Shae Wools-Cobb owes the Isuzu Queensland Open his best golf after over-complicating his home course advantage at Pelican Waters during last year’s tournament.
Wools-Cobb, 25, will tee off in Thursday’s opening round at Pelican Waters with confidence from the highest finish of his formative professional career.
The young Sunshine Coast golfer from Mudjimba, just up the highway from Pelican Waters, finished tied third last Sunday in The Players Series Sydney where he produced one of his hottest rounds as a pro.
His seven-under-par 64 to open the tournament was just the reinforcement he needed to show all the work he is putting in with coach Grant Field is paying off.
When the COVID-19 pandemic stopped Australian tournament golf in its tracks a year ago, Wools-Cobb hit the practice range when he was restricted to a single four-round tournament in 11 months.
He’s also a member at Maroochy River Golf Club but works with Field at Pelican Waters, beside Caloundra, on the same practice range where PGA Tour star Cameron Smith tunes up when in town.
“I’m usually known for being a really good putter who has to hole a lot to keep in tournaments,” Wools-Cobb said.
“I hit all 18 greens in that 64 and just feel I’ve been hitting the ball a lot more solid since the resumption (of tournaments) in January.”
“I have high hopes this week and I’ve definitely learnt a lot from last year when it felt weird playing a tournament on a course I play all the time." – Shae Wools-Cobb
Those who know Wools-Cobb will always tell you he is a super hard marker on his own game. When he sighs that he’s hit a ball thin but straight it’s often an eight-out-of-10 shot on the eye. He’s chasing the perfection that all golfers do.
Wools-Cobb went to Maroochydore State High and plays regular Saturday and Sunday competitions at Pelican Waters so this really is a home game this week.
He never capitalised on that head start with a poor 73-78 flop to miss the cut at the same course last year.
“I have high hopes this week and I’ve definitely learnt a lot from last year when it felt weird playing a tournament on a course I play all the time,” Woos-Cobb said.
“I’m super-aggressive when I play in a normal Saturday or Sunday comp but shied away from that in the tournament and came unstuck being too conservative.”
Where he’d normally fade a big driver down the tough par-4 18th to leave a 7-iron approach, he took 3-wood and left himself a much longer iron for an approach shot. He bogeyed the hole both days.
The nines have been flipped this year so the 18th will play as the 9th.
“The Queensland Open is where I made my debut as a professional in 2018 so it’s always really special to play it,” the former top amateur said.
“I remember those early days as a pro and all the tension in my short game.
“It all just clicked with my good finish (15th) at the Australian Open in 2019 and I’ve just carried on from that with better golf.”