Redcliffe’s Doug Klein continued his apparent love affair with The Brisbane Golf Club layout, scoring a brilliant seven-under 65 to win Monday’s Brisbane ProAm.
The Cowboys NRL fanatic, who regularly worked in the Pro Shop at Redcliffe Golf Club until he won his Asian Tour card this year, scorched home in five-under 31 on the back nine to snare the $3,500 first-prize purse from fellow Queenslander Blake Proverbs (67), with BGC member Cooper Eccleston tied third, alongside Aaron Pike and Ben Ferguson, on four-under 68.
Klein’s first professional tournament was the 2018 Queensland Open at BGC in which, ironically, he also shot seven-under par, while in 2017 he was the leading amateur in the Queensland Open, also at BGC. His only blemish on Monday was a bogey at the par-three third.
Following earlier ProAm wins at Tieri and Clermont since the Onsite Rental Group Mining Towns Series teed off in April, Klein said his BGC victory was built on the same game plan he has employed so effectively throughout the year.
“I just leant on what I know – put it in the fairway, wedge it nicely and hole some putts,” he explained.
“For the past six months I have been putting really nicely, and wedging it pretty good too. It was more of the same today, thankfully.”
Monday’s elite field of 62 professionals included three-time European Tour winner and Olympian Marcus Fraser, 2017 Queensland Open Winner Michael Sim, multiple 2022 PGA Tour of Australasia winner Deyen Lawson and 2022 Queensland PGA Champion and BGC member Aaron Wilkin. Four-time BGC Club Champion Michael Wright was in the field, as were the well-credentialled Andrew Dodt, Aaron Pike, Jake McLeod, David Bransdon, Shae Wools-Cobb and Tom Power Horan.
BGC Chief Executive Geoff Kuehner said it was a great feeling to again host the ProAm at Queensland’s third-oldest club.
“The field was super impressive, and it was a pleasure to welcome so many elite golfers back to BGC,” he said.
“We always really do appreciate the way the pros support our event.”
Mr Kuehner also thanked the sponsors, and paid special tribute to the BGC ‘team’, including Director of Golf, Joe Janison, and Course Superintendent, David Mason, an acknowledgement strongly reinforced by the 2023 ProAm Champion.
“Absolutely postcard condition today,” Klein said, praising the course presented by the BGC greens staff.
“Greenkeeper David Mason had the course playing great, and the greens rolled really true.”
BGC members playing in the event included Cooper Eccleston (-4), Lawry Flynn (-3), Johnathan Pepper (+2), Aaron Wilkin (+4), Brent Rankin (+5) and Tyla Winter (+11) while former Club Champion, Sam Slater, made his professional debut in the ProAm and, after starting with a birdie, finished tied 27th with one-over 73.
As a result of his BGC victory, Klein will no doubt start red-hot favourite for his ‘home’ ProAm on Thursday and Friday, at Redcliffe. – TONY DURKIN