Australian Girls Champions Wins Again as Darkness Falls on the Boys
(Monday 24th April, 2017)
Grace Kim (Avondale) may live in Sydney, but the Illawarra is fast becoming her favourite part of the world after winning the 2017 Illawarra Junior Masters at Links Shell Cove today. The boys couldn't be split, as 15 year olds Ethan Chambers (The Australian) and Oli Payne (Concord) finished joint winners. The pair finished the tournament at two under par, and after both making a par down the first playoff hole, darkness set in and the second hole couldn't be played.
Only two weeks ago, the 16 year old claimed the 2017 Australian Girls Amateur just up the road at Port Kembla and today she was back to her winning ways with some more outstanding golf in beautiful conditions at Shell Cove. Starting with the lead (on the 9th hole) after her opening round 66 was officially confirmed as a new Course Record, Kim picked up a birdie on the first to extend her lead to three. However, a double bogey on the 13th brought her back to the chasing pack, and when Steph Kyriacou (St Michaels) picked up birdies of her own on the 11th and 14th, the two were tied at the top. Kyriacou incredibly parred her final 12 holes to shoot the round of the day (69) and finish at -3 for the tournament to force the tournament into a playoff after Kim finished with a round of 71.
The playoff only lasted one hole after both girls hit brilliant approach shots to within 6 feet. Kyriacou narrowly missed her short birdie putt which left Kim five feet for the win which she calmly made. Monica Johnson (Moore Park) shot back to back rounds of level par 70 to finish third overall and claim the Girls 14/15 Year Division, whilst Sophie Yip (Concord) finished the tournament at +4 to win the Girls 13 Years and Under by one stroke from a fast-finishing Claire Shin (Bankstown).
Ethan Chambers and Oli Payne were declared joint winners in the Boys Division after darkness set in during the playoff. 16 players started the final round within four shots of the lead so it wasn't a surprise to see a playoff and probably fairly, the players shook hands after the first hole was halved in par. Chambers had the round of the day, a two under par 68 whilst Oli Payne backed up his opening round of 68 with a 70 on day two. Surprise packet Luke Taylor (Gerringong) finished outright third which was enough to claim the 16 Years and Over Division by one shot and avoid another playoff. Luka Brucic (St Michaels), Tom Heaton (The Australian), Josh Gadd (Concord), and overnight leader Harrison Crowe (St Michaels) shared fourth position at one over par.
In the Boys 13 Years and Under Division, Bexley superstar Jeffrey Guan once again proved too good for the competition to win the age division by 11 shots. The 12 Year Old was incredible, shooting rounds of 73 and 72 on the difficult course for the youngsters.
There were also some amazing scores by the stableford players, with Michelle Di Natale (Bowral) scoring 45 points on day two to win the girls stableford division by five shots. The boys took advantage of the shorter course they played, with Kayun Mudadana (Bexley) scoring 96 points over the two days to defeat Enzo Moon (Strathfield) who finished on 93 points.
Final Results - Click Here
Crowe Flies High at Links Shell Cove
(Sunday 23rd April, 2017)
Harrison Crowe (St Michaels) finished with four straight birdies to take a one shot lead at the 2017 Illawarra Junior Masters. Grace Kim (Avondale) was equally impressive, with the recent Australian Girls Amateur Champion matching Crowe with a 66 of her own. An incredible 20 players shot even par or better on the opening day!!
Crowe, who only weeks ago lost a playoff for the 2017 Ballina Junior Masters carded six bidies in total, but it was his red-hot finish that jumped him to the top of a congested leaderboard. The in-form 15 year old finished with a four under par 66 in beautiful conditions at Links Shell Cove. Local Illawarra boy Luke Taylor (Gerringong) and Bart Carroll (Wagga Wagga) also stood out on the opening day, firing three under par 67s to share second place. They'll be joined in the final group by Luke Ferrier (Merewether), who shares fourth with Oli Payne (Concord) after finishing with a 68. In total, 16 players shot 70 or better to make things very close heading into the final round. In the Boys 13 Years and Under Division, Jeffrey Guan (Bexley) once again shows the way after shooting a 73 to lead his age division by one shot.
Not to be outdone by the boys, Kim also shot a 66 on day one with six birdies of her own. She leads fellow state team member Steph Kyriacou (St Michaels) by two shots after the 16 year old continued her good form with a birdie-birdie finish to move up into second. Monica Johnson (Moore Park), Amy Chu (The Australian) and Bella Kil (Avondale) all finished at even par whilst Sophie Yip (Concord) leads the 13 Years and Under Division after a 72.
All the results from day one can be found by clicking here.
Round Two Draw - Click Here.
Juniors set for New Look Links
(Friday 21st April, 2016)
The largest JNJG Junior Masters Event of the year will head to a new course in 2017, with the recently re-designed Links Shell Cove hosting more than 180 players for the 2017 Illawarra Junior Masters. The traditional ANZAC Day long-weekend tournament, moved from Wollongong due to a schedule clash, will be hosted at the same place that hosted the 2014 and 2015 NSW Junior Championships albeit on a different layout.
And not only will the field be full in quantity, but it will also be full in quality, with 2017 Australian Girls Amateur Champion Grace Kim (Avondale) the headline act. Kim only weeks ago became the second NSW junior girl in three years to claim the Australian Junior title with a thrilling one shot victory just down the road at the Port Kembla Golf Club, before leading the NSW Girls to a dominant victory in the Australian Junior Interstate Teams Championships. Joining her in the star-studded field is NSW Team captain and defending Illawarra Junior Masters Champion Amy Chu (The Australian), whilst fellow team member Stephanie Kyriacou (St Michaels) picked up an undefeated medal in that series, winning a perfect five from five matches.
Whilst the boys didn’t have the same success at the Australian Boys Amateur or the Australian Junior Interstate Teams Event, NSW state team members Josh Gadd (Concord) and Billy Watson (Long Reef) will be looking to put their stamp on a JNJG event. Harrison Crowe (St Michaels) was a standout at the Australian Boys Amateur and backed that up with a great performance at the Ballina Junior Masters, eventually going down in a five-hole sudden death playoff. Clayton Small (Maitland) and Brad Doherty (Oatlands) also performed well at Ballina, and will be looking to claim their first Junior Masters victories.
The number of young junior golfers continues to rise, with 110 players in the field (more than 60%) falling in the 14 Years and Under category, with a huge 25 of them being youngsters competing in the stableford division.
With such a huge field (and no daylight savings), play begins early on both days at 6:30am. The opening round draw and divisional results can be found by clicking the links below.
Round One Draw – Click Here