Date: March 24, 2008

Australian teams announced for Ashes & Trans Tasman Cup

Golf Australia has announced a 10-player Australian team that will lock horns with the English National Team in a two-day battle for The Ashes, April 8-9 at Moonah Links in Victoria. The six men and four women will seek to defend the title that Australian won in last year&aposs inaugural event. Formerly, the tournament was for male players from both nations, but 2008 sees the introduction of Australia&aposs and England&aposs best female players who will compete alongside the men in foursomes and singles match play. The last two Australian Amateur Champions, Rohan Blizard and Tim Stewart will spearhead the Australian team which also includes recent Riversdale Cup winner Scott Arnold, Matt Jager and Victorians Matt Griffin and Daniel Beckmann, who makes his Australian squad debut. Leading amateur at the MFS Women&aposs Australian Open, Kristie Smith is a leading light for the women and she will play alongside compatriots Stephanie Na and Australian Senior squad debutants, Julia Boland and Clare Choi. Boland took out the 2008 Women&aposs Riversdale Cup and Lake Macquarie Amateur while Choi is currently the top-ranked player in the inaugural Karrie Webb Series. The Australian Amateur Championships are set to be played in Adelaide following The Ashes before a 16-player team departs for New Zealand to defend the Trans Tasman Cup at Royal Wellington Golf Club on May 1-2. The Australians won the event by just one point at Royal Canberra Golf Club in 2007 on the back of a comprehensive performance from the girls&apos team. This year it is expected to be a lot tougher with the Kiwis holding home course advantage as they set out to avenge last year&aposs loss. The event unfortunately clashes with the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy which means Australian stalwarts Rohan Blizard and Tim Stewart were unavailable for selection. The pair will instead be at Valderrama Golf Club in Spain playing on the Asia-Pacific team against the Europeans in a Ryder Cup-like event. Queenslander Daniel Nisbet is playing his second Trans Tasman Cup, as is Kristie Smith. Stephanie Na is also making her second appearance but steps up to the women&aposs category this year. All other players are debutants in the event including Australian Boys&apos Amateur Champion Jason Scrivener who makes his first appearance in an Australian team. Australian Team for The Ashes April 8-9, 2008 at Moonah Links, Victoria Men: Scott Arnold (NSW), Daniel Beckmann (Vic), Rohan Blizard (NSW), Matt Griffin (Vic), Matt Jager (WA), Tim Stewart (NSW) Women: Julia Boland (NSW), Clare Choi (Vic), Stephanie Na (SA), Kristie Smith (WA) >b>Australian Team for Trans Tasman Cup May 1-2, 2008 at Royal Wellington Golf Club, NZ 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)