Qld Open winner 2015 mrec

Event News

Lawson’s lead continues

First round leader Deyen Lawson has moved out to a six shot lead after an impressive second round score of 7-under 65 to lead with a combined score of 11-under at the 2015 BMG QLD PGA Trainee Championship.

In near perfect weather conditions Lawson finished the front nine holes in 4-under opening with a birdie and then an eagle on the 3rd followed by another birdie on the 6th. The only blemish on his scorecard appeared when he bogeyed the par 4 11th.

“The conditions were great with hardly any wind so I wanted to make the most with the opportunity,” said Lawson.

“I just tried to remain patient throughout the round and I believe this helped me to scramble well and make the important putts.”

The nearest competitor sitting six shots behind Lawson is NSW Trainee Aaron Glasson who finished with a 4-under 68, which was helped by a hole in one on the picturesque 2nd hole. Hitting a 7 iron into the 159m par 3, Glasson’s ball bounced once before dropping into the hole.

“I thought I may have made an error in my club selection as it bounced once on the green and disappeared,” said the jubilant Glasson.

“After first thinking it had run past I got excited by the reaction of the spectators near the green who were cheering.”

Other players who moved into contention today were Taylor Cooper and Sunshine Coast Trainee Brad McLellan who both finished their rounds under par. Dane McArdle who was one shot behind Lawson after the first round is also amongst the leaders after an even par round of 72.

Round three will commence at 7.00am tomorrow with the lead group teeing off at 9.50am and will see many players do their best to move to the top of the leaderboard and put themselves in contention for this year’s title.

Round 2 results available here

Photo Credit: PGA Australia

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Strong national teams named

A strong New South Wales contingent will form the backbone of Australia’s attempt at a Nomura Cup hat-trick.

Sydney-based trio Cameron Davis, Harrison Endycott and Travis Smyth will be joined by in-form Victorian Ben Eccles in the Asia-Pacific teams championship in the United Arab Emirates next month.

After a record 10th win in Thailand in 2013, Golf Australia high performance director Brad James is confident this team will acquit itself well in the biennial tournament.

“This in an historic event in our region and we’ve enjoyed great success, particularly in recent years,” James said.

“We have selected a team that’s in good form and we’re confident they’ll put in a strong performance under national coach Dean Kinney.”

Two other Australian teams have been formalised with announcements for the World Junior Girls event in Canada and the Spirit International in the United States.

Fresh from a bold runner-up showing in last week’s Asia-Pacific junior championship, Becky Kay will be joined by fellow Gold Coast youngster Karis Davidson and Perth’s Hannah Green at The Marshes Golf Club in Ottawa, Ontario.

The young women will compete in the 18-and-under event in both team and individual strokeplay competitions in the Canadian capital from September 22.

The Spirit, to be contested over three-rounds of fourball competition, will feature Queenslander Gennai Goodwin, Perth’s Minwoo Lee and Victorian pair Jo Charlton and David Micheluzzi.

It will be held at the spectacular Whispering Pines Golf Club midway between Houston and Dallas in Texas from October 12 with the men’s event winner to gain a start at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club on next year’s US PGA Tour.

“It’s a busy representative period, but it provides a great opportunity for a number of our younger athletes to increase their international exposure,” James said.

“All the athletes in Canada and the US have earnt their positions and will hopefully continue the roll of Australian golf in this North American summer.”

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Inspired Trainees arrive at Coral Cove

PGA Trainees have arrived at Coral Cove for the 2015 Bundaberg Motor Group Queensland PGA Trainee Championship and full of motivation on the back of Jason Day win at The Barclays morning,

Now in its fifth year at Coral Cove Golf Club, the tournament is one of the highlights of the year for the next wave of PGA Professionals, with 67 Trainees hoping to aloft the Carnegie Clark Cup and a share in the $35,000 prize purse. 

One  interstate player to watch this week is defending champion Deyen Lawson who won last’s year tournament by four shots.

“2014 was by far my most successful as a professional and I am really pleased to be back to defend my title at Coral Cove. I really enjoy the golf course, it rewards the player who drives it straight and hopefully I can do that this week,” said Lawson.

The strongest Queensland contenders include 2014 Queensland Trainee of the Year Rick Coleman as well as Ali Orchard who, after winning the Pampling Plate earlier this year, is looking to be the first female to win the tournament and one of the few PGA Trainees to win both the state match play and championship titles in the same year.

“It would be a real honour to be able to say that I am the first female to win this event though there are plenty of good players here this week, both male and female, that are also looking to do so and therefore all I can do is give myself a chance come the back nine on Friday and see what happens,” said Orchard.

The Coral Cove community will look to Caboolture Golf Club Trainee Ryan Norton who hails from the Bundaberg area and is looking to improve on his 21st position in 2014.

“It is great to be home to see friends and family though my primary focus is to give myself a chance to win our State Championship. I know the course better than most of the other professionals. If I can execute my game plan, I would like to think I will have every chance to take out the title,” said Norton.

