Date: April 06, 2018
Author: Golf Australia

Can WA go back-to-back?

They've been making golfing waves in Western Australia for a few years now.

But the upcoming Australian Junior Championships and Junior Interstate Series is poised to dump the next big set on to Aussie golf fans' radar.

The Australian Junior titles will be contested this week with the girls heading to its original 1953 home of Royal Perth and the men slightly further south-east of the city at the impressive Gosnells Golf Course.

Aside from joining one of the great honour rolls in Australian golf, the boys' and girls' champions earn an even bigger prize in entry to the respective national Open championships next summer.

The host girls will be right in the mix with Kirsten Rudgeley eager to continue her outstanding summer and her state teammates Kathryn Norris and Maddison Hinson-Tolchard also likely to figure.

But the woman they'll have to beat is newly crowned Karrie Webb Scholarship holder Grace Kim, the defending champion who's also preparing to represent Australia at next month's Queen Sirikit Cup.

Kim and Steph Kyriacou will spearhead a very strong New South Wales contingent, while Victorian Alizza Hetherington could also feature if she recaptures her best form and rising Queenslander Cassie Porter should not be dismissed.

But it is on the boys' side that WA will unleash an even more potent mix.

Anybody who took in the Australian Amateur Championship, also in Perth earlier this year, will already have noted another crop of extremely talented youngsters making their way.

Outstanding Kalgoorlie left-hander Connor Fewkes will doubtless represent the Goldfields Golf Club in style, but he could be just as easily be matched by fellow WA senior team representative Josh Greer, of Joondalup.

And you simply cannot write off Mandurah's lithe Connor McKinney, the breakout story of the #AusAm when co-medallist and giant killer as a 15-year-old.

It may well fall on to long-time Queensland representative Louis Dobbelaar to confront the WA challenge, although Victorian Nathan Page and ultra-impressive Sydneysider Tom Heaton will also be keen to make their mark at national level.

The Australian Junior events will be played over 72 holes with 18 on each of 11-12 April, then 36 on 13 April.

The following week, the Junior Interstate Series takes centre stage with the girls again at Royal Perth and the boys at the splendid Hartfield Golf Club, east of the city.

It will come as no surprise that Western Australia will start favourites in the boys' Interstate, trying to defend the title so brilliantly won in Wollongong last year.

The girls' Interstate will be fiercely contested with WA a hot chance to topple the NSW team that was so dominant last year in fielding the same junior side as senior side a few weeks later.

The boys' matches will be played from 16-19 April, with the girls' matches from 15-17 April.