Bathurst’s Dylan Thompson and Tom Perfect may be at different ends of their trainee professional careers but they’re chasing the same prize at home this Monday.
The duo are among 49 trainee professionals journeying to the city for the Coca Cola Bathurst Trainee Pro-Am, battling it out over a single round for over $4,000 in prize money.
This will be Thompson’s first crack at his home Pro-Am as a trainee professional while Perfect will be having his last attempt at the event.
There’s double the chances for the Bathurst winner this year but there’s some serious competition standing in their way.
Last year’s champion Andrew Thompson is back to defend his title after winning the 2016 edition with a round of two under par (69).
Current NSW Trainee Order Of Merit leader Jordan Widdicombe is making the trip to Bathurst, as are fellow OOM top five players Marco Zirov, Daniel Bringolf, Mitchell Harry and Ben Stowe.
Top five finisher from last year, Trent Smith, is also returning.
Dylan Thompson shot two over in last year’s event, alongside the trainee field.
Now as a trainee professional himself he is chasing another consistent round at the event this Monday.
“I’ll see if I can go out there, play similar to last year and find myself somewhere towards the top,” he said.
“I’ve just spent last week in Victoria playing the State Championships and played pretty well there.
“Normally everything is in Sydney, so we do a lot of travelling. It’s good to have a home track. There’s probably a little more pressure to play well though.
“The greens will be fast and firm here. The course shouldn’t be too long with a bit of rain out there so it should be good.”
Thompson and Perfect both fared well at the recent Victoria State Championships.
The pair both made the cut at the lucrative trainee tournament. Thompson finished on 16 over par (T43) and Perfect ended up on 17 over (T46).
Perfect is looking for an improvement on his 11th place finish at last year’s Bathurst Pro-Am.
With just a few months left in his trainee career Perfect is aiming to leave the competition on a high note.
“Playing at home is a good chance to get a good score in and hopefully a good result. This will be the last one for me … and then I’ll be passing the baton on to Dylan,” he said.
“I’ve got about three to four months left. I’m stoked. I can’t wait to finish and be fully qualified.
“This event has just gotten bigger and bigger. We're going to have nearly 130 people here this year, which is great. We can’t squeeze any more out there.
“Dylan and I both finished in the 40s at Victoria. That was a good week and good preparation. Hopefully we can continue that good form here at home.”
There is an additional prize on offer for golfers this Monday.
“There’s a $5,000 hole-in-one prize that’s been offered up by Bill and Colleen Davis at Elders. They’ve kindly insured against the hole-in-one, which adds a bit of a drawcard and an excitement factor,” Perfect said.
Thompson starts his round at 11am from hole two while Perfect starts from the same time at hole 10.