LOCAL squash stalwart Troy Northey is excited about the Bega Squash Open this weekend.
Not only are there more entrants following the success of last year’s contest, players will have the chance to win a brand new Volkswagen Up! courtesy of John Stylianou and Tarra Motors.
“John has been the drive behind the tournament to lure competitiors and some of the higher ranking players from across the state,” Northey said.
Around 80 competitors will line up for one swing on the par three, ninth hole of the Bega golf course.
If they can manage a hole-in-one they will be driving away in a brand new car.
Northey said since last year’s Bega open, he was expecting an even higher level of competition when games start tomorrow morning.
“We’ve got Josh Larkin coming, he’s ranked number 13 in Australia,” Northey said.
“And he’s ranked 134 in the world.
“He’s our top seed,” he said.
“The second seed is Michael Bolton from Sydney, it’s his first time competing in the open.
“Michael is one of the leading players in Sydney premier league,” Northey said.
Northey himself will be the third seed for the contest and the locals’ best hopes in the open competition.
Lorraine Rae and Nicole Cook will be the top two competitors in the ladies division.
“They’re very evenly fielded in the ladies, it will be very competitive,” Northey said
“They’re the two standouts.”
Northey said the competition would be fierce.
“Being the second year there will be a level of squash that Bega has never seen before,” he said.
“Josh [Larkin] was here last year, but he’s been developing and it’s expected that he and Michael [Bolton] will come head to head.”
Northey said this year’s event would also encourage kids to take up squash.
“NSW Squash has provided an inflatable squash court which is like a jumping castle for the kids to go in and have a bit of fun on,” he said.
“Any of the families that want to come out and watch competitors go through the paces can come out and enjoy the side attractions too.
“We’re hoping to take that bit of equipment into schools and get the kids involved after the tournament,” he said.
Northey said the Bega Squash Club had been a bit of a “success story” with a “very healthy junior squash competition” so the open would be a good opportunity for the young players to head out and see some top level performances.
Northey said the club was “overwhelmed” with the opportunity to host an open tournament like this one and it was “really excited” to see the competition in its second year.
The Bega Country Club will be open to serve food and drinks for the weekend.
Matches start from 8am tomorrow and run to about 4pm, then on Sunday matches will resume at 8am again with the finals taking place from about 2pm onwards.
“It will be the state grade, then the women’s open and finally men’s open will be the headline act,” Northey said.
Northey said the open would be a great opportunity to see some high energy competition.
“Anyone who doesn’t know the game should come out and watch, it will be a great spectacle,” he said.