19 Jun 2023 | Participation | Clubs and Facilities | Amateur golf | Women and girls | Outback Queensland Masters |

Outback Qld Masters: First winners crowned for 203

by Australian Golf Media

Outback Queensland Masters - St George winners
Winners in the opening event of the 2023 Outback Queensland Masters - Kayleen Hall and Ross Jackson

The challenge of playing on sand greens for the first time didn’t prove to be a barrier for Ross Jackson in the opening event of the 2023 Outback Queensland Masters at St George Golf Club at the weekend.

From the Canungra Area Golf Club in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Ross snared 39 points in his first sand greens round to claim the men’s orange jacket by a two-point margin.

However, the best score of the day came in the women’s event where Roma Golf Club’s Kayleen Hall posted 42 points to earn her orange jacket.

As part of the opening event which saw players from across Australia converged on the southern Outback Queensland town, local St George youngsters aged from five to 15 years participated in the free junior clinics program with PGA Professional Darren Weatherall.

“The Outback Queensland Masters’ legacy is to give youth in Outback Queensland an opportunity to either try golf for the first time or fine-tune their skills,” Darren said. “It’s so encouraging to see such young people giving it a go. Some of the juniors this morning were priceless, with the clubs twice their size. “Here in St George and throughout the next five locations, we’re touring with the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship Trophy, the Kirkwood Cup. “The Cup is named after Joe Kirkwood, who really put Australian golf on the map and is credited with scoring 29 hole-in-ones and numerous national and international tournaments across the United States of America, Canada, and the Australian and New Zealand opens. “What’s fascinating, as the story goes, when Joe Kirkwood was a youngster, he went to work on an outback station where his boss introduced him to the game of golf. From these humble beginnings, he turned professional in 1920.”

Luke Bates, Queensland and Northern Territory Manager, Golf Australia, said it was a weekend of firsts for the Outback Queensland Masters.

“This is the first time the event has been staged in St George, it’s our longest adventure of 2800km through Outback Queensland and the first time we’ve had competitors from every state of Australia, including Western Australia,” he said. “Many of the players are vying for the Million Dollar Hole-In-One Challenge at the end of this six-location event which commenced from St George before we head onto Cunnamulla, Quilpie, Richmond, Karumba and culminating in Mount Isa in July. “This competition isn't all about winning a hole-in-one, it's all about the experience, discovering new places and meeting new people. “This event showcases how different the game of golf can be.

“The sand green courses of Outback Queensland provide a unique experience for players of all levels and ages, with the overall objective to have a lot of fun.”

The Outback Queensland Masters is presented by Golf Australia with support from strategic partner Tourism and Events Queensland and Birdie Spirit Partners PGA of Australia and Rex Airlines. “Support from the local golf clubs and their members who so eagerly embraced the Masters has been integral to its success,” Bates said.

“The St George Golf Club has been outstanding in its participation and support for the Outback Queensland Masters. “The event could not have been staged without assistance from local government, including the Balonne Shire Council, Paroo Shire Council, Quilpie Shire Council, Richmond Shire Council, Carpentaria Shire Council and Mount Isa City Council.”

Limited Outback Masters player and spectator passes remain at www.outbackqldmasters.com. Outback Queensland Masters is supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland.

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