Conran Open to improvement

ORANGE professional Steve Conran will be out to make his mark in the 2012 Australian Open starting today.

Conran finished in a share of 44th at the 2011 event with a two-over 290 total for the four rounds.

The 46-year-old will be one of 156 players teeing off in this year’s event at The Lakes in Sydney.

Conran has had mixed results on the Japan Golf Tour this year.

His best result came in The Crowns where he finished tied for second with a six-under 274 for four rounds.

He delivered another four top 20 results and qualified for the third and fourth rounds on seven other occasions.

Conran will tee off at 8.20am today with Neven Basic and David McKenzie.

The Orange professional won’t be the only player from the region lining up in the major tournament.

Bathurst’s Peter O’Malley will be hunting for a major golfing prize.

O’Malley has certainly shown brilliant touch in recent tournaments, but he has thus far lacked the consistency over four days to finish atop the leader board come Sunday afternoon.

But rather than be disappointed that he has been unable to convert, O’Malley has taken plenty of heart from his performances. 

He knows has  been playing good golf and he feels he can clinch one of the two big prizes left on the Australian calendar this year - the open or the Australian PGA Championships.

“I feel like I am capable of being competitive and being in position to compete in the final nine holes on Sunday is the most important thing,” he said.

“I know what it takes to be competitive, I just have to make sure I bring my A game to the tournament.”

And it will certainly be his A game which is required with O’Malley to face strong, talented fields at both events.

One of his major threats will be Greg Chalmers who last year won both the crowns that O’Malley so badly wants in 2012.

The first two rounds of the Australian Open will be played today and tomorrow, after which the field will be cut to the top 60 plus ties for Saturday and Sunday’s championship rounds.

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