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Western Australia’s Maddison Hinson-Tolchard and Andre Lautee from Kingston Heath lead the respective 2018 Port Phillip Women’s and Men’s Amateur titles following the first round of the 72-hole Championship played at Kingston Heath today (Thursday 9 December).
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On a hot Melbourne summer’s day with a gusting northerly wind making scoring exceedingly difficult, 19-year-old Lautee made the most of his morning tee time in firing a four-under 68, highlighted by six birdies. He leads the 129 player men’s field by one stroke from Lake Karrinyup’s Joseph Owen who fired a 69. Completing a successful day for Western Australian visitors, Cottelsoe’s Jack Patterson and Hayden Hopewell from Royal Fremantle trail by a further shot after respective two-under 70’s which was matched late in the day by Royal Melbourne’s Darcy Brereton.
The first round of the Women’s Championship took to the Kingston Heath layout during the afternoon. As the temperature rose, Hinson-Tolchard’s first ever visit also yielded a four-under return, including six birdies of her own. ‘I’ve never been here before,’ the 16-year-old commented after the round, ’and only hit driver once. That was really the key and I’m so pleased with the round.”
The teenager from Perth’s Gosnells Golf Club leads a group of three players on one-under including New Zealand’s Siyi Keh, Jen Goh from Singapore and Victorian State player Kono Matsumoto. Defending champion Stephanie Bunque and Australian women’s representatives, Rebecca Kay and Grace Kim were amongst a larger contingent four strokes further behind at two-over, 76.
The Men’s Port Phillip Amateur commenced in 1976 and has been played annually over that time at Kingston Heath and Commonwealth within Melbourne’s Sand Belt. The 72-hole Championship boasts former winners such as Mike Clayton (1977 & 1980), Brad Hughes (1987 & 1988), Craig Spence (1994), Stephen Allan (1995) and Scott Gardiner (1999). The Women’s Port Phillip Amateur commenced in 2012 with Metropolitan’s Su-Hyun Oh winning in both 2012 and 2013.
Following the appreciated support of the Commonwealth and Kingston Heath Golf Clubs, the Men’s Victorian Amateur Championship qualifying rounds have been held in conjunction with the Port Phillip Amateur from 2008 onwards. This arrangement was further consolidated with the Women’s Victorian Amateur Championship qualifying rounds being played concurrently with the Port Phillip from 2012.
The Championship now attracts players from all over Australia with this year’s field of 168 coming from 88 different clubs, including 55 interstate and overseas clubs. The second round of the 2018 Port Phillip continues at Kingston Heath tomorrow with the final 36-holes to be played at Commonwealth on Saturday 8 December.
The leading 32 men’s players and the leading 16 women’s players from the Port Phillip Amateur will progress to the match play rounds of the 2018 Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur Championships which will be played at the Huntingdale Golf Club beginning next Monday (10 December).
The first round of the men’s match play will begin at Huntingdale on Monday morning at 7.30am with the first round of women’s matches take to the course at 12 noon. Both titles culminate with respective Men’s and Women’s 36-hole finals on Wednesday 12 December.