Lismore's Rhein rocks golf world
PUT you hand up if you had heard of Australian professional Rhein Gibson before yesterday?
Not many people can honestly say they had, well, apart from members of the Lismore Workers Golf Club.
The 26-year-old world No1444 should be no stranger to anyone now after he played possibly the greatest round in the history of the game.
Gibson, who was born in Lismore and joined the club at 10, carded a 16-under par 55 while playing a social round with two mates at River Oaks Golf Club in Oklahoma.
The incredible round, which included 12 birdies and two eagles, is believed to be the lowest round ever played on an 18-hole course, and came just a week after Gibson had shot a 60 on the same layout.
Not even teeing off with a brand new driver seemed to bother Gibson, who now lives in America and plays on the Golfweek National Pro Tour.
Homero Blancas, a PGA Tour player in the 1960s, once shot 55, but that was on a par-70 course of just 5000 yards.
His effort was in the Guinness Book of World Records but was taken out after sterner qualifying rules were set.
While he's happy to enjoy the publicity surrounding his historic round, Gibson, who was tied for 26th heading into the final round of the Midwest Open in Nebraska overnight, said he wasn't about to get carried away with the avalanche of congratulatory messages.
"It's been fantastic and I appreciate each and every one of them. But it's back to work now trying to reach the PGA Tour," Gibson, 12th on the Golfweek National Pro Tour money list this year, told APN Sport.
"It (the round) doesn't change anything - I am still a poor pro golfer trying to fulfil my ambitions.
"My ball striking is there but I need to get more consistent with the putter and improve my mental game. I feel like I'm good enough to be out there (PGA Tour)."
As for his magical round, Gibson said his putter had been red hot.
"Every putt I made was dead centre, whether from 30 feet or five feet - I just putted out of my mind," he said.
His coach, Lismore Workers Golf Club professional Peter Jaeger, said the round was mind-blowing.
"He's poor in money at the moment but very rich in ability," Jaeger said.