They got there in different ways but Daniel Gale and James Macklin were thrilled to share top spot at the $100,000 Bartons/BMD Wynnum Pro-Am at Wynnum Golf Club on Monday.
Celebrating the club’s 100-year anniversary, the inflated prize pool is the richest on the 2022 adidas PGA Pro-Am Series with Gale and Macklin posting 7-under 63 to snare the lion’s share of the prize money.
Tied for fourth at the Queensland PGA Championship a week earlier, Gale missed the cut at the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland.
The New South Welshman is hopeful that his bogey-free round at Wynnum will help to regenerate momentum ahead of this week’s ISPS HANDA Australian Open in Melbourne.
“Last week was close,” Gale said.
“Coming off a good week at Queensland PGA the week before, I definitely thought I could keep that momentum going and it just stalled a bit last week. Bad round on Friday which made me miss the cut by a couple.
“It was a good, steady round. Got off to a good start. Had a couple of eagle putts the first couple of holes; didn’t make either of them but two two-putt birdies to start.
“It’s just good to get out of the gates well. It’s not an overly long course, you’ve got to plot your way around. If you get into the trees you’re in a bit of trouble but I played the tough holes really well and just plotted my way around nicely.”
In a field littered with players who competed at the Australian PGA, Macklin was somewhat a surprise co-winner.
A PGA Associate at Jindalee Golf Club in Brisbane, Macklin swooped late to win the Queensland PGA Associate Championship last year and won the Murwillumbah Pro-Am last December.
With an eye to advancing his playing career further in 2023, Macklin credited a hot day with the putter for his share of victory.
“It was just one of those days where everything went in,” Macklin said.
“I didn’t necessarily hit it the best I’ve ever hit it but the cup was like the size of a bucket. Everything just wanted to go in today. It was a good day definitely for that to happen.”
One-over through two holes, Macklin got back into red numbers with birdies at 12 and 13 and then holed his wedge from 90 metres for eagle at the par-4 14th.
Playing in the morning wave, Macklin turned in four-under but after bogeys at one and four made birdie at four of his final five holes to set the score for Gale to chase.
“I knew a good score was going to be needed to win around Wynnum from past history of all the other pro-am scores here,” said Macklin.
“I’ve been lucky enough to win a couple of good events through the Associate events including the Associate Champs last year and I won a pro-am but this is biggest.
“It’s awesome to be able to play for this kind of prize money and all that the PGA and the sponsors provide for us, we certainly appreciate it.”
For now, Macklin will return to his Associate education but wants to concentrate his energies on on-course performance in 2023.
“Hopefully not as many shop hours, let’s put it that way,” Macklin joked.
“I’ve got a couple of assignments to finish off and hopefully I’ll be able to practice a bit more next year and see what status I get through the Associate stuff and see where I go from there.
“I’ll probably give playing more of a crack and I’m excited to see what the next year holds.”
Click here for final scores and prize money.