The unique par 6, 12th hole at Coral Cove has already created interest amongst competitors and will play a significant part later in the week as to who climbs the leaderboard along with the other signature hole at Coral Cove Golf Club, the 203m par 3 2nd hole.

Not only will trainee professionals be competing in the tournament, they will also be looking to leave their mark on the region by conducting a number of community activities throughout the week.

A free ladies clinic will run on Tuesday at 3pm, as well as a free junior clinic on Wednesday at 3pm which will provide the ability to create more awareness of the game of golf in the local area.

The first round will commence tomorrow morning at 7:00am in what is predicted to be sunny and calm conditions.

Spectators are welcome to attend and witness the next generation of PGA Professionals tee it up.

Photo: Deyen Lawson

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Wright, Jeffress win at Maroochy River

A suspension in play and having to return to the course early this morning to complete their first round was not enough to stop Michael Wright and Steven Jeffress from claiming the inaugural Maroochy River Pro-Am.

Wright and Jeffress finished at 8-under, two shots clear of Troy Cox, who shot the round of the tournament today, a 7-under 65. 

Both Jeffress and Wright along with the other 32 Professionals that played yesterday afternoon, had to return to the course at 6:00am this morning to finish their rounds, with Wright holding a two shot lead after a 66.

Wright would return a 70 in today's second round, only to be joined shortly after by Jeffress with consecutive 68's.

It has been a lean year for Wright, with his best finish on the Choice Hotels PGA Pro-Am Series Sunshine Swing coming at the Morobe Open back in April where he finished tied 4th.

"Although it hasn't been one of best years on tour, my form has really been on the improve over the past two weeks culminating into a victory here today," said Wright.

"There is no doubt my top-10 finish at last week's Queensland Open has helped me with my confidence, I'm feeling more comfortable and settled with my game on course.

"Hopefully I can continue to build on this momentum heading into the remainder of the PGA Tour of Australasian season." 

2015 has been slightly different for Jeffress though, and after winning for the fourth time this year, he finds himself moving into second place in the race for the Order of Merit title.

"The form has been good of late and it's great to have continued it on here at Maroochy River," said Jeffress.

"This course has been built to hold tournament golf, and it wouldn't surprise me if this tournament continues to grow into some big in the coming years. I feel privileged to have won the inaugural event and I look forward to returning in 12 month time to defend my title." 

For many of the competing professionals, it was the very first time they had seen the Maroochy River layout, with the course only officially opening in June this year. Although the course is still very young, the Professionals could only praise the Graham Marsh designed course, with many of them looking forward to returning for the 2016 pro-am. 

The Sunshine Swing will now head south, with the Riverlakes Pro-Am being played next Wednesday. More than 50 professionals will compete for the $11,000 in prizemoney, before the Sunshine Swing returns to the Redland Bay Golf Club for the first time since 2001.

Related Links
Scores / Maroochy River Pro-Am

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Day takes top honours at The Barclays
Jason Day’s magnificent winning streak has continued, with the Aussie favourite winning The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club this morning and his fourth win on the PGA TOUR this season.

Day fired a bogey free final round of 8-under 62 to take out the first of the four FedEx Cup playoff events by six shots over Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

After starting the day tied for the lead with South Korea's Sangmoon Bae, Day set the pace early with two birdies in the first four holes, which moved the Queenslander to two shots clear of Bae who had succumbed to two early bogeys.

Day entered the back nine with back-to-back birdies on the 10th and 11th which briefly moved him to four shots clear of Stenson.

Stenson quickly mounted a challenged firing back-to-back birdies on the 13
th and 14th but it was a case of too little too late as Day answered back, ending his round on 19-under.

“To be able to play the way I did over the weekend was fantastic, today was just phenomenal golf,” said Day after his round.

Day now replaces Jordan Spieth at number one in the FedExCup standings and joins an illustrious list of players to record four or more wins in a season, including Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.

“Together with the Australian golf community, I congratulate Jason on another hard-earned victory,” said Brian Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of Australia.

“It’s always wonderful to see our Australian Professionals performing so well on the world stage and to see Jason’s highly successful season on the PGA TOUR continue is just fantastic.”

Continue reading on 
pga.org.au to see how the other Australians performed.  
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Junior champ wins at Headland

World junior golf champion Ryley Martin has had a double dose of success in his first weekend back at his home course since winning overseas.

Playing off scratch, Martin scorched around Headland Golf Club’s 18 holes in a three-under par 69 on Sunday to easily win the Schweppes Junior Classic, the day after claiming victory in the men’s foursomes’ championship. His superb round included five birdies and two bogeys, and it won him the scratch event by three shots from Mount Coolum pair Zach Quirk and Ryan Stephenson.

Last month 17 year-old Martin scored the biggest win of his burgeoning career when he captured the Veritas World Junior 16-18 years competition in the US. But back on his home course on Saturday he teamed with former club champion David Rattray to put his name on Headland Golf Club’s foursomes’ championship trophy for the first time.

