“There are definitely not going to be any easy matches up there.”
Defending women’s champion Taylor Douglas is also back in a strong singles field and is top seed for the event.
STIFF COMPETITION: Tom Fancutt may have risen to No. 36 in Australia but he’s not letting his ego run wild as he prepares for this weekend’s Ingham Open.