By Paul Pickering
UPPER Beaconsfield golfer Scott Laycock believes he’s on the verge or rediscovering his ‘A’ game after yet another strong outing at the Victorian Open on the weekend.
The 38-year-old pro finished tied for third alongside fellow Victorian David McKenzie, four shots adrift of eventual winner Jason Norris.
Laycock, who carded scores of 70, 69, 70 and 69 around the Spring Valley layout, was buoyed by his solid week, but left ruing a shaky finish to his third round.
He played with Norris on Saturday and the two were level approaching the par-five 17th hole.
“I three-putted for par on 17 on Saturday and then double-bogeyed 18, so I finished three-four and Jason finished five-six,” Laycock reflected.
“I had plenty of chances (on Sunday), but it was the 17th and 18th on Saturday that really dented my chances.
“But I’m really happy with how I’ve played over the last couple of months and the consistency that I’ve started to get back into my game.”
Consistency has been one of the hallmarks of Laycock’s 19-year professional career. But the 2001 Victorian Open champion, who finished equal-second behind Ashley Hall in last year’s tournament, has battled a persistent wrist injury of late and has remodelled his swing as a result.
He finished 18th on the Australasian Tour order of merit in 2009 – banking just under $67,000 – and says he is starting to feel more comfortable with his action.
“My golf hasn’t been where I wanted it the last few years,” he said.
“I’ve had the odd good tournament, but I’ve been disappointed that I haven’t had that consistency that I previously had.”
With his swing now in order, Laycock is regaining the shot-making ability that saw him forge a reputation as one of the purest ball-strikers in the land.
“That’s been the hardest thing for me in the last couple of years; I haven’t been able to hit the shots that I can see, but I’m starting to get that back, which is nice,” he said.
“Hitting greens in regulation has never been a problem for me, but what I need to do is just be conservatively aggressive and make that extra birdie or two on the weekend when I’m in contention.”
Laycock will play in the final round of qualifying for the British Open at Kingston Heath this Thursday and Friday, before heading to the New Zealand Open and Moonah Classic – both co-sanctioned with the US Nationwide Tour – in late January and early February.
His strong showing on the local circuit has earned him exempt status on the new One Asia Tour this winter and he intends to use those tournaments to prepare for a tilt at Q-school in the US or Japan later this year.
Meanwhile, Nyora golfer Peter Wilson continued his steady form by finishing tied for 10th on the weekend, while Berwick Montuna member Stephen Allan finished 44th.
Defending champion Hall, who also learnt his trade at Berwick Montuna, missed the cut after carding a pair of 75s.
By Paul Pickering