The reining Headland junior champion and five-time foursomes’ finalist Rattray won by a single shot from the experienced pair of Aaron Shaw and Justin Nicholson. 

Rattray and Martin are not the only Headland golfers celebrating this week. A single stableford score of 50 points from Graham Wilson is still being talked about.

Wilson, who played off 34, had 24 and 26 points on the respective nines with nine three-point holes and three four pointers. But while delighted with the score, he said he was embarrassed by his handicap.

“That is absolutely my best round ever. Hopefully there are more like that so I can reduce my handicap,” he said. 

Story: Tony Durkin

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Aussie PGA is just 100 days away!
The countdown is on! There is just 100 days to go until the first ball is struck at the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast with the PGA Tour of Australasia welcoming the European Tour to Aussie shores.

On hand to launch the countdown to Australia’s richest tournament, WA PGA Champion Ryan Lynch, New Zealand Open Champion Jordan Zunic and former New Zealand Open Champion Jake Higginbottom were practicing their swing on the idyllic Gold Coast beaches.

“It’s definitely one of the most beautiful destinations that I have hit a few golf balls, it was good fun down there with Ryan and Jordan, and hopefully it promotes the tournament well,” said Jake Higginbottom.

While Ryan Lynch sang the praises of the Gold Coast, “I have played on the Gold Coast before and it’s one of the best places in Australia to hold a golf tournament, as far as locations go,” said Lynch.

“I think the European Tour players will love the Gold Coast, I think anybody in the world would come and enjoy the Gold Coast and the beautiful beaches and the great scenery.”

“I think we as Aussies take for granted how nice the beaches are in that part of the world.”

In its first year as a co-sanctioned event on the European Tour, our Aussie young guns are gearing up for what promises to be a big Australian PGA Championship, it could be the tournament that sees one of them join the Race to Dubai.

“I think every player on the PGA Tour of Australasia is looking forward to playing in a tournament co-sanctioned by a top tour in the world,” added Lynch.

“You only need to look back as far as the co-sanctioned events with the Web.com Tour and see the success that grew for a lot of the players like Alistair Presnell and Steven Bowditch, the success they have had in the US because of those co-sanctioned events. I can only imagine this is going to do the same with the European Tour.”

With Jake Higginbottom adding, “I guess everyone’s aim is to try and win, like with Jin Jeong winning the Perth International obviously it gives you good exemptions.”

“It’s good to see a PGA Tour of Australasia member win a European Tour event, it gives you hope that you can do it as well.”

One of the most recent rising stars to emerge on the PGA Tour of Australasia, New Zealand Open champion Jordan Zunic, is looking forward to measuring his game against some of Europe’s finest.

“Obviously after I won in March it really did change my whole year and I’m just really happy that I have lots to play in this year and can keep developing my game by competing against really good players,” said Zunic, who prior to his victory would not have been exempt to compete in the Australian PGA Championship.

“Just the opportunity to play a European Tour event, giving us the chance to play against some high ranked players and also playing for some pretty good qualifications like gaining status is incredible.”

But not just an opportunity for our home grown talent it also opens up the Gold Coast to some of the best European and South African professionals to experience what Aussie golf has to offer.
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Sunshine Coast Academy launched

With the financial assistance of sponsor Ramsay Health, Maroochy River Golf Club has launched the Sunshine Coast Junior Golf Academy.

The academy, which had been operating for the past
16 years at the former Horton Park Golf Club, is now being housed in state-of-the art facilities at the new Maroochy River club which has attracted a flood of new junior members since it opened in mid-June.

According to Maroochy River GC junior development director Peter Owen, the number of juniors has more than doubled in recent months. And an offshoot of that has been victory in the recently-completed Sunshine Coast junior pennants

Many of those juniors were on hand when the launch was held, along with club professional Sean Seymore, Ramsay Health’s Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital chief executive Oliver Steele and Maroochy River board members.

Seymore spoke of the vision of expanding the academy into what he described as a training facility of international class.

“When completed in a few weeks the new academy building will feature some of the most advanced teaching, training and fitness equipment available,” he said.

“The new program will cater for young golfers of all levels, from introducing the game to primary school students right through to honing the skills of elite young golfers ready to make golf their profession.”

Also featured will be expanded weekend programs, holiday training camps, access to the array of new equipment housed in the academy building and the opportunity to learn from the Maroochy River professional golf teaching team of Seymore, Di Pavich, Marcus McPherson and Will White.

Story: Tony Durkin

Pictured at the launch of the Sunshine Coast Junior Golf Acadmey are (from left) Di Pavich, Bailey Murchie, Sean Seymore, Jared McEvoy, Will White and Samantha Pearson

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QLD Open: Round 4 Summary

Victorian David Bransdon has won the Isuzu Queensland Open following a three hole playoff with New South Welshman Rohan Blizard.

