RYAN Haywood and Euan Walters loom as leading contenders for Sunday’s Mt Xavier Golf Club pro-am.
Haywood and Walters are two of the form players early in the new pro-am circuit season.
They filled two of the top three places in the 2011-12 Victorian pro-am order of merit
Leighton Lyle finished on top, with Walters second and Haywood third.
The ultra-consistent Walters has begun the new season with an equal fourth at Mooroopna, equal seventh at Numurkah and equal ninth at Long Island on Sunday.
In his latest outing, Walters produced par equalling 72 for equal eighth in a strong field in the Melbourne Invitational Pro-Am at Woodlands on Monday – a performance sure to give him plenty of confidence going to Mt Xavier.
Haywood indicated he is ready to strike with an equal second in the Long Island pro-am and then shot two-over par for a top 20 finish at Woodlands.
Brad Lamb, Andrew Pitt, Andrew Kostarakis and Michael Curtain are others coming of solid outings at Long island.
Haywood, Pitt and Lamb all also played in the last qualifying event for the Australian Masters, but missed out.
Lamb also finished just off the pace at Long Island.
Mt Xavier pro-am co-ordinator Ben Roberts said yesterday that professional entries had risen to 46 and he was confident more than 50 would tee off.
Invitations will be presented to players who miss the cut in the Masters today.
Roberts said there were still vacancies for club players in the draw.