Pacific Dunes PGA Professional Jamie Hook has taken advantage of a late call-up to establish a two-stroke lead at the PGA Professionals Championship Final on the Gold Coast.
The Dan Cullen Cup and a spot in the field at next week’s Fortinet Australian PGA Championship will go on the line in Friday’s final round at Links Hope Island on the Gold Coast with Hook firing a course record six-under 65 in Thursday’s opening round.
Despite starting and finishing his first look at the Links Hope Island layout with bogeys Hook peeled off eight birdies in the space of 16 holes, including a run of three straight at the short par-4 16th, the signature par-3 17th and the water-lined par-5 18th.
Three-time champion Matthew Docking, 2017 winner Murray Lott and 2016 champion Chris Duke are all seeking further success in the championship that brings together 50 of Australia’s leading club, teaching and management PGA Professionals from around the country but it was Hook who stole the show on day one.
“It is one of my favourite events each year and I am really grateful we were able to play given all of the uncertainty around the country at the moment,” said Hook.
“I only got into the field after someone withdrew due to Covid-related challenges and therefore it is nice to get off to a good start and make the most of the opportunity.
“I have not played at Links Hope Island before and it is not hard to see why it has staged PGA Tour of Australasia events here in the past. It is a wonderful layout and a great test.”
The 36-hole tournament boasts prizemoney of $30,000 in addition to the leading two PGA Professionals receiving an exemption to play in the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship next week.
Hook finished fourth the last time the event was played in 2019 at Hamilton Island Golf Club and will begin Friday’s final round with a two-shot buffer from Mt Coolum Golf Club’s TJ King (67) with Kooindah Waters Golf Club-based PGA Professional Nathan Miller (68) a further shot back in outright third.
The final round commences at 8am on Friday morning and a new national champion to be crowned in the early afternoon.
Click here for the full leaderboard after round one.