Concord’s Belinda Ji and Queensland’s Jed Morgan are ready to defend their titles at the NSW Junior Championships which get underway tomorrow at Shelly Beach and Toukley Golf Clubs.
Over 260 boys girls have descended on the Central Coast for the four – round championship, to the delight of Jack Newton Junior Golf (JNJF) Tournament Manager Dale Hughes.
“It's an excellent field and defending champions Jed and Belinda will be hard to beat.” Hughes Said.
The Girl’s field is a high-quality affair, and Ji can expect plenty of spirited competition from her NSW State teammates Stephanie Kyriacou, who last week qualified for the US Junior Girls Amateur, Doey Choi, and reigning Australian Girls Champion, Avondale’s Grace Kim.
“Belinda was the story of last year’s Championship,” Hughes added. “She came from behind to win.”
Morgan, who won last week’s Queensland Boy’s title, will almost certainly face challenges from NSW State representatives, Harry Doig, Joshua Gadd, NSW boy's team Captain Jye Pickin, and the up-and coming Harrison Crowe. Also in the hunt will be Lachlan Chamberlain and Brett Levier from the ACT, and Morgan's Queensland teammates Tyler Duncan, Mitchell Varley, and Zach Maxwell.
Alongside his win in this event in 2016, Morgan also represented Australia at Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation Junior Championships in Taiwan last August, earning himself a tournament start on the Japanese Tour after claiming individual honours.
“Jed has had quite an incredible 12 months, and has established himself as one of Australia’s best juniors,” Hughes added.
The NSW Junior Championship has proved to be quite a form line for players in recent years with several going on to bigger and better things.
Previous winners of the Boy’s title include James Nitties and former US Amateur Champion Nick Flanagan. Jake Higginbottom lifted the title in 2011 before going on to win the New Zealand Open as an amateur the very next year, and just last week, 2012 Champion Dylan Perry finished runner-up in the Amateur Championship at Royal St. George’s in England.?
Girl’s winners include LPGA Tour member Sarah Kemp and Nikki Garrett, Karis Davidson and two-time winner Shelly Shin, who lifted the title in 2012 and 2014.