Joe D’Arcy is targeting a “sneaky” win in next month’s PNG Open in Port Moresby to claim a two-year Australasian PGA Tour exemption.
D’Arcy, who turned pro after finishing 53rd at Q-school in January, has played nine events on the pro-am circuit but will make his full tour debut in a $140,000 tournament devoid of star players at rustic Royal Port Moresby Golf Club from May 4 to 7.
The 21-year-old from Blacksmiths will also play in the $110,000 Morobe Open, one of the richest tournaments on the pro-am calendar, from April 27 at Lae Golf Club in Papua New Guinea.
D’Arcy has never been to PNG but said he had heard from other tour players that it was an “eye-opener”.
The former Pymble pennants player said he was settling in to life on the pro-am circuit after being a “little intimidated” in his first few tournaments.
“I feel like I’m growing, playing with the pros,” D’Arcy said. “It’s just about being more confident. That’s all it is. I hadn’t experienced that pressure before.
“The more I play, the more normal it is to me. I think once I get into a couple of tour events with the crowds.
“The pro-ams are similar to amateur events, but in the amateurs you get more preparation at each course.”
D’Arcy hopes to play the West Australian pro-am events in May and the $110,000 Tahiti International Open in early June.
He said the “big challenge” of life on tour was sticking to diet and exercise programs during a busy playing and travel schedule.
“I became really tired all the time and sloppy with what I was eating. The first week was kind of lonely because I didn’t know anyone, but once I met a few of the boys I’ve been bunking with them and it’s been good.”
** Charlestown’s Jye Pickin had a mixed outing at the Australian Junior Amateur Interstate Series last week as his NSW team finished a disappointing fifth.
Pickin, who was NSW captain, lost 2&1 to ACT’s Brett Levier on day one, halved his match with South Australia’s Frank Vucic, lost 2&1 to Victorian Max Charles, beat Queensland’s Zachary Maxwell two up, downed Tasmania’s Timothy Smith 4&2 then lost on the last hole to WA’s Jordan Doull.
WA won the teams event at Riverside Oaks with a 6-1 record. NSW were fifth with three wins, three losses and a tie.
Pickin finished in a tie for 22nd on four over at the Australian Boys Amateur at Wollongong this month, one shot behind Branxton’s Corey Lamb in 20th.
** Kurt Barnes missed the cut in his first Japan Golf Tour event this year, shooting 77 and 68 in the Token Homemate Cup in Nagoya.
** Karuah will host its Men’s Open on Sunday, the latest event on the NDGA Order of Merit.