Date: April 29, 2008

Australia and New Zealand set for Trans Tasman battle

Australia and New Zealand&aposs top young golfers are in the land of the long white cloud for the Trans Tasman Cup beginning Thursday at Royal Wellington Golf Club. The Aussies go into the event as defending champions after their somewhat unorthodox victory at Royal Canberra Golf Club last year. Despite winning just one of the four divions that comprise the Cup, the Girls&apos margin of victory was great enough to give Australian the title 24.5 to 23.5. While New Zealand will be keen to atone for their narrow defeat in Canberra, it is a particuarly strong Australian team that they face, featuring the Srixon Women&aposs Australian Amateur Champion Kristie Smith and Srixon Women&aposs Amateur Stroke Play Champion Stephanie Na. The talented duo will play alongside Riversdale Cup winner Julia Boland and Dunes Medal winner Clare Choi in one of the strongest women&aposs teams put forth in years. If Australia is to defend the Trans Tasman Cup, a more rounded performance will be required in Wellington. While the girls did a stellar job in our nation&aposs capital in 2007, the team will hope not to rely on any one division to clinch the title. New Australian number one ranked player Matthew Griffin spearheads the men&aposs team. The Victorian is in a rich vein of form after reaching the quarter-finals of the Srixon Australian Amateur Championship and winning the Mandurah Easter Amateur in Perth. He will play alongside compatriots Scott Arnold, Jason Scrivener and Josh Younger. Talented West Australian Whitney Hillier makes her second Trans Tasman Cup appearance in the girls&apos division along with Queenslander Daniel Nisbet who will be hoping to get the boys&apos off to a good start. The men, women, boys and girls all play for individual trophies before the scores are combined to determine the overall winner of the Trans Tasman Cup. Prior to 2007 these events were played separately, but a joint initiative between Golf Australia and New Zealand Golf saw the events merged into this competitive and entertaining teams battle. The action gets underway from Thursday morning (AEDT) and you can follow the news and scores right here at Australian Team: Men: Scott Arnold (NSW), Matt Griffin (Vic), Jason Scrivener (WA), Josh Younger (Vic) Boys: Tim Hart (Qld), Bryden Macpherson (Vic), Daniel Nisbet (Qld), Brendan Smith (NSW) Women: Julia Boland (NSW), Clare Choi (Vic), Stephanie Na (SA), Kristie Smith (WA) Girls: Whitney Hillier (WA), Samantha Holt (SA), Ashley Ona (NSW), Jessica Speechley (WA) New Zealand Team: Men: Danny Lee (Springfield, Rotorua), Nick Gillespie (Hastings), Daniel Pearce (Coringa, Christchurch), Jared Pender (Tauranga) Boys: Peter Spearman-Burn (Miramar, Wellington), Ben Campbell (Masterton), Landyn Edwards (Rotorua), Seve Ha (Akarana) Women: Penny Smith (Springfield, Rotorua), Dana Kim (Christchurch), Larissa Eruera (Aviation, Auckland), Caroline Bon (Whangarei) Girls: Zoe Beth Brake (Whakatane), Emily Perry (Lochiel, Hamilton), Hayley Clinning (Manukau), Lisa Wright (Nelson)