CAL O’REILLY is gearing up for a big summer, starting with the Victorian PGA on Thursday.
The Toronto right-hander is using the $100,000 72-hole championship, which is back on the calendar after a year absence, as a lead-up to the major Australiasian events.
“The Vic PGA is the start of my preparation,” he said. “It’s a lead up to the rest of the summer and a chance to try and tune up a couple of things. Everything has felt pretty good but it is about making it great. The driver feels good, the iron play is good, chipping feel is good. It is about making it feel great which is a hard task.”
O’Reilly flew to Melbourne on Monday and will play practice rounds at Cape Schanck Resort on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The course is right at the bottom of the Mornington Peninsular,” he said. “I have never played it before. The last time I played the Victoria PGA it was at Huntingdale and I actually played pretty well but made a triple or something at the last. I hit the wrong ball which was marked literally the same as mine.”
O’Reilly, who turned 28 on Sunday, will be after a repeat of his strong start to the year, highlighted by top five finishes at the Handa World Super Six in Perth, Queensland PGA and New Zealand Open.
After missing the cut at the Fiji Open and finishing out of contention at the Northern Territory PGA, he played well in the Hunter pro-am swing and is “primed for a big assault”.
“I’m still top 10 in the order of merit and that sort of thing,” he said. “It has set me up in a good position and I’m looking forward to next year.”
After the Victorian PGA, O’Reilly heads to Japan for the third stage of Q School.
O’Reilly is one of four Hunter players in the Vic PGA field alongside Nick Flanagan, James Nitties and Aaron Townsend.
Flanagan will head back to the US after the tournament for the second stage of web.com tour school. He returns for the NSW Open at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club on November 8-11.