Victorian Konrad Ciupek is ready to step up in class after recording a one-stroke win at the Gorilla Ladders Box Hill Pro-Am at Box Hill Golf Club.
The maiden victory of Cuipek’s young career on the adidas PGA Pro-Am Series, Ciupek set up his day with birdies at each of his opening two holes.
Starting from the fifth tee, Ciupek made birdie at the par 5 and then followed it with a birdie at the par-3 sixth.
Three birdies and a bogey in the space of five holes on the back nine moved Ciupek out to 3-under, coming up with what would be the deciding birdie at the short par-4 first for a round of 4-under 67.
That was good enough to finish one clear of Caleb Bovalina (68) and Carl Smedley with Ben Ford (69) and Michael Choi rounding out the top five.
The 25-year-old’s next start will be the Monday qualifier for the Gippsland Super 6 tournament starting Thursday, the first of four Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia qualifiers he hopes to advance from.
“The next four weeks I’m entered for the pre-qualifying for the four Tour events,” Ciupek said.
“Fingers crossed I can get through a few of those, play well and make the most of it.
“This win does give me a lot of confidence. It’s been an up and down start to my pro career over the last year or so but this definitely gives me a lot of confidence to see that my good golf can stand up.”
Despite his strong start, Ciupek resisted the temptation to monitor the leaderboard until an unintended glance close to home.
“I didn’t really know where I sat all day, to be honest,” said Ciupek.
“I accidentally had a look on one hole and saw that I was maybe second or third but after that I tried to stay away from it and stick to my process.
“I had some tricky holes coming in but I kept my head and I was really happy to finish it off.”
Although he shot 79 to finish in a tie for first, Kew Golf Club Director of Golf Simon Angliss produced one of the highlights of the day with a hole-in-one on the sixth hole, hitting 6-iron from 159 metres.
The next event on the adidas PGA Pro-Am Series is the Bite Me Bakehouse Asquith Pro-Am at Asquith Golf Club in Sydney.