Pennells PGA debut
AT JUST 19 years of age Brenton Pennells has already experienced his share of successful days on the golf course, with the promise of many more to come.
But few will be as memorable for the former champion Toowoomba junior than when he steps on to the first tee at today's Queensland PGA Championship.
Pennells will live his dream of lining up in the time-honoured Australian tournament in front of his home supporters at City Golf Club.
The former Harristown High student is one of two City members invited to play the tournament, in its third successive year at the club.
Lining up alongside Pennells is club stroke and matchplay champion Lorne Sampson, who made his debut in last year's event.
Today's four-round tournament debut by Pennells is the next step on his path towards a possible professional career.
"It's awesome getting the chance to play tomorrow," the part-time City pro shop employee said yesterday.
"It really is a dream come true."
Pennells pushed for a spot in last year's tournament but missed the handicap cut mark of three.
His current figure of 2.4 earned him a berth today.
Pennells has built an impressive junior and club pennants record during his 10 years at the club.
He is a dual junior club champion, with three Amateur Classic junior titles to his credit.
He has also been a part of City's senior pennants team, which completed a hat-trick of wins last year.
He found out about his PGA Championship invitation from club captain Neil Brosnan last November.
"I've been trying to do some extra work since finding out I'd be in the field," Pennells said.
"It was a bit of a surprise when I found out and I've been trying to sort my game out a bit in Brisbane with Lee Eagleton.
"I've also been doing some work with Chris Britnell here at the club."
Pennells is preparing himself for a bout of first-hole nerves today and some added crowd scrutiny.
"I've played a few decent-size events previously, and I'll just try to treat this like a practise round," he said.
"I'm not nervous at the moment. Tomorrow might be a different story but that's not a bad thing.
"I'd like to eventually turn pro and this is a good opportunity to get a taste of what playing on tour is like.
"I have a big family and I think there'll be a lot of people here watching me.
"I think my former PE teacher is even bringing some classes down to have a look.
"My first goal will be to make the half-way cut.
"If I could get through to the weekend it would be great."
Qld PGA play today until Sunday
Free public entry
Public access to all holes
Volunteers to answer spectator inquiries
Car parking available
Club social membership available for $2 annual or $5 for five years
Full bar and TAB facilities
Cafe 19 open throughout each day
Sports bar overlooking 18th green