Date: December 14, 2015
Author: Daniel Cencic

Stevens takes unique double

Riley Stevens created history last week, taking out the club championship double at Huntingdale Golf Club. 

Stevens defeated Ben Reiter 5-4 in the men’s final after taking out the Huntingdale annual junior tournament earlier this year.

“I'm absolutely stoked about my double championship win,” Stevens said.  

“All four weeks the course was in immaculate condition, I can't thank the club enough for running the event so well. 

“Playing against Ben Reiter in the final was fairly daunting at the beginning, as he is a previous club champion himself, but thanks to the support from everyone that came down to watch, friends and family, I was able to defeat him five and four.”  

The Huntingdale double sits highly in Stevens’ career achievements.

“(It’s) definitely up there, I feel, not just in the way of ranking but also personally it was one of the highest,” Stevens said. 

After being crowned champion at the junior tournament earlier this year, Stevens admits the pressure was greater heading into the senior championship.

“There was a little bit of additional pressure, but I was trying to focus on just the match against Ben and my caddie helped me heaps by keeping me in the moment the whole match,” he said.  

Stevens said his respect for Reiter’s game helped clinch the title.

“I (had) never faced him one-on-one (before), as I didn't play last year’s championship. 

“Although I do play pennant with him and watched him play many times during pennant. He is a very strong matchplay player and I think my respect for his strength in his game is what got me over the line. I didn't try to take on too many shots and I made hitting fairways a premium target.”

The 17-year-old also paid homage to his mentors and influences.

“Growing up, Dad always used to take me out to watch him play at Spalding Park in WA. I would sit on the seat on his bag and he would push me down the fairways every Saturday morning,” Stevens said.    

A student at Rowville Secondary College’s Sports Academy, Stevens has also enjoyed playing alongside Cameron John and under the guidance of coach Tim Wendel.

“Cam (John) has also been a great influence on me to always achieve my best as we often compete against each other at training.”

“It's been great especially with Tim and the Rowville squad always encouraging each other to achieve their best – that helped a great deal with my development and will continue to for years to come,” Stevens said.

“I've been with (Tim Wendel) for about three and a half years now and my golf has skyrocketed since coming to Rowville. He is a great motivator.”

Stevens’ next event will be the 22nd annual Victorian Junior Masters from January 4- at the Waverley Golf Club.