CASEY Schmidt will chase his third straight title when the Horsham Golf Club’s men’s championships start on Saturday.
Players will compete in three qualifying rounds across two weekends before the top eight play a final round to determine this year’s club champions on May 27.
Men’s captain Peter Jackson said a number of low handicap players would vie for the A Grade championships, and with it the title of club champion.
“It will be the guys that are playing off handicaps between 0 and +4 that will all have a really good shot at it,” he said.
“They’re all playing pretty good golf and it’s anybody’s guess who will come out on top.
“Once we get the first couple of rounds under our belts at the weekend we’ll be in a much better position to speculate.”
Players will be sorted into four grades depending on the number of entrants.
“Everyone has a chance at winning a championships by competing against golfers of a similar ilk,” Jackson said.
“Some of our members aren’t available for all four rounds so they’ll play in our regular competitions that will continue to run alongside the championships.”
Jackson said course superintendent Rob Gillan will ensure the course is in top condition.
“He’ll be competing as well off a low handicap and will certainly have the course looking really sharp,” he said.
Conditions always have a big impact on the scores shot at the championships.
Jackson said traditionally the eighth hole played as the most difficult but he also expected the 16th to have a big impact on the outcome.
“That’s the long par-four that runs alongside the practice fairway,” he said.
“When the wind is blowing it can be quite tricky and there might be a bit of added pressure as you’re coming up to the finish line.
“I play the course much differently to our best golfers though because they hit the ball a mile – the difficulty for them is different to what it is for me.”
The women’s championships started on Tuesday and continued on Thursday.
Jenny McRae held the lead after shooting 78 in the opening round and is in pursuit of her 17th consecutive championship.
Joy Tonkin leads the way in B Grade while in C Grade Marie Oliver holds the ascendancy.
The third round of the women’s championship will be played on Tuesday before the top eight vie for the grade championships on May 24.