Former representative rugby player James Grierson has taken a significant step in establishing his professional golf credentials with a breakthrough win at the Glencore Oaky Creek Coal Pro-Am at Tieri Country Club.
The second event in the Onsite Rental Group Mining Towns Series being played in Central Queensland, Grierson and fellow New South Welshman Jay Mackenzie started the second round locked together and went toe-to-toe over the opening nine holes.
Backing up from their opening rounds of 6-under 66, the pair traded birdies over the opening holes but after making the turn two shots in front Grierson put the hammer down on his way to the clubhouse.
A birdie at the 318-metre par-4 13th was followed by an eagle at the par-5 15th, further birdies at 16 and 18 resulting in a round of 7-under 65 and a commanding four-stroke victory, his first since turning professional in 2019.
“This will just give me the confidence to know that I can compete with the bigger name players,” said Grierson, who grew up in Forbes in Central West NSW and represented Country NSW.
“I grew up on a course like this so I felt comfortable playing around here.”
Named the Forbes Sportsperson of the Year in 2011 for his exploits in golf and rugby league, Grierson was 26 when he turned professional and has proven in recent PGA Tour of Australasia events that he has the game to make a career out of golf.
He was top 25 at the Moonah Links PGA Classic and TPS Sydney at Bonnie Doon and then finished tied for 19th at the ISUZU Queensland Open, this victory providing an important confidence boost so early in his career.
Grierson’s win also sees him jump up to third place in the Onsite Rental Group Mining Towns Series behind Mackenzie and series leader Tim Hart, who finished in a tie for third with Douglas Klein and PGA Associate member Harrison Wills at 10-under as he chased a fifth-straight Adidas Pro-Am Series.
The next event in the Adidas Pro-Am Series is the Emerald Pro-Am starting Saturday at Emerald Golf Club.