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Kim Felton: back to basics

Kim Felton

The opening round of 68 at the Emirates Australian by 37 year old West Australian, Kim Felton, signalled a continuation of what have been some encouraging signs for the former amateur star.

Last week Felton won the $100,000 final of the Jeep Series on the Gold Coast after top twenty finishes in the two Tier Two events in Western Australia and a made cut at the Talisker Masters.

All this might not necessarily sound all that impressive but when you consider where Felton is coming from then there is clear evidence that things are headed in the right direction.

After all, Felton is currently ranked 1451 in the world so there is a lot of upside to come.

Felton was the 1997 Australian Amateur Champion defeating amongst others Terry Pilkadaris and Scott Gardiner on the way to the final that year. Felton would also do well internationally as an amateur winning the individual title at the Eisenhower Trophy in 1998.

Felton also appeared capable of handling the bigger stage when he finished 3rd as an amateur at the Australian Masters the same year.

With nine wins on the PGA Tour of Australasia, six of those in his home state, plus victories on the OneAsia and Nationwide Tours, Felton has proven himself capable of winning tournaments but he has not been able to take it to the level which many felt would be the case following his amateur success.

Recently however Felton has been working with mind coach Sean Lynch and the two time Australian Masters Champion Bradley Hughes. For Victorian, Hughes, who is now back in Australia after having played the PGA Tour between 1997 and 2005, a career in teaching looks the next step.

A keen traditionalist, Hughes has developed quite a following amongst golf fans and golfers in Australia. His workshops are well attended wherever he holds them and it is his no frills simple approach to the game that appears to be catching on.

Hughes has been seen walking outside the ropes with Felton in recent events at the Australian Masters and the Australian Open as he watches his charge put into action the things they have worked on.

"With Brad he has taken me back to the basics," said Felton on pro-am day this week. "He keeps it simple which is something I had not being do a lot up until recent times."

Felton has also benefitted from the assistance of mind coach Lynch who himself has had a good year.

Amongst others Lynch has worked with this year have been Cameron Percy, Scott Gardiner and Alistair Presnell. It is perhaps no coincidence that all three graduated to the PGA Tour via the Web.Com Tour this season.

Felton's second round of 75 at the Australian Open perhaps indicates that all is not yet quite right in his game but the signs are there that despite being a late bloomer he might yet fulfill some of the potential he displayed in his younger days.


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