At the end of regulation play Bransdon and Blizard were all tied at the top of the leaderboard on 12-under 276 which was a new scoring record for the tournament when being played at Brookwater Golf and Country Club.

The par-4 18
th hole was used in a sudden death format to decide the champion with Bransdon emerging victorious with a birdie on the pair's third trip down the 396 metre hole.

It was a long day for Bransdon who had to remain patient as he made 11 straight pars during regulation play.

While the day held far more highlights for Blizard who recorded back-to-back eagles on the par-5 8
th and par-4 9th holes.

For his win Bransdon walks away with a winner's cheque of $16,500, official world golf ranking points plus full status on the PGA Tour of Australasia until the end of 2017.

Queenslander Jake McLeod finished the leading amateur on 7-under 281 in a tied for 4
th on the leaderboard.

David Bransdon: 69,71, 67, 69

"Pretty excited, I am shaking like a leaf, it's unbelievable,it's been a couple of years since my last win but I am pretty proud of the wayI played today and they way I hung in there."

"We weren't exactly stumping it in really close, Rohan hit the closest shot in the last playoff hole and unfortunately missed it but I guess that's basically how playoffs work really, we were hitting nice drives every time so it was pretty much going to come down to a putt, that's what I thought anyway."

"I said I was trying to stay patient because that's what my new mantra, stay patient, because it's not exactly been my forte, so I said,you're hitting it great, you're giving yourself chances you will hole one eventually and that's what I just kept telling myself."

Rohan Blizard: 75,67, 67, 67

"The 8th hole kind of kicked started my round,hitting a really good 3 wood into a par-5 for two into about 8 feet and holedthe putt for eagle so that kind of kick started my round and gave me someconfidence. Then on 9 I hit a good tee shot, perfect yardage with a lob wedgeand somehow it went into the hole, I hit it straight at the flag, one bounceand it went straight in the hole. That's something that doesn't happen veryoften, two eagles in a row so that got me in a good position heading into theback-9."

"Obviously disappointed because I thought, I kind of had a feeling that I was going to win today, just after having 5-under the last two days and then when I made two eagles it's going to be my day today."

"Disappointed but ah playing, the 18
th is a tough hole to birdie so Dave making birdie is a great score on that hole and unluckily I just missed my putt , I hit it right where I was aiming it just broke more that I thought, that's just the way it goes."

For more quotes from the players please visit the PGAMedia Centre.


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Top Amateur Jack McLeod finishes third at the Isuzu Queensland Open in quality performance

Jake McLeod closed with a four-under 68 to be leading amateur at the Isuzu Queensland Open and finished in a tie for third place overall.

The 21-year old Royal Queensland member finished on seven-under for the 72 holes, five strokes adrift of eventual winner David Bransdon.

McLeod is an exciting prospect, as evidenced by his 67 on Saturday, and he produced more action in Sunday’s final round when he notched five birdies and two bogeys in a roller-coaster opening eight holes.

“I started well with successive birdies and then three-putted the third,’’ he said. “I held it together really nicely although I didn’t make many putts coming home.’’

McLeod described his opening round 74 on Thursday as “scrappy” but was delighted with subsequent rounds of 72-67-68.

“It was a good finish and I couldn’t be happier,’’ he said.

McLeod, who won the 2012 Queensland Amateur Championship, is a member of the QAS squad and the state men’s team.

“I still have a couple of amateur events to play in a month or so before I prepare for qualifying schools on the Australasian and Asian Tours,’’ he said.

McLeod was easily the best of the four amateurs to make the cut finishing 6 shots in front of fellow Queenslander Blake Proverbs, 13 shots in front of Zach Murray (Victoria) and 18 strokes ahead of Travis Smyth (NSW).

