Teenage golf ace qualifies for NSW Open

Darren Walton
Rhein Gibson is the pre-tournament favourite for this week's NSW Open in Sydney

Not content with qualifying for the NSW Open in spectacular fashion, 14-year-old golf sensation Jake Riley hopes to feature on the weekend at Twin Creeks.

Riley claimed one of the last spots in the 156-man field when he chipped in on the final hole during qualifying at Liverpool on Monday.

The teenager's late entry earned him a first-round tee time with long-hitting Lincoln Tighe on Thursday - not that he'll be trying to keep pace with the Open's monster drivers.

"I can't try and hit it as far as him so I've just got to play my own game," Riley told AAP on Wednesday.

"I've played enough golf with the men to know I've just got to stick to my own game, not get up with what others are doing."

After first picking up a club at three, then attending regular clinics by seven, Riley began to really take golf seriously at 12.

Two years on and after forging his path through the Jack Newton junior events, Riley last month won the Toronto club championship before backing up to take down the best men's players in Newcastle to claim the district championship.

Playing off a plus-one handicap, Riley knows he can compete with the big boys and hopes to prove it on his biggest stage yet.

"I know I'm playing well at the moment so I've just got to treat it like a normal round and play golf and see how it pans out," he said of his Open debut, having carried the bag of his coach - former US PGA Tour winner Nathan Green - for the past two years.

"It's a big thrill. You know you can go out there and play well but then to do it and qualify for the NSW Open is pretty awesome.

"Obviously to make the cut would be awesome. I'm just going to treat it like any other round and play golf - and try and play good golf."

US PGA Tour player Rhein Gibson will start as tournament favourite.

Gibson returns to Australia in pursuit of a maiden title on home soil after a successful year in America which included a win at the Korn Ferry Tour's BMW Charity Pro-Am in June.

That secondary tour win helped to ensure Gibson's return to the PGA tour this season.