THE apprentice beat the master yesterday at the Longyard Pro-Am, although they both beat a very good field of 144 golfers first.
Longyard Pro Steve Myers and recently-graduated apprentice Harrison Russell finished the day at five-under 67, three shots ahead of the next best.
Sydney pros Martin Dive and Shane Cochrane, along with Central Coast pro Nat Whittington, tied for third with 70.
While Myers and Russell share the first spot in the rules, they chose to go to a one-hole play-off anyway for pride’s sake.
The testing 18th was decided to be the hole and both drove well with a convoy of carts following and everyone else in a gallery around the green.
Myers landed his drive in the middle with Russell on the edge of the fairway.
After having the same shot earlier in the day and drawing to the left, Myers aimed a bit to the right over the water.
Unfortunately he hit it straight this time and went straight into the drink.
Russell sidled up to his ball and, with the pressure on, hit it straight over the water and on to the green in two.
Myers did his best and landed the drop shot on the green, but the apprentice’s putting game was too good.
The two shared the money and the first place anyway.
“To win your own tournament is great,” Myers said.
“And it is great to see Harrison come on as well.”
Russell is in top form, hitting his best-ever eight under the day before the tournament.
The celebration might hurt Russell tomorrow as he embarks on a 1500km road trip to central Queensland to start the next phase of his hopeful rise to a pro.
“It is good to win on your home course,” Russell said.
“You have got the local knowledge but you have also got the added pressure to perform as well.
“This is definitely my biggest career win so far.”
The event has run for the last five years now and is going from strength to strength.
This year they had a full course and a waiting list with players and pros from all over NSW as well as Victoria and Queensland playing.
Myers still has the edge over Russell at home though, with his best-ever nine under just pipping the eight-under Russell hit on Tuesday.
“We are great mates but also great rivals,” Russell said.