FULL FLIGHT: Matt Crandell at the Festival of Golf, Coffs Harbour Golf Course.
FULL FLIGHT: Matt Crandell at the Festival of Golf, Coffs Harbour Golf Course. Leigh Jensen

Matts swing at glory

MATT Crandell admits he faces a trip into the unknown as he aims for regional state golfing glory.

The Byron Bay golfer is in the Northern Rivers squad taking part in this weekend's 2012 Men's NSW Country Championships.

More than 120 players will be chasing both individual and team glory at the competition, at the Muswellbrook Golf Club.

Having not played the course before, Crandell conceded he will have to adjust to any unexpected challenges quickly.

"I am hoping we will be able to see the course and do some practice on Friday," he said. "I guess we just have to get on with it.

"When you have not been to a course before, you take each hole as it comes. That is the way golf should be played.

"It is a really good tournament and I am looking forward to it."

The annual two-day competition incorporates the Men's Country Inter-District Team Championship and sees players compete for both individual and team contests.

Crandell will line up alongside Brad Oliss (Ocean Shores), Murwillumbah's Joe Chilcott, Ballina duo Kurt Freeman and Rob Carson and Ocean Shores representative Dan Morgan in the Northern Rivers squad.

Participants will play 36 holes over the weekend in a scratch format, with the best-performing individual grabbing the overall crown.

The top four scores from each squad will also count towards the teams' section.

Crandell goes into the event in useful form, having finished runner-up in the recent Northern Rivers District Golf Association Championships.

"My game is pretty steady," he said.

"Golf is generally played on the greens. If you can chip and putt well, that gives you a good chance."

The 34-year-old, who plays off plus one, also has happy memories of the tournament to spur him on.

He finished individual runner-up back in 2010 and has also featured prominently on the scoreboard over the last few years as well.

"I would not say I'm reasonably confident of winning," he said. "If you don't back yourself, there's no point in going over.

"I generally playing on the country-style courses are they are narrow and a lot different to others we play on.

"It should be a good weekend."



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