Day 4 - Final Results
First Year PGA Trainee Frazer Droop has won the world’s richest Trainee tournament; the PGA National Futures Championship.
Frazer DroopStarting the final round at Ballarat Golf Club with a three shot lead, Frazer was shaky early but held his nerve to shoot 1-over 73. He won the title by three shots from his playing partner Robbie Hogan.
“At the start of the week, I did have a few expectations and this was the goal. To come out on top after four really tough days is a very good feeling,” said Droop.
“It was a grind today. I was 2-over after three holes so it was a slow start. I was pretty patient all day and hung in there.
“Robbie (Hogan) and Trent (Smith) were playing pretty solid and making a few more birdies than I was.
“But I had a really good putt on 17, I holed about a 40 foot putt down the tier which was the highlight of the day and gave me a buffer coming up the last.”
Frazer was happy to come out on top with his family, including his father PGA Pro, Evan Droop, out supporting him at Ballarat Golf Club.
“At probably the 14th hole I felt a little bit of pressure but to come home with the win, I just can’t thank everyone enough,” added Droop, who works for his father at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort.
“Nan and Pop came down as well, they have been out there the last couple of days, so a huge thank you to them and also to my Dad, Mum and sister.
“It is always nice to have them out following me and when I come out on top it feels a whole lot better to have my family there with me.”
For his win, Droop collected $10,800, the winner’s share of the AU$60,000, as well as a start at the 2018 Australian PGA Championship.
“It’s going to be unreal, being co-sanctioned by the European Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia, there will be a lot of good players there,” added Droop.
“I am going to practice between now and then so that I am ready to give it my best shot.
“I have always wanted to play on Tour; the PGA Traineeship is just a different pathway to getting there. I feel like I made the right choice and that I will get there in the end.”
Finishing outright second on 2-under the card was New South Wales, Third Year PGA Trainee, Robbie Hogan.
A shot further back on 1-under the card was England’s Matthew Fieldsend, the 2017 PGA of Great Britain and Ireland Assistant Champion.
Rounding out the top-5 on the leaderboard was New Zealander Cameron Jones and New South Welshman Trent Smith who finished the tournament at even par.
For all final scores from the 2017 PGA National Futures Championship please visit pga.org.au.
Day 4 Gallery
Day 3 - Results
First Year PGA Trainee Frazer Droop has regained the lead at the PGA National Futures Championship.
Frazer DroopBeing played at Ballarat Golf Club, cold and tough conditions greeted the field on moving day however Droop managed to shoot an even par round and regain the lead.
The Yarrawonga Trainee led after the first round but saw New South Welshman Robbie Hogan overtake him on Wednesday.
At 6-under the card, Droop now has a three shot buffer heading into the final round from Trent Smith and Hogan who had rounds of 74 and 76 today, respectively.
“Today was the toughest conditions for sure. The wind was tricky, very gusty and the ball got knocked around a little bit on a few holes,” said Droop, who had two birdies and two bogeys today.
“It was a little bit of a slow start, I made a few good up and downs on the 5th and 6th for pars which kind of got me going.
“I made a good birdie on 7 to get to 1-under and that got my round rolling, it didn’t really consist of many other birdies, but it was pretty solid all day.”
With AU$60,000 prize money on offer, the PGA National Futures Championship is the richest Trainee tournament in the world.
However a place into the 2018 Australian PGA Championship is also on offer and with a round of golf still to be played, these opportunities are not far from Droop’s mind.
“I do think of the opportunities a little bit automatically. It’s hard not to when the prize is that big at the end. It does motivate me to try and get going and get the win,” added Droop.
“It’s pretty good to see my name at the top of the leaderboard, there is still a lot of golf to be played but I’ll stick to my game plan tomorrow and see if I can come out on top.”
Droop will have plenty of support on course tomorrow as his mate, and fellow PGA Trainee Brad McGill caddies for him.
He will also have his father and boss, Evan Droop the Head Professional at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort out supporting him.
“I have chatted to Dad a little about my rounds but he is going to come down tomorrow,” added Droop.
“Dad will be around watching so if anything seems to be going the wrong way tomorrow I dare say he will have a quick chat to me.
“I’ll also have Brad McGill on the bag again, he was great today.”
Englishman Matthew Fieldsend, who is the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland 2017 National Assistants Champion fired 1-under 71 to be outright 4th on the leaderboard on 2-under the card and four shots off the lead.
Shooting 69, the equal best round of the day, Victorian David Hall is tied 5th after three rounds on 1-under the card alongside fellow Victorian James Betts and West Australian Ethan Andrews.
The final round of the PGA National Futures Championship tees off at 7.30am with the final group of Droop, Hogan and Smith on course at Ballarat Golf Club at 9.38am.
