Noel Ratcliffe.
Noel Ratcliffe.

Honours in Order for local golfers

WITH the 2009 Fiducian Legends Australian PGA Seniors Championship at Byron Bay Golf Club fast approaching, competition for Order of Merit honours has begun.

Last year’s champion, Noel Ratcliffe, will be back for the event again this year to defend his title.

“It’s our final event for the year and the Byron Bay golf course is a good venue to hold the event,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to coming back and going to Byron not just for the golf but to be around the place.”

However, with fellow golfers Rodger Davis, current money-list leader Garry Merrick, Allan Davis and Mike Ferguson, all high-up on the Order of Merit list for 2009, Ratcliffe, who is currently sixth on the list, will have to be on his game to take out top honours.

“If I play well enough I’ll be up there at the end,” Ratcliffe said.

“The competition is very difficult, there are some very good players and I think Peter Senior especially will be hard to beat.”

To prepare for the Byron event, Ratcliffe has been doing a bit of extra work on his putting in addition to his usual training regime.

“My form is very good at the moment, especially in the last two or three weeks,” he said.

“My ball striking is good but I have to do a bit more work on my putting.”

With $80,000 worth of prizemoney on offer, including a $14,500 first prize, Ratcliffe will use his 15 years of experience in the Seniors PGA to help him take victory at the challenging Byron Bay course.

“It’s a good track and a fairly demanding course,” he said.

“It’s hard to say what will happen on the day, especially with the demands of the golf course, but I think the better players will handle the conditions and course better.”

The championship will be held at Byron Bay Golf Course on December 18-20.

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