EUROPEAN tour veteran Terry Pilkadaris and David McKenzie are the favourites in tomorrow’s $25,000 Albury Pro-am.
Thirteen in the field of 55 professionals teed up in one of the three Australian majors — the PGA, Masters and Open — in the past five weeks.
McKenzie made the cut in all three, his best finishes 11th at the Gold Coast PGA and 14th at Royal Sydney behind Rory McIlroy.
At the PGA, he was tied for second with Rickie Fowler, chasing Adam Scott, before a four-over 74 on the Sunday.
Pilkadarais, the Ovens Valley‘s Brad Lamb and Josh Younger also contested all three events.
McKenzie and Younger are 9th and 30th respectively on the Australian order of merit this year.
The field also includes defending champion and course record holder Euan Walters and last year’s third-placed Michael Choi.
Commercial Albury Golf professional John van der Veen doesn’t expect a repeat of Walters’ record 63 tomorrow .
“That is some sort of round here at Albury and, while the course is as close to perfect as possible, it’s hard to see that sort of score being repeated,” he said.
“That was just unbelievable.
“I’d expect a 65 will be around the money.
“The top eight, from 11 onwards, are the scoring holes, while the pros will be looking to keep it around par from the third to the ninth and then set up a score coming home.
“We have a strong field of 55 professionals — 150 players in all — and many are names that people who have watched the golf on television this summer would instantly recognise.”
Van der Veen said he expected fireworks for the spectator-friendly professional shoot-out this afternoon.
The event doubles as a practice round for the pros in a format that encourages aggressive golf.
“For those people wanting to come and see them in action, it may be better to come on Wednesday afternoon,” he said.
“We have set up a shoot-out with 34 of the professionals on the top eight holes.
“It’s played as a two-man ambrose, which generally means they throw caution to the wind and play some really aggressive golf.”
Today’s shoot-out is a shotgun start from 2pm with $1000 each to the winners.