A change in strategy has delivered Victorian Cameron John a three-stroke victory at the Medway Golf Club Pro-Am in Melbourne.
Medway’s close proximity to the Maribyrnong River raised doubts as to whether the tournament could go ahead yet the club’s greens staff were able to present the course in fantastic condition as players tune up for a five-week run of tournaments on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
Seeking his first win on the adidas PGA Pro-Am Series in more than a year, John mentally switched gears on his way to the golf course on Friday and it paid dividends.
Rather than all-out attack, John made the decision to keep the headcover on the driver and plotted his way around the Medway layout with surgical precision.
Although he began his round with a bogey at the 224-metre par-3 sixth, seven birdies in a round of six-under 64 saw John finish three clear of Harrison Gilbert and Ashley Hall.
“Every time I come here I typically stand on a tee, hit driver and go for the green,” John said post-round.
“Driving here this morning I thought, I’m not going to do that today. For the first time ever I’m actually going to play the golf course how it’s supposed to be played.
“I hit a lot of irons and relied on my wedge shots to be close.
“I started with a bogey on six but I knew that was going to be a pretty tough hole to get going, a 240-metre par 3.
“From there I just tried to stay really patient and made seven more birdies.
“It was really impressive that we even got out here with all the rain that we’ve had lately.
“It’s so close to Maribyrnong River that I didn’t give it much chance but the greens staff did an amazing job.”
Starting with next week’s Victorian PGA Championship at Moonah Links, the next five weeks will have a critical influence on the all-important PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.
John has one top-10 already this season at the CKB WA PGA Championship at Kalgoorlie where he set a new course record of nine-under 63.
He also jointly shares the course record at the Moonah Links Legends Course – 10-under 62 – and
“I like Moonah, I played really well there last year and the year before I set the course record,” said John.
“If there’s one that I feel like I might have a sniff, this is a good chance for me and good to build into the big events, the Aus PGA and Aus Open.”
Click here for final scores and prize money.