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Isuzu back Queensland Open golf championship for another three years
Isuzu Trucks has committed to another three years as major sponsor of the Queensland Open Golf Championship.
Mr Mike Yoda, managing director of Isuzu Australia, confirmed the company’s on-going support during Sunday’s final round of the Open at Brookwater.
“We are proud to announce our continued support of the Queensland Open, said Mr Yoda.
He was supported by Isuzu’s Brisbane Dealer Principal, Alan Newcombe, who was a driving force behind the company’s role in resurrecting the 90-year old tournament at Brookwater three years ago.
The 2016 Queensland Open will be contested at Brisbane Golf Club which hosted the initial Open in 1925.
“We are delighted to be involved for another three years and want to acknowledge the tremendous job Brookwater has done over the past three years,’’ said Mr Newcombe.
Golf Queensland chairman Peter Castrisos said the commitment by Isuzu Trucks guaranteed the immediate future of the Open.
“Isuzu Trucks has been outstanding for the tournament and it is a real positive for golf in this state to have such a sponsor involved in the future,’’ said Mr Castrisos.
“And the effort by everyone at Brookwater in hosting the past three Queensland Opens has been excellent. On behalf of Golf Queensland we sincerely thank Brookwater.”
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Bransdon takes Isuzu Queensland Open title after dramatic final round at Brookwater
David Bransdon prevailed over fellow New South Wales professional Rohan Blizard after a three-hole play-off in a drama-charged final round of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.
After Blizard birdied the 71st hole to level at 12-under, the duo made regulation pars on the 18th and then returned to the tee to determine a sudden-death winner.
In the end it was 41-year old Bransdon who hoisted the T B Hunter Cup after making a curling four metre putt as they contested the 18th for the third time in the playoff.
“My putter wasn’t behaving early in my round but ultimately it was what won it for me,’’ said Bransdon.
“Rohan played great and threw everything at me. He didn’t give anything. I had to earn it.’’
Bransdon’s experience, consistency and shot-making made him a worthy champion, but there was justifiable sympathy for the gritty Blizard who carded his third successive 67 which included a self-imposed penalty stroke called on the par-four, 12th hole.
Blizard, 31, called the penalty when he believed his ball had oscillated minutely after he removed a nearby twig. He immediately summoned a rules official and added a shot to his score on the hole.
“Golf is an honest game. If you see a ball move you call it on yourself,’’ he said. “I’d hit a bad shot off the tee and was moving a stick behind my ball when it touched a leaf and the ball kind of oscillated.’’
Blizard, who ultimately chipped-in from 25m to par the hole, admirably refused to blame the penalty for his defeat.
His 67 included consecutive eagles on the par-five 8th hole and par-four ninth to grab the outright lead at the midway stage of the round.
“Rohan really produced some fireworks before the turn with those eagles but I figured I’d just do what I needed and hit it in the fairways and on to the greens,’’ said Bransdon. “If he kept making birdies and eagles he’d win, but I wasn’t going to change from the way I’d played the golf course all week. Get aggressive at Brookwater and it will jump up and bite you.’’
Bransdon carded a closing 69 to finish tied at 12-under with Blizard (67) with a four-shot break to third-placed Kiwi Mark Brown who shot 69. The consistency of Bransdon’s game was illustrated in the 21 holes he played on Sunday (including the playoff) which comprised 17 pars and four birdies.
“The old adage in golf says patience will be rewarded,’’ he said. “Patience is normally not my forte but I hung in today and eventually the putts started to drop.’’
Bransdon revealed he first attempted to pre-qualify for the Queensland Open when he was 14-year old kid from Wauchope in country New South Wales.
“Our club pro came up for the event and suggested I come as well to get some experienced,’’ recalled Bransdon. “Hard to believe it was 27 years ago.’’
Bransdon, who now lives in Sale, Victoria, with his wife and three children, said the Open victory will be a confidence boost when he tackles the European PGA Tour q-school later this year.
Queenslander Jake McLeod was leading amateur after a fine 68 gave him a share of fourth place at 7-under with Adam Blyth (Qld) and Aaron Townsend (NSW).
McLeod’s next major amateur event will be the Keperra Bowl but he said he intended to turn professional later this year.
“I’m very happy with the way I played, especially after a bit of a shaky opening round,’’ he said.
McLeod had a roller-coaster opening nine holes which included five birdies and two bogeys.
Ed Stedman (NSW) was outright sixth after a 69 to be six-under, a stroke ahead of Quenslander michael Wright (68) and Michael Sim (73).
Mathew Millar holed-out for a spectacular eagle in the par-four 18th to finish with a 67 to be four-under for the tournament.
Millar’s hybrid approach from 180m went beyond the pin but trickled back into the hole.
“It was a pretty good way to finish,’’ he said. “But the 77 on Saturday killed my chances. This is the most difficult course we play on the Australasian Tour.’’


12-under: D Bransdon (NSW, won on 3rd playoff hole), R Blizard (NSW)
8-under: M Brown (NZ)
7-under: A Blyth (Qld), J McLeod (am Qld), A Townsend (NSW)
6-under: E Stedman (NSW)
5-under: M Sim (WA), M Wright (Qld)

Catch the highlights from the Final Round


Bruce Young reviews the weekend golf action from across the globe with Peter Psaltis & John McCoy on RadioTAB

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QLD Open: Round 3 Summary

Victorian David Bransdon leads by two shots heading into the final round of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater Golf and Country Club.

On the challenging Greg Norman designed layout, where low numbers are not easily given up, Bransdon's two shot buffer from Rohan Blizard, who has fired back-to-back 5-under the card rounds to be outright second, maybe too much to overcome.

Sitting a further shot back from Blizard is four time Web.com Tour winner Michael Sim who is looking to win his first title on home soil and Michael Choi who is looking to notch up his first Tour victory.

Rounding out the top-5 on the leaderboard is New Zealander Mark Brown who is 5-under the card.

The final round of the Isuzu Queensland Open will tee off at 9.10am with the leader on course at 10.30am.


David Bransdon: 68, 71, 67

"Basically no different to the other two days but I kept the short missed putts off the card today and the big numbers so that was the only difference really, I putted much better today."

