Date: July 12, 2019
Author: Dave Tease

Lamb, Park make it a double delight

Corey Lamb and Hye Park have made it back-to-back victories at the NSW Junior Championship at Belmont Golf Club.

After starting the final round with a six-shot margin, Lamb cruised to a four-shot win, carding a 76 in the severe westerly winds which played havoc with most of the field.

It was always going to be a hard ask for his opponents to mow down, and despite their best efforts, Lamb had enough in the tank to get home comfortably.

Lamb got his day off to a bright start with a birdie on the first. The strengthening winds soon played their part, and when the Branxton local double-bogeyed the third, he knew it might become a fight.

"I started good with a birdie, but when I went bogey, bogey, I told myself I had to do something," Lamb grinned post-round.

"It was a struggle today, but I got the job done, so that's good."

Lamb joins an illustrious group of golfers on the NSW Junior Championship honour roll, including more than a few famous Newcastle golfers. Looking over the names, he was in awe of names he saw.

"Yeah, it feels good to be amongst them," he quipped.

Lamb was also thrilled to know he had ensured his place in the field for the AVJennings NSW Open in November. His last taste of the NSW Open was acting as a caddy for his uncle, Mark Hale, who won his way in via regional Qualifying.

"I caddied for him last time, so yeah, It's going to be fun."

Asked about the chances of the uncle repaying the caddying favour, Lamb Grinned.

"Yes, definitely. He's taking a week off to caddy for me in the Queensland Open, so I think he should make it two weeks."

In the girl's division, Hye Park not only recorded back to back wins, but back to back NSW Junior titles as well.

She did it the hard way, however, and in scenes reminiscent of last year’s come from behind effort, Park took it to a playoff to secure this year's crown.

Starting the day four shots behind her Queensland counterpart Cassie Porter, Park managed to whittle the lead away. Three holes into the back nine and it was all square.

With four straight birdies, Park look like she was going to run away with the win, but overnight leader Porter wasn't done.

Porter clawed her way back into the contest, making clutch birdies on 15 and 16 to stay in touch.

Playing the final hole, it was Park who flinched, however, rifling her approach over the green, while Porter was safely on in two.

Park flubbed her first chip then ran her second about 10 feet past.

Staring at a double, Park holed a clutch putt, leaving Porter with about 8-feet for an unlikely win.

Porter missed, and it meant they were heading for an extra hole.

It didn't take long for Park to assert her authority in the playoff. With Porter unable to reach the first in two, Park, with a considerable distance advantage, rifled a five iron to about 10 feet.

Porter knocked her third in close, and although Park gave her putt a solid look, it didn't drop, leaving porter about six feet to keep the playoff alive. Sadly her putt slid by the right-hand edge, giving Park her second NSW Junior Crown.

Park was extremely relieved to grab the win and her second NSW Junior Crown.

"It feels great."

"I wanted to win this tournament again, and I am so happy to have done it."

Park said as defending champion, her expectations were high. She admitted her lofty goals were challenged in the second round by Porter.

"The first day I was pretty confident, but when Cassie shot ten under on the second day I was a bit nervous," the cheery Korean smiled.

Courtesy of her win, Park will get a start in the 2020 Women's NSW Open at Dubbo Golf Club in March 2020. She is hoping to do better next year than this year's experience at Queanbeyan.

"I missed the cut this year," she smiled." next year, I want to do better and make the cut."