We’re more than halfway through the year and have already seen some great results in our national amateur championships.
The Australian Amateur Championships presented by Swinging Skirts kicked off the year at Metropolitan Golf Club and Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club in Melbourne. With 90 international players competing, a quality field battled it out in in challenging conditions which included a heat delay during the second qualifying round.
The Australian Men’s Amateur trophy was won by Scotland’s Connor Syme, who defeated Travis Smyth, of NSW, in a thrilling final, 3&2. The two traded birdies for the best part of eight hours and, in the final analysis, it was Syme’s steadiness and superior driving that held sway. The all-Korean women’s final was taken out by Min-Ji Park who defeated her compatriot Ayean Cho 6&5 in a high-class final.
The Australian Girls’ Amateur was played at Devonport Golf Club in Tasmania with Queensland’s Karis Davidson finally securing the title after finishing runner-up in 2014 and 2015. Karis finished with an outstanding 22-under par total to win by one shot from New Zealand’s Momoka Kobori.
The Australian Boys’ Amateur title headed across the Tasman with New Zealander Daniel Hillier taking the title at Ulverstone Golf Club. The reigning New Zealand Amateur champion and leading amateur at the NZ Open finished at 10 under the card, six shots ahead of his nearest rival, Victoria’s Matias Sanchez, in second place.
The Australian Junior Interstate Teams matches followed with the New South Wales girls’ team of Amy Chu, Stefanie Hall, Doey Choi, Jihye Park, Celina and Belinda Ji winning the Burtta Cheney Cup for the first time since 2010.
In the boys’ series, the title was shared between South Australia and New South Wales after an exciting final round which went right to the wire. The New South Wales team included Joshua Gadd, Corey Jones, Jordan Garner, Isaac Noh, Jason Hong and Jay MacKenzie. The SA team included Jackson Kalz, Joseph Hodgson, Ben Layton, Liam Georgiadis, Lachlan Barker and Michael Coleman.
The Australian Interstate Teams Matches were played in Brisbane at Royal Queensland Golf Club (women) and The Brisbane Golf Club (men). The Gladys Hay Memorial Cup for the Women’s Championship was won by hometown heroes Queensland, beating defending champion Victoria four matches to two in the final. The team included Dee Russell, Gennai Goodwin, Kirsty Hodgkins, Robyn Choi, Rebecca Kay and Karis Davidson.
The men’s title was won by New South Wales in a gripping final against Queensland. The New South Wales team of Kevin Yuan, Dylan Perry, Blake Windred, Austin Bautista, Daniel Gale, Harrison Endycott, Travis Smyth and Cameron Davis defeated Queensland 4.5 to 3.5.
Wrapping up the first half of the year was the Australian Men’s Senior Match Play Championship at Coolangatta-Tweed Heads Golf Club on the Gold Coast. Playing a new format in 2016 which included round-robin match play in pools to determine the quarter-finalists, Gordon Claney, of Victoria, was the winner defeating New Zealander Michael Barltrop 4&3 in the final.
The remainder of the year is sure to be eventful with the Australian Men’s Senior Amateur and Australian Women’s Senior Amateur in October, and the Australian Men’s and Women’s Mid Amateurs in November before we gear up for the Australian Amateur presented by Swinging Skirts again in January.