LEETON'S Rod Emerson is modest when it comes to explaining how he effectively became the second best amateur golf player in the country recently.
Emerson was the runner-up at this year's Handiskins National Championships at the RACV Royal Pines Resort golf course on the Gold Coast in May.
The competition is known as being the closest event to a professional golf tournament that an amateur golfer will ever play.
To qualify, participating clubs throughout the country hold five rounds of the competition at a local level over five weeks.
The top four finishers have the option to then continue on to the national event.
Emerson qualified first in Leeton, with one of his mates, Dylan Holt finishing in third.
"We thought it would be great to go and play golf somewhere else," he said.
"We decided to make a bit of a trip out of it. We worked our way up there and played at a couple of good courses along the way."
The championships are also a fundraiser for leukemia, which Emerson said was another great reason to be taking part.
The competition at the Gold Coast is held across several days.
It consists of two stableford rounds, with the top four players from the first two days moving through to the nerve-wracking skins final.
There was more than 80 competitors taking part in 2019 from across the country.
"It's a championship course, so it's a harder course, but the conditions are great," Emerson said.
After the first two days of play, Emerson qualified third, making it into the final four.
"I was leading until the 16th," he said.
"So the 16th came about, I think we were playing for two skins. I had played that hole pretty well the two days previously.
"The guy who eventually won it, he had a better two-metre putt for birdie and he sunk it. So then I had to win the last two holes ... he won the 17th so that took me a skin-and-a-half away from him."
With one hole to go that meant Emerson couldn't catch him, but he was pleased it had gone down to the wire.
Holt, Leeton's other competitor, finished 12th at the championship.
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