Wollongong's Thomas Heaton will make his second trip to the NSW Open in three years after a come-from-behind victory in the Cessnock Cup at the weekend.
The 18-year-old secured the exemption for the prestigious tournament at Concord in March, with a one-shot victory.
Heaton carded rounds of 75 and 64 for a three-under-par 139 total, with Lynwood's Adam Nelson (140) in second place. Mark Hale from Mudgee and Justin Ely from Waratah GC in Newcastle finished tied for third on 141.
"I played well. I hit 17 out of 18 greens (Sunday), eight birdies and only one bogey," Heaton said.
"The birdies came one by one; it was a great feeling.
"I was six behind after the first round; I just went out with a positive mindset. I tried to stay in the moment and simply post a score."
Heaton has fond memories of his maiden appearance back in 2017. An ace on just his second hole for the tournament turned the then 16-year-old into an instant hit in professional circles.