Midway through 2018 Duntryleague junior James Conran made a big decision in terms of his future, one that was always going to have a massive impact on his direction in life and, specifically, whether or not he'd reach his seemingly endless potential on the course.
In short he made the call, one that came not long after dropping out of university and to many might have seemed a long time coming, to "have a proper crack" at chasing a professional career.
Since then he's moved to Sydney and now he's starting to see dividends, rewards that suggest that massive decision was the right one.
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Along with Open wins at Bathurst, Canowindra, Blayney and Duntryleague, he produced in substantially higher-profile events too, making the cut at the NSW Open and shooting a seven-under 65 during that effort and also progressing to the match-play rounds of the NSW and Australian Amateur Championships.
On the back of that success he's been named to make his NSW debut at this year's Australian Interstate Teams Matches, at Royal Hobart and Tasmania Golf Clubs in May.
"I kind of thought I really needed to have proper crack at it because I'd given up on uni and given up on working," Conran laughed, speaking of his shift in mindset and move to the city.
"It hasn't been too difficult to settle in. I'm living in Ryde which is about 10 minutes from my home course down here at Pymble and it's pretty central to all the golfing around here.
"There's plenty more people doing what I'm doing than there was in Orange too, which makes it all a bit easier. I'm pretty pumped, [NSW selection] is definitely something I was aiming for."
Conran joins the likes of 2018 NSW Junior Championship winner Jye Pickin and former Queensland rep Lucas Higgins in the NSW team and in an added bonus, is once again following his father Steve's footsteps.
I kind of thought I really needed to have proper crack at it because I'd given up on uni and given up on working.James Conran, on his decision to chase a pro career
In fact, the Conrans are now the first father-son duo to have earned NSW selection.
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"I think they all just like writing [Steve] into articles," Conran, who's ranked 20th in the country, joked.
"I didn't have any clue (about that), that's the first I'd heard of it but it is [a nice bonus]."
Conran doesn't "have anything too big" between now and the Interstate Teams event outside the regular competitions at Pymble and said he'll just be looking to maintain his form leading in.
That form is red-hot too, with the young gun shooting an unbelievable round at Pymble on Wednesday.
"I did hit it pretty well, I had nine under," Conran laughed, his best at Duntryleague an eight-under round of 62.
"It's tough to compare courses really but Pymble probably a little bit easier than Duntryleague, but they're both quite tight and you can mess up both courses pretty easily. Pymble has a couple more par fives so it's a bit more get-able, I think."
Golf NSW general manager Graeme Phillipson was thrilled to announce the NSW men's and women's teams on Wednesday afternoon, which he labelled "formidable".
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"Every golfer selected is an extremely talented player in their own right, and as a team, they are incredibly formidable squads," he said.
Grace Kim, who was unable to represent NSW last year due to selection in the Australian Queen Sirikit Cup Team, makes a welcome return and bolsters an already strong women's team who will be out to defend the Gladys Hay Trophy.
The 2019 men's Interstate Teams Matches are at Tasmania Golf Club from May 7-10 while the women play at Royal Hobart from May 7-9.
- NSW MEN: Blake Windred, Nathan Barbieri, Josh Armstrong, Jordie Garner, Harrison Crowe, Jye Pickin, Lucas Higgins, James Conran
- NSW WOMEN: Grace Kim, Doey Choi, Stephanie Kyriacou, Kelsey Bennett, Sophie Yip, Amy Chu
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