Matt Stieger bounces back from Japan Tour Q-School disappointment with win at The Jack

NARRABRI’S Matt Stieger had the pain of narrowly missing qualification for the Japan Tour eased with victory at theJack Newton Celebrity Classic on Wednesday at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.

Stieger hits back at The Jack | Photos TweetFacebook Jack Newton Celebrity Classic 2016 | PHOTOSThe 25-year-old shot back-to-back rounds of 69 for four under and a one-stroke win over Charlestown’s Jake Higginbottom, who led with a 67 after day one. Next best was Waratah’s Leigh McKechnie at one under.

Jack Newton and tournament winner Matt Stieger on Wednesday. Picture: Supplied

Stieger said the $10,000 first prize on Wednesday was “a greatChristmas present and would help pay for a few” after hisdisappointment at the Japan Tour Q-School just two weeks ago.

“I played on the Challenge Tour over there this year and then went to qualifying for the main tour and missed out by two shots, which when you playsix rounds, it’s tough to take,” Stieger said.

“But that’s golf, I guess. I came here with no expectations, so it was nice to get the win.”

It was Stieger’s fifth appearance at the Jack Newton tournament, which doubles as an end-of-season party for many of Australia’s professional golfers,but it was thefirst time he has been in the mix for the victory.

“I’ve only just come back from the Japan Tour school, so it was good to come here,relax andcatch up with everyone,” he said.

The 2011 Australian Amateur champion and 2012 NSW PGA winnerplanned toheadback to JapanforChallenge Tour events in June-July.

The celebrity section winners were former world longboard surfing champion Josh Constable and rugby league caller Frank Barrett on plus seven.