Experienced Tour player Scott Barr is hoping third time will be the charm when he tees it up at the PGA Professionals Championship of Western Australia at Mosman Park Golf Club on Friday.
There are some familiar names among the 30 competitors made up of Vocational Members of the PGA with 2019 winner Tim Elliott and defending champion Gavin Reed seeking a return to the Championship Final at Hamilton Island Golf Club from September 2-5.
Barr was tied for ninth at the 2019 Championship Final at Hamilton Island two years ago after finishing tied for second at the WA qualifier, a result that he replicated last year at Wembley Golf Course, finishing two shots behind Reed alongside Braden Becker and Andrew Gott.
Based at Collier Park Golf Course in South Perth and doing some teaching out of the Melville Golf Centre, Barr has begun to ramp up his own playing the past four weeks with a long-term view to joining the seniors circuit in 2022.
“I am thinking about the seniors. That’s why I didn’t want to take on too much when I came back to Perth,” said Barr, who returned to Australia in January of last year after close to 20 years living in Singapore.
“Alex Cejka won this week in America, ‘Clarkey’ (Darren Clarke) has won a bit and I knocked around with those couple of guys a lot over the years. ‘Pamps’ (Rod Pampling) is playing, ‘Sendo’ (John Senden). I played with everyone and I know I can play with everyone, just need to do it on the day.
“I’ve tried this distance exercise to try and get more distance into my game so it’s just my swing speed that I’m a little concerned with.
“I can certainly still hit it – I’m hitting it pretty good for what’s been going on.”
Ranked as high as 284 in the world during his career on the Asian and European tours with 14 top-five finishes on the Asian Tour alone, Barr is the most accomplished player in the field with the likes of Glenn Joyner, Vernon Sexton-Finck and Dean Alaban also boasting plenty of experience on tour.
Regardless of his performances in the past, Barr knows that good play and good luck will be a necessary combination at the tricky Mosman Park nine-holer on the banks of the Swan River.
“We’ve got a few pro-ams coming up over here but I haven’t played a great deal this year,” Barr conceded.
“The last four weeks I’ve started to try and hit some balls on the range and see where I’m at with it.
“I played at Mosman Park on Monday in a practice round so I think I’ll have a chance but we’ll see.
“You need a bit of luck going into these things. It’s a funky little course, up and down a hill, nine holes so I’d have to give myself a chance.
“Obviously I’d love to win it and get the all-expenses paid trip to Hamilton Island.
“If I don’t lose my head I think I’ll have a chance.”
For the majority of the field Friday represents a chance to have a hit, get the competitive juices flowing again and take time out from their daily duties at their respective golf clubs.
Reigning PGA Management Professional of the Year Josh Madden (Wembley Golf Course), WA Management Professional of the Year Tristan McCallum (Sea View Golf Club) and Outstanding Game Development of the Year winner Ackzel Donaldson (Joondalup Golf and Country Club) may be rusty but will hope to give a glimpse of some of their best stuff over the course of 18 holes.