WINNING the Newcastle club championship has given Chris Turnbull a “bucket-load of confidence” as he sets his sights set on this weekend’s Autumn Record.
The 29-year-old won his first club championship and major senior event when he beat Seaton Jones 10 and 12 in the 36-hole match play decider on Sunday.
“It’s definitely given me a fair bit of confidence and motivation to kick on with my golf, so I’m definitely going to play the Autumn Record and I’ll see what else is coming up,” Turnbull said.
“It’s given me a bucket-load of confidence and a can-do attitude.”
The 36-hole Autumn Record will be held on Sunday at Newcastle Golf Club.
Turnbull recorded eight pars and an eagle on the par-five fourth hole in the first nine holes of the club championship final to be 8 up.
“I struck the ball beautifully and played really well,” he said.
“I was 160metres out [on the fourth] and I hit a six iron to three inches and it hit the pin and nearly bounced in, so I didn’t have to get the putter out for that one.”
A southerly change and rain made conditions difficult in the final 18 holes.
Jones won the first and third to cut the deficit to seven, but Turnbull then claimed the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth to close out the championship.
Turnbull was a talented golfer during his teenage years and regularly competed in Jack Newton Junior Golf events.
But at 17 he drifted away from sport for eight years and spent time in the army. He only returned to golf 2 years ago.
In the last eight months he has taken his golf to a new level and lowered his handicap from five to one.
“I was mucking around for the first couple of years, it’s really only been the last eight months that I’ve really started to knuckle down and been getting more practice in and playing more golf,” he said.
One of the men Turnbull credits with his successful return to golf was his semi-final opponent Les Oliver.
Oliver, an eight-time Newcastle club champion, lost to Turnbull 3 and 2.
“It was a tough win, but he’s also a really good friend too,” he said.
“Over the last couple of years he’s really helped me out with my golf, getting me back into it, and I can’t thank him enough.”