Swing of success for Byron golfer
BYRON Bay golfer Conor Whitelock won his first major event in style with a convincing 11-shot victory at the South Australian Junior Masters event at Adelaide.
In a rare feat, the 17-year-old hit the lowest score in each of the three rounds, against 49 of Australia's top juniors.
He finished the third round five-under par 67 after shooting rounds of 68 and 69 on the first two days of competition.
"It came out of nowhere really and this would be my biggest win in a junior ranking event,” Whitelock said.
"I've been competing seriously for a couple of years now and I was really happy to win this one.”
After starting his final round on the fifth hole, he was one-over through nine holes walking on to the 14th tee before birdies on six of his final nine holes, including four straight to complete his round.
Whitelock is also a member of the Coolangatta-Tweed Heads club which has allowed him selection in the Queensland junior development team.
He has picked up the nickname as "Mr Casual” for his calm on-course demeanour at Byron Bay as his game has gone to the next level over the past 12 months.
"I don't mind it, it probably explains a lot about me and the way I play,” Whitelock said.
"But I definitely take the game seriously, I'm out practising every day and want to play more golf next year when I finish school. I might even move to the Gold Coast to be closer to my coach and use the facilities up there.”
Whitelock is about to start Year 12 at Byron Bay High School but will first play in the NSW Amateur tournament at Mona Vale and Terrey Hills in Sydney next week.
He credits strong competition in the club ranks at Byron Bay for preparing him for bigger tournaments.
He came third overall in the clubs Pro-Am event with the PGA Legends Tour in 2017 and is the one of the best juniors they have had in recent years
"It's a great course, nothing is ever a problem and the club has done a lot for me,” Whitelock said. "It's hard to win a stroke event with guys like Dave Calvert playing there.
"Greg Stewart (club professional) has been great, he would be one of the best club pro's getting around.
"Harvey Remfrey is a Ballina junior that's just come across too, so there is plenty of competition for me.”
Whitelock plans to contest the The Australian Boys' Amateur Championships at Southport on the Gold Coast in April.