HOUSE MONEY: Ash Hall plays his approach to the 18th. He will be in the mix at the weekend.
You can not often play with house money in professional golf, but Ash Hall finds itself there through two rounds of the AVJennings NSW Open at Twin Creeks.
The 35-year-old Victorian was one of the last players on track in the second round and despite a three-point bogey on the 17th hole he signed for a 4-under 68 who had him 9-under and three in the lead with 36 holes.
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For a man who got the first full-time job of his adult life in April, it is a comfortable position to be.
"I have nothing to lose," says Hall, whose days are now being spent working on the shop floor of the head office shop of the Golf Clearance Outlet in Melbourne.
"And you never know what can happen, I am the kind of player that sometimes runs a bit, so we will just keep doing what we did last weekend and see what happens."
Hall is a triple winner on the PGA Tour of Australasia and played three years on the secondary Web.com Tour in the US.
But despite several close calls, including a play-off loss for Jordan Spieth at the 2016 Australian Open, he has not quite managed to reach the next level.
The financial reality of life during the tour has meant that Hall, with a young family at home, has not admitted that his playing career has been completed, hence the new role at Golf Clearance Outlet.
But a professional golfer is everything he ever wanted to be, and while reluctantly accepting the reality of his current circumstances, he would never never say anything
"Realistically, I'm almost ready to be finished," he said. "I certainly gave up when playing golf abroad, which is a mess.
"A golfer is what I always wanted to be and a tour golfer, is the best job in the world.
"The family and financial situation simply means that it is, but you never know it in this game.
"I will play at ten Australian Open next week and also the PGA at the Gold Coast and the winner will receive a European Tour card …"
After only competing in the recent pro-am circuit at Melbourne Hall, he said he was a bit surprised by his play in the first two rounds although, ironically, he attributed that he had a job for some of his form
"We just received a number of new Trackman simulators at the store and I got in early every day and hit about one hour of balls," he said.
"The first few weeks I just started to watch balls, but in the last few weeks I put the simulator in & # 39; combination mode & # 39; and that means you make a lot of different photos.
"I think that has sharpened me a bit and maybe I have a slightly different perspective because I know that I now have work to go after the summer events, so it's all combined to free me."