Jack Kalis - Redemption at the Aussie Open

Jack Kalis gave this delighted reaction following his play-off success in the Australian Open at Canberra International. (Q.) After four third places in the past, you must have despaired of ever winning the Australian Open? How does it feel?

Jack Kalis (JK): After the first Australian Open I played, I could of only dream about winning one. Over the years, I've put myself in the right postions to win Australian Opens but it never happened. I've won multiple championships around Australia against great players, and now I'm very proud to call myself an Australian Open champion.    

Q. You pitched superbly to force the play-off and on the play-off hole itself. Is that something you have been working on?

JK: Yes I practice every part of the game when I get a chance. I pitched very well in the open and that's what made a difference this time - having a lot more chances on the green and making sure you put the tee shot in the perfect spot on the green to putt to the hole, which I did.

Q. What were the other key elements of your success?

JK: James Rogerson is a world class player. He's done it all, so for me to beat him in any Championship I have felt very fortunate to do so. In the game of Pitch and Putt, it is mainly a putting contest. This time I just happened to roll a few good putts in. James is a tough man to beat!

Q. Tell us about that third round 46?

JK: Well the first day I didn't pitch as good as the second day. At the start of the third round, I went out, hit good shots, made putts and left some out there.  

Q. Canberra International was not playing easy during the Open?

JK: Actually I was very surprised with the overall score. It could have been a 20 under winning score but if you miss it where your not supposed to, you will have grief. So no one really took advantage of the course this year. 

Q. You’re a proud family man. Is it difficult to find time to play Pitch and Putt?

JK: Not at all. I love the game. I will  be playing it for a while yet; I don't have many hobbies besides Pitch and Putt and golf. Unlike golf it only takes one and a half hours to play the game - that's the beauty of it, so I have plenty of time with the family that I love. 

Q. What is the state of Pitch and Putt in Australia these days?

JK: Just about the same as its been over the last few years. We have roughly six events every year so it's something to look forward to. It's a shame that they're not closer to each other. It won't stop me from playing away though.

Q. Will Australia field a team in the 2020 World Cup of Pitch and Putt?

JK: For us to travel so far from our country is very difficult financially. You have to pay your own way there and back, being over there, it's a lot cheaper getting around compared to us here. It would be hard to get a team to go. Some of the players can't even make it to some of APPA events. So to get a good team, we'll just have to wait and see how the next year plays out.

Q. What’s next for Jack Kalis in Pitch and Putt?

JK: I'll just keep playing the game and promoting it. When I play golf I try and convert some players over. I've won every every event in Australia that I can win now. I would like to have won the most international opens one day by beating the great players like Tom Rickit, James Rogerson, Ian Farrelly, Alan Hanlon and Ray Murphy. I would like to head to Europe to play in some opens like the Irish and Dutch. We'lll see how things plan out - hopefully it shouldn't take me too long to get to Europe to play on the best courses in the world.