AS Matt Dalton lines up his first tee shot on Saturday, he's just hoping to hit one straight down the fairway.
"That's the plan" during the final round for the one-shot leader of the 2020 Stawell Golf Club's men's championship.
It's more than 20 years since Dalton was in contention for a club championships, the single figure handicap golfer played off in the 1999 final at Heywood Golf Club. Coming in with scores 75 and 74 for a two-round total of 149, Dalton is looking to play consistent golf as Greg Earle 150, Patrick Hall 154 and David Hunter 156 all in contention for the annual title. In seeded groups, the four A Grade golfers will each take their opportunities to claim the championships.
Dalton said the only game plan he would have on Saturday was with his putter.
"It's what I'm working on this week," he said. "Everything else seems to be working except for the putter. "My putting has cost me a lot of shots in the first two rounds. I've putted for 20 birdies in 36 holes and only dropped one."
Dalton said he wouldn't be trying anything different to protect his lead.
"I just want to play my own game," he said. "If it comes off it comes off. My favorite hole at the moment has been three. Ever since I've dropped to a two and three handicap I seem to be able to par it week in week out. I don't think I'll be able to pick up a shot on the hole but I'm confident I'll be able to make par every time I step on it."
Dalton said he wasn't a consistent long hitter of the ball anymore but he consistently hit the fairway.
"I don't try and grip it and rip it like I would have as a kid," he said. "It's more about keeping it on the fairway. I don't get as near as many birdie opportunities as I used to get, but now I'm a far better putter. Except two the first two rounds of this championships."
Dalton started golf when he was 10 and had only ever qualified in the leading group for the final round of a club championships once.
"It was a Heywood and I ran into the best player in the state at the time which was Graham Rentsch," he said. "It was played over 36 holes of match play and there were bets going around the club that I wouldn't get within 10 holes of him and I lost 3/2 over 36 so I was pretty happy. We played some extraordinary golf that day, except for one hole."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Northern Grampians shire, sign up here.