Date: August 28, 2018
Author: Tony Durkin

Blues take Queensland stroke titles

Men's Stroke Play
Women's Stroke Play
Queensland Men's & Women's Amateur – Matchplay Draw

Golf Australia’s National Coach Dean Kinney, currently in Ireland with the Australian Women’s team for the World Amateur Teams Championships which start tomorrow, has had a double success in Brisbane today with two of his NSW-based pupils winning the Queensland Stroke Play titles.

Sydneysiders Jordie Garner (men) and Doey Choi (women) won their titles at Gailes Golf Club and McLeod Country Club respectively, and will be No.1 seeds for the Queensland Amateur Championships to be played at Gailes on Thursday and Friday.

Ecstatic that his students won the double, Kinney said the experience gained from recent international competitions had ‘hugely assisted their progression in the game’.

“Doey and Jordie have both worked extremely hard on their game since leaving school last year and are developing nicely,” he said.

Garner, who considered himself no chance after shooting a two-over 75 in the first round in wet and windy conditions on Monday morning, hung solid with following rounds of 70-69-70 (284) to win by a shot from South Australia’s Jack Thompson. Josh Armstrong (The Lakes) was third and Redcliffe’s Doug Klein finished fourth.

This morning Garner was four shots adrift of overnight leader Billy Cawthorne (South Australia) and three behind Thompson, but his nine-under par total over the final 36 holes was enough to snare him the prestigious title. He birdied the last hole, while Thompson – leading at the time – bogeyed the par-five 18th.

“I was sitting in the clubhouse at the time, quite content that I had finished second,” said the Castle Hill Golf Club member who lists Tiger Woods as his sporting hero.

“Because I was behind for most of the tournament after my poor start on Monday, I never really gave myself a chance. But when I rolled in an eagle putt on the par-four fourth in the final round today, I must admit I did give it a fist pump and say to myself ‘here we go’.”

Garner conceded his four round-total of eight-under 284 was probably less than he thought might win, but said the course, and conditions, had been difficult.

“The course was very tough, particularly some of the pin positions today,” he said.

“But it was a great test of golf and to beat a field as strong as that is definitely the best win of my career.”

Choi, who was a quarter finalist in the prestigious US Girl’s Amateur last month, shot a phenomenal 23 birdies in her four rounds to finish 13-under the card and win by nine strokes. Surprisingly, she did not birdie the same hole in all four rounds.

She started brilliantly with rounds of 69-69, faltered somewhat – by her high standards – this morning with a 74 and two lost balls, but came home in the afternoon with 71 and was never headed over the four rounds. The 18-year-old from Concord Golf Club in Sydney, previously won this event as a 14-year-old in 2014.

“I played pretty solid,” was the rather-sedate reaction to her victory.

“While 23 birdies were satisfying, the six bogeys and two doubles was very disappointing. I played very well overseas in the past few months and came here confident, but I still have some work to do to win the Amateur at the end of the week.”

Hye Park (RACV Royal Pines) finished second, while Lisa Edgar (The Brisbane Golf Club) was four shots away in third.

The top 16 Men advancing to the Queensland Men’s Amateur are; Jordan Garner, Jack Thompson, Josh Armstrong, Doug Klein, Lewis Hoath, Louis Dobbelaar, Lawry Flynn, Billy Cawthorne, Blake Collyer, Dillon Hart, Cooper Geddes, Will Heffernan, Chris Crabtree, Lochlan Coleborn, Jed Morgan, and Will Florimo.

The top 16 Women advancing to the Queensland Women’s Amateur are; Doey Choi, Hye Park, Lisa Edgar, Sophie Yip, Alexandra Hilliard, Charley Jacobs, Rhianna Lewis, Brittney Dryland, Hannah Reeves, Chia-Yu Hsieh, Suenghui Bong, Lion Higo, June Song, Deedee-Taylah Russell, Ka Yeon Park, and Danielle Vasquez.