Nineteen-year-old phenom James Conran ticked another box last weekend, picking up another Central West District Golf Association win by romping home in the Hahn Duntryleague Open Amateur Championship, his home tournament.
With wins at Bathurst, Canowindra and Blayney and a good show at the AVJennings Golf NSW Open leading in, Conran had plenty of confidence and translated that to the scorecard as he shot a four-under, 36-hole tally of 136 to win by four strokes from Mudgee ace Mark Hale.
While Robert Payne, who finished third on the weekend with 141, won the Country Club Open in the middle of Conran’s victories, the 19-year-old didn’t play in that event, making last weekend’s victory his fourth on the trot.
It was his fourth from the five CWDGA opens he’s played this season too, the only one he didn’t win was Parkes’ marquee event and he finished second there.
“You always like winning the local ones that, really, you do expect to play well in,” Conran said.
Last weekend’s win was Conran’s first at his home course since his maiden title in 2015 and he was forced to defy almost gale force winds to seal it, a tough task in itself made more difficult by the fact they’re conditions Payne loves.
He did that with aplomb though, carding a five-under round of 65 on Saturday’s first day – when the wind was at its strongest, at times hitting upward of 60 kilometres an hour – and backed that up with a one-over 71 on Sunday.
“Honestly I’m just happy it’s done, they were two long days out there in that wind,” Conran laughed, just after being presented the trophy.
“The wind was just so consistent, we hit off late too so we probably got the worst of it. It was much worse [on Saturday] but I just kept the ball in play really, nothing was going in on the front but then they did start dropping the back nine.”
They were two long days out there in that wind.Duntryleague's James Conran
Conran confirmed he will front at next weekend’s season-finishing Epiroc Wentworth Open and is hoping for another victory there, which would be his second after last winning in 2015 and would be a welcome confidence boost before he looks further south.
“I’m off to Victoria for the Victorian Amateur Championships so hopefully I can keep it going,” Conran said.
“You always want to win so that’s the goal, it’d be good for the confidence before Victoria too.”
The Epiroc Wentworth Open field already boasts more than 150 players, while the Victorian Amateur Championships runs from December 10-12 at Huntingdale Golf Club.
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