"I had to wait for the guys I was staying with yesterday for about 40-45 minutes and that's all I did, inside 10 feet was just, because that's the putts that I am struggling with at the moment, so I just practiced those until the boys came in. I was rolling a few on the greens and it continued today."

"That's two less that I have to have tomorrow so that's always a bonus, and especially around here because it's a tough course, it's not a 62, 63 golf course so if I can go out there and keep it in the fairway, keep it on the green, hole a few putts, you never know at the end of the day."

Rohan Blizard: 75, 67, 67

"After the first round I had 3-over so I wasn't really expecting to be in this position after the first round so really happy with the last two days having 5-under the last two days and it would be good to be in the mix again on Sunday, it's been a while so I am looking forward to it."

"I have never played that well here before but I have always thought that I could do well here. So I think it's just taken a couple of years to get used to the course."

Michael Choi: 70, 71, 69

"If I was in the lead it might be a bit different but I'm a couple a shots back so I'm not to fussed at the moment. Just try and start off steady and give it a god on the back-9 if I am in touch. But I am not too nervous at the moment."

Michael Sim: 69, 71, 70

"It felt a little bit different this morning, obviously playing front of a crowd, it's nice to play these events and get in contention and that gets you ready for the end of the year. So I am sure there will be a crowd tomorrow, I think I might be in the second last group, I'm not quite sure, but it's just nice to be in the hunt, and put under par rounds together out there."

Mark Brown: 74, 67, 70

"It's been good, I am probably close to three months without playing so I expected a bit of rust this week and it's actually been a bit better than I thought it would be. It's been pretty steady most of the week."

For more quotes from the players please visit the PGA Media Centre

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Victorian Bransdon shoots 67 to take a two-stroke lead into final round
Victorian David Bransdon will take a two-shot lead and a stress-free attitude into Sunday’s final round of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.
“Stress-free golf at Brookwater is good because this course is relentless. It can tear you apart,’’ said Bransdon. “I feel comfortable leading the tournament and, more importantly, comfortable with where my game is at the moment.’’
Bransdon’s third round 67 took him to the front on a day when seven players either led or shared the lead at some stage. He is at nine-under, two strokes ahead of New South Welshman Rohan Blizard who also shot a five-under 67.
A further shot adrift are Victorian Michael Choi, who carded 69, and Perth’s Michael Sim (70).
The feature of Bransdon’s play has been his ball-striking which he showcased on the par-5, 17th hole, with a booming 300m drive followed by an exquisite 6-iron to within five metres. He missed the eagle putt, but tapped-in for birdie.
“My putting has been the pain-in-the-butt of my 20-years as a professional, but it is getting better,’’ laughed Bransdon. “I putted much better today than I did on the previous two days...”
The 41-year old is a prolific pro-am winner but has also been a consistent tournament performer. He had top-20 finishes at last year’s Australian Open and PGA Championships and his wins include the West Australian PGA Championship and the 2013 Heritage Classic in Melbourne.
“I’ve three young kids back home in Sale and they love it when I bring a trophy home,’’ he said.
Known as somewhat of a firebrand in his younger days, Bransdon said he had mellowed and learned to accept bad breaks on the golf course.
Blizard’s effort to shoot a second straight 67 was outstanding. He notched six birdies today with the only blemish on his card a bogey on the par-4, 10th hole.
Sim and Choi played consistently to be within three shots of the lead while experienced Kiwi Mark Brown is one stroke back after a third round 70.
Victorian Rory Bourke, who had been on top of the leaderboard for the opening two rounds, is within striking distance at four-under with Queenslander Ray Beaufils and Aaron Townsend (NSW).
Bourke’s 73 included a superbly struck 8-iron to within half a metre of the flag on the 167m, par-3, fifth hole which carried a $50,000 hole-in-one prize.
Matthew Millar, who started the day one shot off the lead, faded with a 77 while Gavin Flint also dropped off the pace with a 75.
Leading amateur is Queenslander Jake McLeod who equalled the best round of the day with a 67 to be at three-under after 54 holes.
McLeod, 21, showed plenty of character to bounce back from a double-bogey on his second hole to birdie four of the next six holes.
“I just kept in play off the tee and rolled in a lot of putts,’’ he said.
“I rolled in a few 15 to 20 footers and also holed out for a bunker on the 12th.’’
McLeod won the 2012 Queensland Amateur Championship and was runner-up in the event the following year.


9-under: D Bransdon (VIC)
7-under: R Blizard (NSW)
6-under: M Choi (Vic), M Sim (WA)
5-under: M Brown (NZ)
4-under: R Beaufils (Qld), A Townsend (NSW), R Bourke (Vic).

Catch today's highlights - click here
See what Jake McLeod and David Bransdon had to say after their round - click here
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Amateur Jake McLeod shoots sizzling 67

Queensland amateur Jake McLeod fired a five-under 67 to rocket up the leaderboard during the third round of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.McLeod’s outstanding round included seven birdies and a double-bogey which came on his second hole (the 11th on the card).

