Wentworth Falls golfer Troy Cox is off to a good start keeping his New Year’s resolution “to be more competitive in most of the bigger events” on the Australian/New Zealand PGA Golf Tour.
Last week at the Victorian PGA Championship the 32-year-old overcame a shaky start to finish in career-best equal ninth place at eight-under par, helped by a red-hot third round of 65 when he nailed six consecutive birdies.
After an inconsistent 2013, Cox told the Gazette in December his aim for 2014 was to be more competitive — “I’m getting more comfortable playing at big tournaments and in front of large crowds.”
Known more for his powerful tee shots than his short game, Cox was reading the greens like best-selling books on the Heritage Golf and Country Club course when he made his surge up the leaderboard in the third round.
“I think I sank at least six or seven putts of 30-feet or more — I just putted really well at that point and it is always nice when they are going in like that,” he said.
Finding himself in 12th place with one round to go, Cox held his nerve to score five more birdies but also hit two bogeys and one double-bogey in the last nine.
“I was happy overall with the final round because it was played in very windy conditions and only 12 players broke par, but it could have been better because I missed a putt for birdie on a couple of holes.
“That’s always disappointing, but in the end I have to be pleased because this was my best tournament so far.”
Just as impressive was Cox’s earlier battle to make the cut after the first two rounds, which put him in contention to make his birdie blitz on day three.
For a tournament he finished so well, Cox began it with a bogey followed by a double bogey but told the Gazette experience taught him not to panic.
“You have to come back really quickly from a start like that but I knew if I was just able to get back to even par by the 18th I’d still be okay — and I did that.
“It’s simple, if you are breaking par every round, you are going to make more cuts.”
The tournament was won by one stroke by New Zealander Gareth Paddison (-16).
Blackheath resident Adam Stephens also played in the tournament, but missed the cut by six strokes.
Cox was feeling confident about his chances at the Queensland PGA Championship, which begins tomorrow at Toowoomba.
“I’ve played at the course there for the last three years, so I feel comfortable and hopefully I can win it.
“Then I’ve got the Victorian Open to play at the end of February followed by the New Zealand Open.
“It’s a good feeling.”