Carey claims championship title
BY ALEX TIGANI
To win a Singleton Golf Club championship at A-Grade, B-Grade or junior level is a magnificent achievement.
As of 6:04pm on Sunday evening, Nick Carey had become one of the first men to claim all three.
“To come out here today and take the big one was pretty full on,” an emotional Carey told The Hunter River Times.
A memorable flop shot on the final hole saw Carey claim the tile by a stroke with a score of 75, 71, 72 – 218.
Club legend Nathan Bagnall, who claimed a record 14th club title last year, finished runner up with 69, 74, 76 – 219.
Crowds gathered around the final group, which also featured three-time winner Chad Vesper, throughout the final round.
“My heartrate was through the roof all day and I felt it was slipping through my fingers come 15 and 16,” he continued.
“I also want to mention that Bags is a top-notch golfer, he played a lot better than what he scored.”
Carey started his golfing journey in Singleton two decades earlier, honing his craft and assisting Singleton’s professional Les Bennett at the club shop.
In 2002 he made history as one of the youngest recipients of the B-Grade title thanks to rounds of 84, 80, 84, 84 – 332. The field that day included six-time A-Grade champion Glenn Marcheff and his father John.
He then claimed a junior crown in 2004, claiming a memorable 19-stroke lead ahead of the final round.
“I left for Western Australia and played a lot of the game over there but when I was 18 I had a gutful, I was just over it and putting too much pressure on myself,” he reflected.
“I returned to Singleton and coming out today I was bricking it, I crouched down on the final hole, had a read trying to see which way it broke and was thinking ‘this is for the win’.
“Then I thought, just pick your line, stand up and just roll the ball – it disappeared in the middle and I wanted to bloody cry.”
Moments after his putt he received a hug from Nathan Bagnall and Chad Vesper, a legendary duo who had won every A-Grade crown since 2014.
Carey remained humble throughout his jubilant scenes during the presentation.
“We’re not a big championship golf course but it is the people who make it and it is a special place,” he concluded.