Defending champion Matthew Ballard has maintained his grip on the Virginia Pro Am in the first round of the bmag Week of Golf.

Perfect weather conditions greeted players at Virginia Golf Club for the 19th Followmont Transport Virginia Pro Am, which doubled as Round 1 of the bmag Week of Golf.

A stacked field was looking to join the likes of previous winners Ballard, Michael Harwood, Peter McWhinney and Rod Pampling, but Ballard was simply too good on the day, claiming the win and the $15,000 prize.

He shot an impressive five under par 66 in the afternoon, which included five birdies and an eagle. That was good enough for a one shot win over current Fiji International champion Steven Jeffress.

Ballard was thrilled with his start to the bmag Week of Golf, which offers 500,000 Frequent Flyer points for the overall winner.

“500,000 Frequent Flyer points is a huge prize for the professionals to win and I could not have asked for a better start,” said Ballard following his round. “I really enjoy the course here at Virginia, which I guess shows in my results, though for me this week is all about the bmag Week of Golf and hopefully my form continues throughout the week.”

The golfers will now make their way to the Victoria Park Pro Am tomorrow, with professionals competing for the $20,000 prize purse.

Swing into the bmag Week of Golf