Northern Rivers Matches Up to JNJG Development Squad
As a consequence of researching some old NRDGA Minutes, it was discovered that in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s, the NSW State teams (Seniors and Juniors) used to travel to various Districts within NSW each year to play competitive matches against the best players outside the Sydney Metropolitan area. What better way to test the emerging junior talent within the NRDGA than by arranging a match against the JNJG Development Squad, and enable the mainly Sydney based players to experience some of the great courses in the Northern part of the State. The stage was set for six boys and two girls to represent their respective teams in a “Ryder Cup” style match over two days.
The JNJG Development Squad was represented by Luke Ferrier (Merewether/Pennant Hills), Adam Nelson (Castle Hill), Tom Harvey (Long Reef), Corey Jones (Shelley Beach), Jordie Garner (Wyong/Pennant Hills), Brandan Biddle (Everglades), Stephanie Kyriacou (St Michaels) and Danielle Vasquez (Port Kembla). The NRDGA Team comprised Jay McKenzie (Ballina), Lucas Higgins (Murwillumbah), Riley Taylor (Casino), Max Monneron (Coolangatta-Tweed Heads), Alex Hunt (Murwillumbah), Riley King (Murwillumbah), Maddie Trew (Murwillumbah) and Eleka Moore (Ballina).
After a practice game on the Friday afternoon, the teams and billet parents shared a BBQ to become more familiar with each other. The first competitive series of matches was conducted at the Coolangatta-Tweed Heads Golf Course with a “Fourball” competition on the River Course.
The NRDGA Team were obviously keen to get away to a good start and they were ahead 2.5 matches to 1.5 by lunch. The CTH West Course offered up a different challenge in the afternoon. The competition format was “Foursomes” and the JNJG Development Squad combined well to take out three of the four matches to lead the event 4.5 to 3.5.
Off to Murwillumbah on the second day and with four of the eight NRDGA players returning to their “home” course, the one point deficit was sure to be erased (hoped the writer). However, after settling in at their Billet locations and clearly enjoying the great Northern Rivers experience, the JNJG Development Squad visitors were successful in five out of the eight singles matches. The final result was JNJG Development Squad overcame NRDGA 9.5 matches to 6.5 matches. Jordie Garner was the most successful of the individual players with 2.5 points from his 3 matches.
The NRDGA and JNJG are very appreciative of the support of this event demonstrated by both Murwillumbah Golf Club and Coolangatta-Tweed Heads Golf Club in allowing us the opportunity to host these matches. On days when competition fields were full, both clubs were able to find room on the course for our juniors. Also, our sincere thanks to Graeme Trew and his family for the billeting, catering and generous allocation of facilities at the Murwillumbah Golf Driving Range.
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In the end the competitive spirit did not over-ride the friendly relationships that were developed by both teams. Both Gerard Wilkinson, NRDGA Junior Development Coordinator and Khan Pullen, JNJG Manager, Coaching and Development, were very pleased to witness the emerging talents of (potential) NSW State Team members of 2015/16/17.