25 Jun 2021 | Professional golf |
Flynn to take pro plunge
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
His success overseas sealed the deal but it is his grounding on the family farm three hours west of Brisbane that has convinced good judges that the latest Aussie amateur to turn professional has a bright future ahead. Hailing from Dalby in the Darling Downs region of south-west Queensland, Lawry Flynn has made the decision to turn professional and will play in his first PGA Tour of Australasia adidas Pro-Am Series event as a pro at the Maroochy River Pro-Am on July 9. Following hot on the heels of other young phenoms such as Gabi Ruffels, Elvis Smylie, Doey Choi and Jack Thompson to have entered the professional arena in 2021, it is Flynn’s fighting spirit that may prove to be his greatest asset. Taken to the Taiwan Amateur Championship as part of an Australian development squad in 2019, the way Flynn fought through a severe bought of food poisoning to finish fourth convinced Queensland Academy of Sport coach Richard Woodhouse that he had the temperament and the game to go pro. “He was very crook in the first round but stayed out there and finished the round off, spewing his guts up the whole way round,” recalled Woodhouse, the 2020 PGA National Coach of the Year. “He finished fourth and that just shows his resilience. He had every reason to pull out and quit but there’s not one ounce of that in the guy. “He’s got a heart of gold and he’ll dig in and do whatever it takes to move to that next level. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a really, really, good career by showing ridiculous resilience and attention to getting better.” That trip to Taiwan and subsequent victory at the Malaysian Amateur Open three weeks later proved to be a seminal moment for Flynn. While others had access to private golf clubs and academy programs as juniors, the foundation of Flynn’s golf swing came on the family farm in Dalby, 500 acres of space that he took advantage of to build two holes and his very own bunker. “I used to mow my green every second or third day on a cylinder mower that Grandad got me,” Flynn recalled. “I had a bunker as well which we dug out with a Bobcat and put some sand in. “I had to practice on my own because there was no one else to practice with so you create consistency otherwise you get swallowed up by way better players. “I felt like I was a little bit behind when I first moved to Brisbane because I hadn’t been exposed to those courses and players as much but with those same habits I thought I’d get there one day.” The raw but languid lefty linked with Dave Simpson at Royal Queensland Golf Club through an introduction by Brosnan Golf founder Denis Brosnan but it wasn’t until that success in Asia two years ago that he truly believed a career in professional golf was possible. “Before that I was good, but I didn’t really have too much behind me as far as results or consistency. I just wasn’t quite there yet,” Flynn conceded. “That stretch of golf, where I finished fourth in Taiwan, won the Malaysian Amateur, was top-five at Saujana Amateur, I was third at the NT PGA, that’s when the hard work started to pay off. “That was when I decided that I can give this a red-hot crack and look at turning pro in the next few years.” Four sub-70 rounds at the ISUZU Queensland Open at Pelican Waters in March saw Flynn finish as top amateur and tied for eighth overall and planted the seed to attend PGA Tour of Australasia Qualifying School at Moonah Links in April where he finished tied for 30th. The 23-year-old finished second to West Australian Hayden Hopewell at the North Shore Amateur in Auckland in late May and with little left to play in the amateur arena, made the decision to take the professional plunge. “There wasn’t really any amateur events left to play so it seemed like a good idea to turn pro and play the pro-ams through Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast in preparation for the start of the PGA Tour of Australasia season,” Flynn said. “I’ve played pretty consistently over the past two years so I knew I was definitely up there with those guys and ready that way, just through the experiences that I’ve had. “With how solid my game’s feeling it’s definitely the right time to capitalise on it. “These last 12 months have opened my eyes to the fact that good golf can be rewarded with extra opportunities, whether that’s getting into events or even just getting paid.” Their roles have been adjusted from tournament taxi drivers to No.1 supporters in recent years but Flynn paid special tribute to his parents Renitta and Tony for their sacrifices in getting him to this point. “The amount of sacrifice they had to do living three hours west of Brisbane, getting into the Golf Queensland junior stuff, it was massive,” said Flynn, who has eyes on making his way to the US in 2022. “We had to be in Brisbane once a month let alone all the other travelling for the junior events around Australia. “Mum would travel with me pretty much everywhere. Dad and I would go to golf in Toowoomba on the weekend because I was a member at Middle Ridge. “They played quite a big part in the developing years when I started from nine through to 17 when I finished school. “And they still play a big part now.”
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