11 Mar 2021 | Isuzu Queensland Open |
Pint size player-caddie duo at #QldOpen
- By Jim Tucker
Golf's youth brigade have set another eye-popping standard through 15-year-old Billy Dowling and his even younger caddie Alfie Ward at the Isuzu Queensland Open.
Dowling compiled a fine par round of 72 in Thursday's opening round with sound course tips from 13-year-old Alfie, a Pelican Waters member who plays off a one handicap.
Dowling is no long bomber at just 48kg and regards himself as "probably the shortest hitter out here."
What he does have is a gun short game.
He also struck the near-perfect six iron 150m on the par three 15th thanks to Alfie's advice on club selection.
"Alfie and I were talking about five or six iron. I took six iron and it was on line all the way," Billy said.
"I thought it was going in and it finished up less than a foot from the hole so it was really good.
“Thanks to Alfie. A hot dog for the caddie is about right.”
Dowling was chomping into his own, with sauce, post round to boast his energy levels.
Dowling is from Helensvale State High, the same school that produced US Open tennis champion Sam Stosur and 2012 London Olympics hurdling gold medallist Sally Pearson.
At Surfers Paradise Golf Club, he plays off a handicap of +4.3 and credits long-time coach Nancy Harvey for his improvements.
Alfie was wondering about the 15th, the $100,000 hole-in-one prize and how close they were to more than a hotdog.
The cash is only up for grabs from sponsor Palm Lake Resort for an ace on Saturday or Sunday when the hole is stretched beyond 160m.
The youngsters knew each other from junior events so when Billy qualified on Monday it was quickly organised that he stay with the Wards near the course.
Dowling was sitting in the top half of the 132-strong field with players still to finish their opening rounds.
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