Justin Warren is home from college in the United States and intent on adding a tournament win or two to his resume to kick-start 2016 into his best-ever year of golf.
He’s getting plenty of quality practice in during his mid-semester vacation also.
"I’ve been working hard over Christmas with my coach Gary Barter,” Warren says. “I’ve ironed out a few things and I’ve got a lot of confidence going into the next two weeks.”
The Australian Golf Club member is part of a large contingent of Golf NSW players who have made the trek to Victoria to take part in the Master of the Amateurs tournament which begins on Wednesday at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
And next week he’ll tee it up in the Australian Amateur Championship being held at Metropolitan and Peninsula-Kingswood golf clubs.
“I was beaten by Cam Davis on the 19th hole in the semi-final of the Australian Amateur last year. I hope to go a couple of places better this year.”
Warren has a family connection to the Australian Amateur title, his grandfather Barry Warren won title in 1957.
“Yeah, my Grandfather beat Bruce Devlin in the final. Pop’s my hero and it would be good to join him with my name on the trophy.”
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2015 proved to be a solid year on the golf course for Warren. A quarter-final result in the NSW Amateur Championship followed his semi-final appearance in the Australian Amateur. He was part of the Golf NSW Men’s team for the 2015 Interstate Series, and was selected to represent Australia in the Malaysian Amateur, finishing 3rd.
He expects 2016 however to be even better than last year.
“With another year under my belt I’m expecting some good results,” says Warren.
The Picton local is in his first year of study at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix Arizona, majoring in Communications, and is thoroughly enjoying his college adventure. He’s learnt a lot about juggling the demands of golf and study.
“There’s a lot of study and a lot of golf. It’s a full-on schedule.”
“Time management is emphasised. We practise hard and we study hard.”
His results on the golf course are encouraging, too.
“I tied for 3rd in my first event over there, followed it up with a 12th place and then finished in a tie for 4th in my last event.”
Being based in Arizona has meant that Warren has been lucky enough to spend some time with fellow Australian Golf Club member and also a pupil of Barter, Australian Open Champion Matt Jones.
“I’ve practiced with Matt a bit at TPC Scottsdale.”
“I talk to him quite a bit – we’re good mates. It was a real thrill for me to see him win around the Australian, too.”