Glasdstone born and now Sunshine Coast-based golfer Brad Burns finished the 2019 PGA Legends Tour on top of the Order of Merit standings. PICTURE: PGA Australia
Glasdstone born and now Sunshine Coast-based golfer Brad Burns finished the 2019 PGA Legends Tour on top of the Order of Merit standings. PICTURE: PGA Australia

Gladstone player talks about his fair way to the top

GOLF: Gladstone born and bred professional Brad Burns recalled a brush with fame two years ago.

He competed at the 2018 Insperity Invitational in Houston that attracted some of the world’s best players.

Brad Burns at the course in Houston in 2018
Brad Burns at the course in Houston in 2018

One of those was the charismatic and enigmatic John Daly.

“He played the first four holes and then went back to the clubhouse,” Burns, 53, said with a laugh.

“Apparently he injured his knee.”

Brad Burns with John Daly singing after the 2018 PGA
Brad Burns with John Daly singing after the 2018 PGA

Burns began his golf journey with Gladstone Golf Club and spent three years there as an apprentice under club golf pro Mark Gibson.

“My dad Dave was a very good golfer and basically he got me into it,” he said.

Burns moved to the Sunshine Coast 28 years ago to enhance his career.

He lives at Woombye and plays and practices at Maroochy River Golf Club.

Burns took out three consecutive titles at the Australian PGA Pro Championship at Royal Pines from 2003-2005 and won his third-straight PGA Legends Tour Order of Merit crown two years ago.

RELATED STORY: His passion for golf has brought him to Gladstone

He was supposed to play at the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Michigan from Tuesday to this Sunday but COVID-19 put an end to that.

“I have been sitting and watching a lot of Netflix,” Burns said of the coronavirus-forced hiatus.

“Hopefully it will all start back up in July and there will be tournaments but not up to the very top level as before.”

Burns said the initial stages, once competitive golf resumes, would have a different feel about it.

“It’s going to be completely different when we come back and a lot of the sponsors will take a hit,” he said.

“Usually the players would go back to the clubrooms but that would probably not be allowed at the start.”

Burns’ long-time caddy Rick Niven knew that he was naturally talented.

Rick Niven the caddy
Rick Niven the caddy

“We met and became mates at the Gladstone Golf Club,” Niven said.

“What stood out for me was his competitiveness.”

Niven said Burns could play indoor cricket in a way that only few could.

“He had very good hand-eye co-ordination and us golfers had an indoor cricket team back then and he could bat left or right-handed.

“It’s no surprise at all that he’s a professional golfer.”

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