© Guardian Photo By Jason Malloy
Island golfer Martin O'Brien
Martin O’Brien is looking to get off to a good start today as the Prince Edward Island Golf Association player-of-the-year series begins at the Avondale Golf Course.
The 36-hole Avondale Open has rounds today and Sunday at the 6,908-yard layout.
O’Brien, a 28-year-old Mill River golfer, came from six shots off the lead after the first round to win last year’s event in a playoff over Tim Yorke.
“I squeaked the win out last year and it sure made a bit of cushion going into the amateur. It can take a lot of pressure off,” he said.
Yorke, the two-time defending player of the year champion, agrees.
“I think all my best years have been when I really started off well at Avondale,” he said.
He added Avondale and the amateur, which is worth double the points in the player of the year series, are the two most important tournaments.
“For new guys, you can certainly take a lot pressure off yourselves by playing well in this event right out of the gate,” he said regarding Avondale.
With it being the first tournament of the competitive golf season and with the later start to the year due to the weather, O’Brien said, it is more important to play safe and not get into too much trouble.
“It’s too early in the year to be trying to hit hero shots,” O’Brien said.
Being straight off the tee is critical to be successful at Avondale, he added.
“There’s not much room to be aggressive and there’s no room for mistakes,” O’Brien said. “You just have to try to keep it in the short grass.”
Avondale and three other
tournaments (the Potato Blossom, amateur and the Clark
Cup Open in Summerside) will be used to award exemptions to the national and mid-amateur championships later this year.
Final scores for the Prince Edward Island Golf Association’s 2013 Player of the Year series:
Tim Yorke 421.7
Martin O’Brien 369.17
Cody Mackay 347.5
Scott Morton 200
Jason Campbell 182.5
Greg MacAulay 166.7
Adam Constable 152.5
Tyson Gavin 125
Steve Gamester 115
Brodie Ward 114.17
Dave Shellington 112.5
Richard Little 110
Luke Allan 90
Malcom Reid 87.5
Kris Currie 86.67
Conner Shea 85
Willie O’Brien 75
Mark McKenna 65
Tony Perry 62.5
Joel MaCrae 62.5
Source – http://peiga.ca