TIMBOON golfer Alistair Gillin will start a strong contender to take out Warrnambool Golf Club’s men’s championship.
Gillin, who hits off a handicap of one, will attempt to reclaim the crown he last won in 2010 when he takes to the Younger Street fairways.
Club captain Andrew Griffiths nominated Gillin, a long-time Country Week representative, as the man to beat in the titles, which start this weekend.
Other leading contenders included Steve Malone, Warren Burgess and Brian McKenzie.
“If you look down at it, there are two guys off three, another two guys off four, one off five and half a dozen off six,” Griffiths said.
“For a club our size, we’ve got a good bunch of fairly handy golfers.
“It sounds like it’s going to be fairly cold, wet and windy the first day. Sunday sounds a little bit better, but still quite windy, which makes Warrnambool tough.
“It could bring some of the lesser-knowns into play. The steady golfers would still be the favourites.”
The four-round championships start with rounds on Saturday and Sunday and have attracted about 100 golfers.
They continue next Saturday, before the top nine golfers in each grade return on Sunday for the final round.
Golfers will vie for titles in A, B, C and D grades, as well as juniors, 50-59 years and 60-plus years.
Defending champion Paul Leishman will miss the titles because he will be overseas watching his son Marc, a professional on the PGA Tour.
Griffiths said holes five and 10 at Warrnambool could be “game changers”.
“They’re very tight. One missed shot and you’re going to have to take a penalty,” he said.
“You can rack up a fairly big number on the one hole.”
Meanwhile, the club’s women’s championship reached the halfway stage yesterday.
The golfers will contest round three next Wednesday and wrap up their titles next Sunday.