Date: June 03, 2014
Author: Golf Australia

Champions all smiles at halfway mark

squo;ve reached the halfway mark of the 2014 Championships with ten of the fifteen National Championships completed.

The Australian Amateur Championships presented by Audi kicked off the year at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide. With over 50 international players competing in the event, the Championship saw a quality field battle it out in extremely challenging heat-wave conditions. 

The Australian Men’s Amateur trophy headed across the Tasman to New Zealand with Tae Koh defeating Curtis Luck (WA) in the final 6&5.   In the Women’s Amateur, Minjee Lee (WA) showed why she’s the number one ranked amateur in the world, defending her 2012 title with a 6&5 win over youngster Karis Davidson (Qld).

The Australian Girls’ Amateur was played on the challenging Yering Meadows Golf Club layout in April with Konomi  Matsumoto (Vic) securing the title in her home state. In wet conditions, Konomi  played consistently well to win by one shot from Karis Davidson (Qld).

 In the Australian Boys’ Amateur, Ryan Ruffels (Vic) won his first Junior title after a brilliant week which saw him finish 11 under the card in challenging conditions at Heritage Golf and Country Club. Ruffels finished 3 shots clear of Blake Windred (NSW)

The Australian Junior Interstate Teams matches followed the junior Amateurs with the Queensland Girls’ Team of Karis Davidson, Samantha Foley, Kirsty Hodgkins, Rebecca Kay and Kate Law winning the Burtta Cheney Cup for the fourth consecutive year.  In the Boys’ Series the Victorian Team of Brett Coletta, Blake Collyer, Frazer Droop, David Micheluzzi, Zach Murray and Ryan Ruffels won Victoria the title for the first time since 2008.

Wrapping up the first half of the year the Australian Interstate Teams Matches were played in Canberra at Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club (Women) and Federal Golf Club (Men). The Gladys Hay Memorial Cup for the Women’s Championship was won by the Western Australian team of Hayley Bettencourt, Hannah Green, Alyssa Keir, Minjee Lee, Hira Naveed and Claudia Pisano who defeated New South Wales 5 matches to 1 match in the final. 

The Victorian Men’s Team of  Geoff Drakeford, Ben Eccles, Lucas Herbert, Zach Murray, Tom  Power-Horan, Ryan Ruffels, Andrew Schonewille and Todd Sinnott won the Men’s title for Victoria the first time since 2009, narrowly defeating New South Wales in the final 4.5 matches to 3.5 matches. 

The Australian Men’s and Women’s Foursomes were contested in conjunction with the Interstate Teams Matches for the first time this year which proved very successful. The Women’s Championship saw Shelly Shin and Doey Choi (NSW) share the honours with Minjee Lee and Hannah Green (WA). In the Men’s Championship Aaron Willkin and Taylor MacDonald (Qld) became the first pair in history to successfully defend their title with a seven stroke win.

The remainder of the year is sure to be eventful with the Australian Men’s Senior Amateur at the end of September, the Australian Women’s Senior Amateur and Australian Men’s Senior Match Play in October, and the Australian Men’s and Women’s Mid Amateur Championships in November.