The old saying ‘what a difference a year makes’ has extra meaning for Wentworth Falls resident Troy Cox.
From tomorrow he ends his job as a tree lopper and builders’ labourer to play the Australasian PGA Tour circuit as a professional golfer.
Cox, 31, earned automatic qualification to every PGA tournament in Australia and New Zealand in 2013 — plus $4000 prize money — after winning the Australian PGA Qualifying School tournament held at Victoria’s Peninsula Country Golf Club on January 3-6. The result couldn’t have come at a better time for the talented Katoomba Golf Club member, who was awarded a limited status one-year PGA Tour card in 2011 only to lose it after tournament results didn’t go his way.
Cox told the Gazette winning the Qualifying School tournament is the highlight of his golf career so far.
“It is so exciting just knowing I’m going to be playing in every major tournament on the 2013 Australasian PGA Tour, particularly as you don’t really want to stuff up out there and the fact there are a lot more expectations on you.
“It will basically be a full-time job and I’ll be practising about six hours per day when I’m not playing tournaments.”
After a rather slow start to the tournament, Cox played a magnificent second round in stifling 41 degree, gusty condtitions to be 5-under and second on the leader board behind Steve Jeffress.
He began the final round with a one shot lead over the Queenslander, struggled early with two bogeys before regaining his composure by shooting a red-hot 6-under in the closing nine holes to win by three shots with 11-under (277) for the tournament.
“I went into the tournament really well-prepared, it was great having my caddie Guy Moxley there and I think the strong winds suited my game because I’m used to playing in those conditions in the Blue Mountains,” he said.
“I hit the ball quite long and love the par fives and that’s where I did really well in the tournament. I’d like to thank Strixon for sponsoring me and providing all the equipment I need.”
Cox will play in the Victorian PGA Championship which begins tomorrow and then tee off in the PGA Heritage Classic on January 24.