TOP SCORE: Brett Rankin finished joint winner at the Casino Golf Club Pro-Am.
TOP SCORE: Brett Rankin finished joint winner at the Casino Golf Club Pro-Am. Contributed

Pair share the limelight at Pro-Am

INTERSTATE golfers Max McCardle and Brett Rankin were declared joint winners at the 18th annual Casino Golf Club Pro-Am.

They fired rounds six-under par 64 to finish two shots clear of the field, which included 65 professionals.

Rankin has been in-form this week, having finished runner-up at the Yamba Pro-Am on Sunday before moving on to another event at Ocean Shores.

He won the Yamba event in 2014 and 2015 and is a previous winner at Casino in 2011 and 2015.

"I've played here a number of times and I think this is an advantage; it's a great layout," the Brisbane-based golfer said.

"It's important to keep the ball below the hole on these quick greens. Course management really comes into play.

"The highlight of my round was the eagle on the 499m, par 5, 14th hole, my second shot found the green; I then rolled the putt in from 15 feet."

McCardle, from South Australia, is enjoying his time playing the Ladbrokes PGA Pro-Am Series as he prepares for some events overseas in the coming months.

"These Pro-Ams are great for me as it provides an opportunity to practice ahead of what will be a busy end of season with events," McCardle said. "I've been playing well but just haven't been able to put it together. Today I just limited my mistakes and took advantage of my opportunities.

"I drove the ball well but, more importantly, I putted well. The greens were really quick, which suits my game".

The next best-placed professionals were the trio of Mitchell Ballard, Sam Rawlings and Tim Hart, all finishing on 4-under par 66.

Ballina golfer Jay Mackenzie finished 11th with a one-under par score after finishing 10th at Yamba.