ROBERT Payne pulled no punches regarding Duntryleague’s Central Western Districts Golf Association division one pennants chances ahead of Sunday’s first round.
“We’ve got the team to win it again,” he said.
“We’re the most experienced team in the competition.”
Payne will be joined in the Duntryleague team by club stalwarts Wayne Carpenter, Rob Parfett and Dean Turner, along with former Wentworth star Craig Stojanovic, and debutant James Conran.
“We’ve been the benchmark for years,” Payne said, referring to Duntryleague’s four titles in the past six years.
Payne said the inclusion of Conran, son of professional golfer Steve Conran, is a huge step toward the future for the club.
“James is the shining light in Duntryleague junior golf,” he said.
“James has improved out of sight recently, as a golfer and with his attitude. It’s important he learns how to be competitive away from home. That will be a challenge for him, but it isn’t always about winning.
“It’s about the way you conduct yourself away from home.”
Payne said the draw change, allowing no team a home ground advantage, is a positive.
“Normally your home course is a fortress,” he explained.
“This means teams will have to approach every game without being overconfident, and needing to perform away from home.”
Payne said the gloss of the approaching season was taken off slightly by CWDGA not allowing Duntryleague to enter a second division one team.
“We had the players drummed up, 14 or 15 wanting to play,” he said.
“Some were higher handicappers but that’s what golf is about; playing people better than you. Now they’ll go back to division two. With numbers at competitions dwindling we need to be promoting golf.
“It is pretty disappointing, but I’m very excited for this year.”
Duntryleague begins the division one season with a bye, and is pitted against Wentworth, Forbes, Blayney and Parkes in pool B.
Stay tuned to the Central Western Daily in the coming days to see who will line up in division one for Wentworth and Ex-Services.
DUNTRYLEAGUE: Robert Payne, Rob Parfett, Dean Turner, Craig Stojanovic, Wayne Carpenter, James Conran.