In the end, the weather last week on the New South Wales North Coast took the contest out of everyone hands, but for young gun Will Florimo, victory still tasted sweet.
With play unable to resume following a lunchtime deluge on Friday, officials were faced with no option but to abandon play at Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club around 3pm.
With scores reverting to the completed 18 holes of the day prior, Will Florimo, courtesy of his scintillating 10-under par 62 effort, was declared the Tweed Coast Open Champion.
The win, by far the 22-year-old’s biggest may not be his last, and with his amateur days coming to a close, the taste of victory will be one he hopes he enjoys more often.
“Q School this year, then hopefully overseas by the end of the year,” Florimo answered when asked what 2022 looked like. “I’ve got a couple of big events to come the NSW Open now and then the Aussie Am, and that will be the end of it for me.”
RIGHT: Florimo in action during the North Coast Open where he took one of the three spots into the NSW Open. PHOTO: David Teast/Golf NSW.
Several other on the final days could be excused for looking skyward and asking why, however none seemed too perturbed with the way the day unfolded.
Sam Brazel, three shot leader at the time the suspension of play occurred, lamented that it was always nice to claim a victory, but locking away a NSW Open spot and banking a handy cheque would soften the blow.
“Always nice to win, that’s we are here for,” he grinned. “But full credit to Will on taking the title.”
The result also locked away exemptions into the 2022 Golf Challenge NSW Open were for Florimo, Jay Mackenzie and Brazel.
For Mackenize, it’s second time lucky in qualifying via the Regional Open Series, while for Brazel, it’s going to be a reunion with a mentor who helped his career climb to great heights.
“Honestly I can’t wait.” Florimo beamed. “It’s going to be great to play one last event at this level as an amateur, and hopefully I will finish my career off with a good stretch of golf.”
For Brazel a winner on the DP World Tour, securing his spot comes with a touch of nostalgia. His former mentor as a PGA trainee is now the director of Golf at Concord.
“Honestly I can’t wait. It’s going to be great to play one last event at this level as an amateur, and hopefully I will finish my career off with a good stretch of golf.” - Will Florimo.
“Of course. I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t played Concord for a long time. I’ve got a good friend in Dave Northey who is there, and it will be nice to get back and see some familiar faces.”
Mackenzie, who hails from just down the coast from Coolangatta Tweed in Ballina, is becoming a dab hand at the Regional Open Series pathway. He earned his first NSW Open invite in the 2020 North Coast Open at Coffs Harbour, and after grabbing an invite last week is quietly confident his return to Concord will yield a better showing second time around.
“I got lucky, I know, with the weather call, because I wasn’t playing that well today, but it’s nice to get in.”
“I played horrible at Concord last time.
“Hopefully I’ll get there this time, hit more fairways, hit more greens and make some more putts,” Mackenzie added.