Pro goes oh so close

HE may have won the Ballina Pro-Am yesterday, but Goondiwindi-based golfer Andrew Bonhomme was ruing a missed putt on the final hole that cost him some bonus cash.

Bonhomme came ever so close to claiming a $2000 'circuit prize' for the best combined results in pro-ams at Yamba and Ballina.

He finished second in Yamba and first yesterday, but fellow pro Matt Ballard took the cash bonus by a shot.

“I finished second in Yamba and Matt Ballard finished second here, but he beat me by one shot overall,” Bonhomme said.

“I'm staying at his house at the moment, so he's happy, but I'm not so happy.”

It's the kind of tough luck that Bonhomme is used to after spending two years on the gruelling Nationwide Tour in the United States.

The tour is one rung down from the lucrative PGA Tour, but only has a fraction of the prizemoney with many of the same costs, including travel.

Instead of the grind of the Nationwide Tour, Bonhomme has opted to return to Australia, compete in a few pro-ams to help regain his form and then turn his eyes again to Japan, where he toured in 2001-02 and 2006.

“I played OK over there (the US) but playing OK over there just doesn't cut it,” he said.

“I missed heaps of cuts by one shot and had plenty of four-unders where the cut was five-under.

“My short game wasn't very good over there and I've come back to Australia to work on that and try to earn some cash because I was hurting a bit there.”

Bonhomme started the Ballina Pro-Am yesterday in blazing fashion with four birdies on the first four holes. He also said he enjoyed the course and the company of the amateurs he was playing with on the day.

“There are not too many sports where amateurs play alongside pros and get tips on their game while competing against each other,” he said.

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