Emu Heights golfer Wil Arnold says he’s looking forward to competing at the 2019 NSW Open Championship for the first time this November.
The 22-year-old qualified for the prestigious Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club event after claiming a one-shot win at the Forbes Open recently.
The long-time Penrith Golf Club member had to endure a nervous four-hour wait to see if his score was going to hold up after teeing off in one of the first groups out.
His two-under par score of 70 held up all day, to eventually take the title from fellow Sydneysiders Blade Gadd and Reid Brown.
Speaking with the Weekender, Arnold said he was thrilled to represent Penrith on the big stage later this year.
“It was one of my big goals last year to get into the NSW Open but, after some close finishes in the various regional qualifiers, I missed out. I then set myself the same goal this year and I managed to tick that box pretty early,” he said.
“Even though I’ll still be an amateur, this will be my first professional tournament. Earlier this year I signed up to be a member of Twin Creeks as well as Penrith, and I’ve spent a lot of time using the practice facilities there – the course is unreal.”
Taking after his father, the former St Dominic’s College student has been playing golf ever since he was a young child. Arnold said he started taking the sport more seriously when he hit his teens.
“My old man got me into it, he’s always been a handy golfer and as a kid I had my own set of clubs and would whack balls whenever Dad went out,” he said.
“I then fell in love with it in my teenage years and started to take it more serious.”
When Arnold finished high school, he moved to the United States and signed up to a community college in Kansas to develop his passion for golf. After two years abroad, Arnold landed a top coach back home and has been progressing his game ever since.
In between working in a bottle shop in the lower Blue Mountains at night, Arnold is hoping to take his game to the lucrative next level within the next two years.
“It’s a pretty big jump into the pro ranks but I’m hoping to turn pro in the next couple of years. I still need to tick some boxes as an amateur first and get my name out there,” he said.
“I’m going to spend plenty of time practicing and travelling around the country playing the big amateur tournaments. When I think I’m good enough, I’ll head off to tour school and see how I go.”
The NSW Open Championship will tee off at Twins Creeks in late November.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.