But the 21-year old was unfazed, holing out from a bunker for birdie on the 12th to quickly get his round back on track.

“I just kept it in play from the tee all day and rolled in a lot of putts,’’ he said. “There were a few 15 to 20-footers and I also holed out from the bunker on 12.’’

McLeod, who won the 2012 Queensland Amateur Championship and was runner-up the following year, will start Sunday’s final round at three-under after rounds of 74-72-67.

He was also a member of the Queensland state team which won the national interstate series in 2012.

“Cameron Smith was in that team and everyone knows what a great player he has proven to be. He gave me something to aspire to,’’ said McLeod.

McLeod came from Townsville to attend the golf academy at Hills International College in 2009 and graduated in 2011.

“I work part-time at Victoria Park Golf Club and practice and train with the QAS and state golf squads,’’ he said.

“We practice and play a lot at Brookwater and I played the Queensland Open for the previous two years. I came in with the expectation of making the cut this week but if I can produce another round like today who knows what might happen.’’

Catch Jake's interview after today's round - click here

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QLD Open: Round 2 Summary

Steady scores were the order of the day in the second round of the Isuzu Queensland Open being played at Brookwater Golf and Country Club.

Victorian Rory Bourke who held a share of the overnight lead fired 1-under 71 to find himself clear at the top of the leaderboard on 5-under the card.

Sitting just one shot behind him having also shot round of 71 are experienced winners David Bransdon, Michael Sim and Matthew Millar.

A group of seven players including New Zealander Mark Brown who fired 5-under 67, the equal best round of the day, round out the top-10 on the leaderboard. They are all tied 5
th on 3-under the card.

The second round cut was made at 5-over the card with 50 Professionals and four amateurs making the weekend rounds.

The third round will tee off at 9.10am with the leaders on course 10.30am. 

Key Quotes:

Rory Bourke: 68, 71

"It was very scrappy, I started really well, then the wind got up and I just couldn't hit, many good shots and I was just getting it on the green and taking my pars in the end which was tough enough out there.  At the moment it (a win) would mean everything. It would make things a lot easier for the next 12 months."

David Bransdon: 69, 71

"It was a bit different. I knew what I shot I, knew I had 1-under, I knew I had two doubles,  I didn't realise how many bogeys I had and I didn't realize till I signed my card that I had seven birdies as well. So it was a very mixed bag. It is such a tough golf course, it doesn't give you a lot, well I made seven birdies, but normally it is very easy to make a mistake  and that's what you've got to try and keep off and hopefully I can do better job of it over the weekend."

Matt Millar: 69, 71

"I guess the conditions were pretty good, we were hoping the rain would hold off and it has.  A few tight pins today, might have been a bit harder that yesterday. It seemed like they were, so it was a little bit tricky to get near some of them but yeah I played nicely I guess, in general. The only thing that bothered me was the course, with my game not being as long as a lot of the other guys, it can be a little more demanding."

For more quotes from the players please visit the
 PGA Media Centre

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Amateurs gobble up pro lessons
There were 13 Queensland amateurs among the 16 who pegged it up in the Isuzu Queensland Open.

Two of the four who made the cut to play this weekend proudly wear the maroon of Golf Queensland and the Queensland Academy of Sport, the golfing department of which is based on site at Brookwater.

But when the group next comes together, there will be hundreds of stories.

Because while Victorian Zach Murray and New South Welshman Travis Smyth will join Queensland state team players Blake Proverbs and Jake McLeod in weekend action, the experience for all 13 has already been invaluable.

Promising Anthony Quayle, already the winner of this year’s Pacific Northwest Amateur in Oregon, fell on the wrong side of the +5 cut, missing by two strokes.

But he said the lessons he took from playing in his state Open championship have been invaluable as he eyes a future pro career.

“For all 13 of us, it’s a good chance to try to learn from the tour pros we’re playing with and see how we stack up against them,” Quayle said after his round of 73 today.

“Regardless of how we’ve played, if we can take a few lessons from it and move forward, it’s definitely a good event for us.”

And highlighting the camaraderie among amateurs of his generation, and particularly at the QAS, Quayle said there would “absolutely be pooling” of information in next week’s debrief.

“I’m sure we’ll all talk about a few shots we shouldn’t have hit and whether we had a putt to make the cut,” he said.

“I’m sure there’s a couple of us still here with the capability to be in contention on Sunday.

“So yeah, it will be great to get back to QAS next week and share our stories and information – it helps us get better.”

Quayle said his colleagues, inspired by the major championship winning heroics of fellow Queenslanders Jason Day and Adam Scott, had a pathway that was world class.

“What Golf Australia and GQ through the Queensland Academy of Sport are doing is generating a lot of good, strong players.

“What Jason is doing, what Adam was doing 18 months or so ago, it’s definitely inspiring this generation that’s coming through now.