Day 2 - Results
With an eye on the prize, Queensland PGA Trainee Robbie Hogan leads the National Futures Championship after two rounds.
Robbie Hogan Firing 2-under 70 in the second round at Ballarat Golf Club, Hogan is now 7-under the card and leading the world’s richest Trainee tournament by one shot from overnight leader Frazer Droop.
“Today was good; I hit the ball pretty solid and I didn’t make too many mistakes out there. I had a few putts slip by but if I can putt like I did yesterday and hit it like I did today then I should have a good couple of days,” said Hogan, who kept his round on track after a challenging 9th hole.
“On the 9th hole, I hit a bit of a loose one out to the right and managed to chip out to get up and down from about 100metres. Then I went onto eagle the next so that was a big moment throughout the day and was very much needed.”
Hogan has been a regular at the top end of Trainee leaderboards over the past 18 months winning the 2016 and 2017 Queensland PGA Trainee Championship as well as the 2016 New South Wales PGA Trainee Championship.
Now in the final year of his PGA Traineeship at Toukley Golf Club, Hogan has been working towards a Futures victory.
“Being the world’s biggest Trainee event it would be awesome to win. It’s one that I have had highlighted this year,” added Hogan.
“I just need to keep it the same. I don’t tend to look at leaderboards; I find it easier to take it one shot at a time. It is cliché but it does work.”
A win this week could open a lot of doors for Hogan; the highest finishing Australian PGA Trainee this week will earn a start in the 2018 Australian PGA Championship.
It would be a big boost for the 22-year-old who is working towards a touring career once he completes his PGA Traineeship.
“The opportunities that Futures presents are fantastic and if I can manage to take hold of them that would be great,” said Hogan, who will attend Qualifying Schools for the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and the Asian Tour for 2018.
“Obviously the added incentive of the Australian PGA Championship next year up on the Gold Coast is huge.
“Sergio Garcia is playing this year; to play in the same field as someone like that would be awesome.”
However Hogan will need to overcome a quality PGA Trainee field before he looks to take on the best in world.
Overnight leader Frazer Droop fired 1-under 71 in the second round is now just one shot behind Hogan.
Outright third on the leaderboard after a second round 69 is New South Welshman Trent Smith.
Rounding out the top-5 on the leaderboard are Daniel Bringolf (NSW) and Correy Price (WA) who had rounds of 71 and 70 respectively.
The third round of the PGA National Futures Championship tees off at 7.30am tomorrow with the final group of Hogan, Droop and Trent Smith teeing off at Ballarat Golf Club at 9.38am.
Day 1 - Results
Yarrawonga PGA Trainee Frazer Droop has got off to a hot start in his debut at the National Futures Championship.
Frazer DroopPlayed at Ballarat Golf Club, Droop fired 5-under 67 to hold a one shot lead following the first round.
Enjoying the condition of the course, Droop's round was highlighted by five consecutive threes on his scorecard.
“It was good to get out early this morning and make the most of the good conditions. Ballarat is usually a pretty windy place but it was nice to us this morning,” said Droop.
“From the 5th hole onwards I made five 3’s in a row. I started off making birdie on the 5th which is a long par-4, a tight driving hole and then followed it up with a par on a really long par-3. To eagle the next it got the round rolling pretty nicely.”
“The greens are a bit quicker which is nice. Yesterday in the pro-am, I kept leaving them short.”
Droop has been in excellent form on course this year and thanks to seven tournament wins, including the Coca-Cola Rich River Trainee Classic, he currently leads the Titleist - FootJoy Performance Ranking for PGA Trainees.
Heading into this week’s National Futures Championship, Droop was tagged as a player to watch.
“I just love the competition,” added Droop.
“I seem to like the pressure. If people expect me to do well, then it is good fun to come out here and shoot a good number.
“I am loving it (PGA Traineeship) and I am loving playing golf and that is when I play my best.”
Currently in the first year of his PGA Traineeship, Droop is aiming to become a third generation PGA Professional, following in the footsteps of his father, Evan Droop, and grandfather, Phillip Droop.
“I am at Yarrawonga Golf Club, up on the boarder of Victoria and New South Wales, in the bush. I am doing my Traineeship under my dad who is the Head Pro and it’s all going pretty well at the moment.
“My Dad who has the business at home took it over from my Pa, so we have been up there for a while. It’s nice to a third generation PGA Pro.
“There is still a lot of golf to be played but I think Dad will be pretty happy with this round.”
Sitting a shot behind Droop and tied second on the leaderboard are West Australian Ethan Andrews and New South Welshman Robert Hogan.
On 3-under the card Daniel Bringolf (NSW) is outright fourth after the first round while a group of five PGA Trainees round out the top-5 on 2-under the card.
The second round of the National Futures Championship tees off at 7.30am with Droop on course at Ballarat Golf Club at 8.10am.