HAVING claimed a perfect 13 City of Orange Golf Championship titles in 13 attempts, three-time defending champion Robert Payne could be forgiven if the novelty associated with winning had worn off a little.
But, in a frightening warning to the rest of the 2013 field, that winning feeling just doesn’t gets old for Payne.
“Never,” Payne fired ahead of this year’s championships, teeing off on October 5.
“I’ll be going out there doing my best to win it and if not I’ll be there at the end of it to congratulate whoever does.
“I’ve certainly had a very good run in this tournament. I think it’s unique, that’s why I support it and try and get as many as I can to support it as well. The three courses in the one town, long weekend, it is a fantastic event.”
The City of Orange Golf Championship pits golfers against each other over 18 holes at the three courses in Orange in A-grade, B-grade and C-grade men’s and A- and B-grade ladies events.
This year’s order has Orange Ex-Services Country Club (Saturday), Duntryleague (Sunday) and Wentworth (Monday) set to host the final day.
The best scratch performer at the end of 54 holes is crowned the champion.
Impressively, Alison Seib has won three ladies titles in succession and, like Payne, will be gunning for a fourth next weekend.
Encouraging visiting golfers to pack their “thinking hat”, Payne believes whoever masters the greens at each of the three courses will come out on top.
“Whoever putts the best and keeps a level head, that should put them in good stead towards the end,” he said.
“I just go out and do what I normally do.
“My form has been a little below par this year so I’m hoping to turn it around.”
Organiser Guy Chapman was hopeful the competition will have close to 160 competitors, with post entries accepted after registration closes on Monday afternoon.
Entry is $85, with over $6000 worth of prizes to be won.
“We’ve got about 15 male players with a handicap less than five and over 30 golf clubs represented,” Chapman said.
“The idea of the City of Orange Golf Championships is to get people from out of Orange to come to Orange to sample what we’ve got here and promote the three golf clubs.
“We do get a lot of people from Canberra, Sydney ... it all works very well and we get a lot of couples.”
Both ladies and men will play on the same course each day.
“We’ve consolidated the whole lot now on the one day. It all works well,” he added.