Second time lucky at Yenda for Kelly

Golf

IF at first you don't succeed, come back next year and try again.

That's exactly what last year's runner-up Andrew Kelly has done, returning to the town on Monday to take the honours at the second annual Orora Yenda Golf Club Pro-Am.

The Wangaratta-born professional finished one stroke behind winner Chris Gaunt last year, scoring four under par 44 to tie with three others for second place - but this time around, that same card was enough to claim victory.

"I just played consistent," Kelly said.

"I didn't make any bogies and managed to birdie all the par fives, and I birdied my last hole.

"I was just pretty steady, mainly.

"I got the same score again but this time I was lucky enough to win."

A member at Kingswood Golf Club in Melbourne who has been on the Australian tour for three years, Kelly was full of praise not only for the unique 12-hole format at Yenda, but also the efforts of volunteers in hosting another successful competition.

"I think the 12 holes is great. That's a good amount," he said.

"You don't get tired, which is nice.

"I think it's pretty impressive they can look after the golf course and even run a pro-am, just on volunteers.

"There's a lot of golf courses getting around that don't put in and don't have the same sort of member spirit that Yenda does.

"I find I'm pretty comfortable out here."

Kelly will join the other traveling pros at the Wagga Wagga Pro-Am today, which boasts a very strong field including Australian legend Craig Parry, before heading to the Leeton event this weekend.

"It's a pretty good little week's worth of golf to come up to," he said.

Another visitor, Condobolin amateur Zac Mitchell, took the honours in the stroke event for men, hitting 52 off the stick to hold off Griffith's Jason Magoci, who was one back in second place.

Tournament director Jenny Thomas was delighted with the response towards what was only the second pro-am to be held in Yenda.

"We couldn't have asked for a better tournament," she said.

"We were practically at maximum fields - I think we had five spots vacant.

"That's pretty good, having two tee-off times and just being a 12-hole course.

"In fact, the winner got up and said he wished there were more of them. I think we're the only 12-hole course they play and they really enjoy it.

"Because we're first off the rank before Wagga and Leeton, it gives them a good warm-up as well.

"It's not huge prizemoney but they still certainly enjoy coming out and the hospitality of the country and the people out there.

"We were stoked because we had about 10-plus ladies play as well, which is really good - sometimes ladies get a bit intimidated playing with professionals, so it was good to see them too."

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