SUCCESS: Sandy Gallop Golf Club manager Matthew Clayton broke through to win the A grade club championships this year.
SUCCESS: Sandy Gallop Golf Club manager Matthew Clayton broke through to win the A grade club championships this year. Rob Williams

Clayton is playing more and results are flowing

MATTHEW Clayton is reaping the rewards of playing more golf in his role as Sandy Gallop Golf Club manager.

In March, Clayton won the A grade club championships by five shots, over four rounds, with a one under round of 69 on day three setting up the victory.

That gave him a six-shot lead and he was able to hang on.

Since 2010 there have been seven different winners. Former bar manager Grant Haviland, who won in 2010, repeated the achievement in 2014. Warren Austin, brother of former professional Nev Austin, won it last year and was runner-up to Clayton in 2017.

Robert Gibson (2011), Rod Turnbull (2012), Matthew Frohmuller (2013) and Jeff Etherden (2015) were the other winners before Clayton's victory this year.

Clayton, who has been with the club since March of 2016, said it was the first club championships he had won.

"I've never been good enough to win one before, but in this role I get to play a lot more and my golf has improved,” he said.

"I have gone from a handicap of seven or eight down to two since I have been here. I get Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off so I have been playing a lot of the trainee pro-ams on Mondays...and I am generally playing Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday morning as well.”

Clayton has played at some of the regions best courses. On Monday he was down at Ocean Shores.

"The trainees play 18 or 36 holes, so the amateurs play in the afternoon with them...which is pretty good,” he said.

Clayton said there had only been around five scores under the par of 70 since he has been on board. The club record on the new course is 67. Clayton has had a 66 but because it was in a stableford event mid-week it didn't count.

The week he won the club championships, Clayton was on a hot streak.

"After the Saturday that I won I played a trainee pro-am on the Monday at Windaroo and won the amateur side of that,” he said.

"Then I had the 66 off the stick here on the Wednesday with a bogey on the 10th hole. It was one of those weeks.”



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