by Tony Webeck, PGA of Australia
There is more at stake this week than a Mars bar.
Days after Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson secured $ US9 million in prize money, Jake McLeod and Anthony Quayle resume a long-term rivalry that was greatest in high school later in the later years.
At that time, a Mars Bar that they could not pay was considered a rich reward.
This week there will be a life-changing opportunity to play one of the most lucrative tours in the world.
Roommates at the famous Hills International School who have also put the finishing touches to the games of Jason Day and Adam Scott, McLeod and Quayle are currently first and third at the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit on their way to the final event of the year, the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.
Acclaimed with the European Tour, a victory would earn both of this exemption on one of the world's richest tours while the player who won the Order of Merit 2018 also has the European Tour status for the next 12 months. will earn.
It is a far cry from their high school years, just a few years ago, but according to Quayle, those early battles on the fairways had all the intensity that can be seen this week on 72 holes.
"We did not have any money in high school, so we probably played a Mars bar here and there where we would get out of the pro-shop for free", recalls Quayle for his debut in the Australian PGA Championship
"It was pretty good," McLeod added. "In the past we did not try to fight each other too much, we would try to tackle all other children and take all their money.
"We also used a bit of their money, which was good."
"Nowadays we can go out and play a $ 20 game, something like that," said Quayle.
"I played with him in Royal Queensland, which is his home course and we played the back-tee" s, I think the course record could be 6-under and I did 4-under which I thought it was best was good and he went out and shot 7-under and got me with three.
"He got my $ 20 that day."
"I was quite happy with that, it was nice to have a free steak burger from him," McLeod joked.
Hailing from Townsville and Gove in the Northern Territory before they arrived at Hills, McLeod and Quayle both enjoyed breakthrough seasons as professionals.
McLeod recently took his first victory as a professional at the AV Jennings NSW Open while Quayle retained his playing rights for the Japan Golf Tour after registering five top-25 finishes with a runner-up at The Crowns in his rookie year.
Quayle, a local Gold Coast, would like nothing more than to mimic McLeod's recent victory at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club and to take his first victory as a professional for family and friends, partly supporting his good partner's success. used as motivation.
"First and foremost, I was pumped for him, I could not be happier," said Quayle, who stayed with Aaron Wilkin to shower McLeod with champagne on the 18th green to celebrate his NSW Open victory
"You see one of your good friends who is excited and so happy and achieves something that is fairly difficult to achieve, so I was just very excited for him.
"Then you see that he wins and you have the golfer in you who wants to do the same.
"I think it's pretty healthy to have." There's a bit of an upmanship, so I think a win this week might be able to spit on him and then he'd probably have the same feeling to move forward and try again to detect. "
Currently $ 14,491 ahead of the second placed Daniel Nisbet on the Order of Merit and $ 45,549 away from the third placed Quayle, in the space of two tournaments McLeod quickly went from the hunter to the hunted player
The 24-year-old photographer shot 66 in the final round of the Emirates Australian Open to finish third and knows that a successful week at Royal Pines has the potential to significantly influence his career.
"I looked (after the Aussie Open) after the Aussie Open to see what was going on, but I did not try to look at it afterwards, everyone knows what's going on there," McLeod said.
"Hopefully it does not change anything I do this week, I have the full status of the Asian Tour next year, which is good, but you still feel a bit of pressure around the opportunity to get a European Tour card.
"The top two places also receive the two WGC events, which is of course a bonus.
"There are a few Mars bars on the line this week that are certain."