Redcliffe ready for "best of the best"

Published 6:00am 10 July 2023

Redcliffe ready for "best of the best"
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: Doug Klein who is back on the peninsula for this week's $70,000 Optilease Redcliffe Pro-Am.

Two years ago, home-town hero Doug Klein, who worked in the pro shop, produced a "fairy-tale finish" to win the Redcliffe Pro-Am. 

Klein is back this week, from the Asian Tour, to face the "best-of-the-best" in the most lucrative event on Australia’s adidas PGA Pro-Am Series.

Defending champion Aaron Wilkin is also returning, with professionals from across the country, for the two-day $70,000 Optilease Redcliffe Pro-Am.

They will face tough opposition, starting on Thursday, over two rounds on the par 71 Handsworth St course.

“Players are coming from all over Australia, including WA (West Australia), this year,” Redcliffe’s Director of Golf Chris Adnams said.

Doug Klein practicing at Redcliffe Golf Club for this week's Optilease Pro-Am.

“It will easily be our best tournament yet. The pros (professionals) know it’s a high-profile event.

“I think the level of expectation has gone up and the players here will be the best of the best.”

The Optilease Redcliffe Pro-Am – Queensland’s Tournament of the Year in 2021 and 2022 - will start at 10am both days and include a shoot-out and pitch-off.

“We never expect this event to just happen,” Adnams said, “work starts about six months out, including a dinner for sponsors to thank them for supporting us over the last two years.”

Jake McLeod, 29, will be one of the event favourites. He won the NSW Open and was third in the Australian Open in 2018 which earned him a place on the European Tour in 2019.

2022 winner Aaron Wilkin, left, with Redcliffe's Director of Golf Chris Adnams.

Michael Sim 38, may also be among the front runners having the Queensland and WA Open titles on his resume. He was also the leading world-ranked amateur before turning pro.

Thirty-year-old Aaron Wilkin shot rounds of 64 and 65 for a 13-under-par 139 to lift the 2022 Redcliffe title.

He beat 2021 winner Doug Klein (68, 65), who worked in the Redcliffe Pro Shop, Sam Brazel (66, 67) and Peter Martin (67, 66) who had a nine under totals of 133.

This week's event will be the second in a three-year sponsorship deal with Optilease.

Spectators are welcome at one of the highlights of Redcliffe's golfing year.

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