Date: August 26, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Aussie young guns charge

Two young Australian teams defied poor weather and arguably golf’s hardest format today to roar through the Asia Pacific Junior Championship field in Taiwan today.

Gold Coaster Becky Kay and Melburnian Cameron John played near flawless golf to record a blemish-free two-under-par 70 at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club and share the lead after day two.

And not far behind, the young pairing of Sydney’s Stef Hall and Brisbane’s Louis Dobbelaar was also outstanding in shooting a 75 to race into a tie for seventh.

The third and final round tomorrow is individual strokeplay, with both scores to add to the current team total after rounds of fourball and foursomes.

Kay and John, both 16, helped each other out immensely, moving to the top of the leaderboard alongside one of the two Korean teams who’d shared the first-round lead.

But while they shot a 73 to join the Aussie combination, their compatriots fired a nine-over 81 to highlight the complexity of the alternate shot format.

“We teamed really well and worked well discussing all the things out on the course,” Kay said of John.

“It was actually good to have someone to share things with … and to go around without a bogey was pretty solid.”

Kay and John made birdies on the third and sixth holes, but also made a couple of 6m putts to save par on the odd occasion they found trouble.

Hall, 15, was equally delighted in her partnership with 13-year-old Dobbelaar, the team combining for two birdies and five bogeys.

“We learnt a lot about each other’s games and it came together well,” Hall said.

“It was great help in reading putts for each other and … we did well in getting the right distances to the holes on our approaches, too.”

Hall, like Dobbelaar, on her first major Australian team, said she was relishing the experience.

“I’m really proud of playing for Australia … it’s a great feeling,” beamed Hall, a member of The Australian in Sydney.

Both young women said they’d do their best to stay focused on their “own games” tomorrow when the format reverts to singles strokeplay.

With Thailand’s top team third, John will play in the final group with Korean Young-Woong Kim and Thai Sadom Kaewkanjana.

Kay will do likewise with the female members of the top Korean and Thai teams in the second last group.

Similarly, Dobbelaar and Hall will be in the 15th and 16th last groups out, respectively.