“I think it’s a credit to the two organisations who are working with the juniors and amateurs – they’re starting young and Australian golf will see the benefits in years to come.“Everything goes hand in hand with what Jason is doing, the two programs are doing and obviously the work the amateurs are putting into the game now to make sure we get there as well.”

Queensland amateurs through two rounds (cut +5):

+2 Jake McLeod
+4 Blake Proverbs
+6 Jarrod Stirling
+7 Anthony Quayle
+8 Jack Sullivan, Shae Wools-Cobb
+9 Cory Crawford, James Macklin
+10 Simon Viitakangas, Charlie Dann
+12 Chris Crabtree, Sam Daley
+20 Mitchell Smith
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Rory Bourke’s caddie experience a boost as he leads

Watching the world’s best players at close quarters convinced Victorian Rory Bourke he could refine his game to become a competitive tournament professional.

Bourke, who quit golf for a period to caddie for players paired with the likes of Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Graeme McDowall and Ian Poulter, leads the Isuzu Queensland Open after 36 holes at Brookwater.

The 27-year old followed his opening 68 with a solid second round 71 to be at five-under after 36 holes, a stroke ahead of David Bransdon, Michael Sim and Matthew Millar who all carded 71s.

On a packed leaderboard, 11 players are within two shots of the lead. Experienced Kiwi Mark Brown, who played himself into the mix with a 67 in difficult afternoon conditions, is one of seven players at three-under for the tournament.

Bourke endured a rough start after turning pro in 2012 and decided to shelve his clubs and caddie for Korean-born Jin Jeong, a mate from their amateur days in Melbourne. Jin Jeong struck early paydirt as a pro when he won the 2013 Perth International with Bourke on the bag.

“I went to Europe caddying for Jin and was fortunate to have been involved in groups that included some of the world’s best players,’’ said Bourke.

“I also talked a lot with Martin Kaymer and took a lot from the whole experience. It showed me what you need to do to be successful. “Those players don’t make mistakes like a lot of amateurs or younger pros. They tighten up a few things and it goes from there.’’

Bourke returned from Europe resigned to reigniting his professional career and was successful at last year’s Australasian PGA Tour qualifying school.

“I’ve played at tournaments like the Queensland Open for a couple of years and a win this week for be massive for me. It would get me a start in a few big Australian events later in the year and provide a bit of money for me to have a go at some q-schools overseas.’’

Bourke had a strong amateur career in Victorian, representing the state for five years, and also contested the US and British amateur championships and finished runner-up at the Scottish amateur.

“I had a decent amateur career,’’ he said. “That’s where I met and became good mates with Jin ...”

New Zealander Brown’s 67 was the best of the day and was equalled by Rohan Blizard and Scott Laycock who are at two-under and one-over respectively.

“It’s a tough track and it was tricky this afternoon,’’ said Brown. “Fairways are tight and the greens small ... it is a very strong test.

“Shooting five-under certainly moves me up the board.’’

Brown has performed well internationally and won the 2008 Johnny Walker Classic in India. Next week he will play the Russian Open on the European Tour.

Overnight joint leader Daniel Valente got to five-under with two holes to play but a double-bogey on his penultimate hole resulted in a 73.

New South Welshman Aaron Townsend played well for a 69 after dropping a shot on his final hole to be two strokes adrift of Bourke.

“Every hole is a bogey-in-waiting here so you have to be careful,’’ said Townsend.

“I’m not overly long but I hit it pretty straight and putted nicely. But I’d like to get my iron play a bit sharper.”

Queenslander Gavin Flint, who shared the first round lead, carded a 73 to be two shots off the pace.

The cut was indicative of the testing Brookwater layout at five-over par with a number of prominent players failing to qualify for the weekend. Casualties included tournament favourite Brad Kennedy, Matt Griffin, Steven Leaney and Jake Higginbottom.

LEADERBOARD (36 holes)

5-under: R Bourke (Vic)
4-under: D Bransdon (Vic), M Sim (WA), M Millar (ACT)
3-under: E Stedman (NSW), A Townsend (NSW), R Beaufils (Qld), M Brown (NZ), M Choi (Vic), D Valente (Vic), Gavin Flint (Qld)
2-under: S Jeffress (NSW), R Blizard (WA), M Guyatt (Qld), M Wright (Qld)

Catch up with all the Round 2 vision - click here
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Rory Bourke’s experience as a caddie invaluable as he leads second round

Watching the world’s best players at close quarters convinced Victorian Rory Bourke he could refine his game to become a competitive tournament professional.

Bourke, who has caddied for players paired with the likes of Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Graeme McDowall and Ian Poulter, shot a 71 today for a one-stroke lead in the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.

After a rough start as a professional golfer in 2012, Bourke decided to shelve his clubs and caddie for Korean-born Jin Jeong, a mate from their amateur days in Melbourne. Jin Jeong struck early paydirt as a pro when he won the 2013 Perth International with Bourke on the bag.

“I went to Europe caddying for Jin and was fortunate to have been involved in groups that included some of the world’s best players,’’ said Bourke.

“I also talked a lot with Martin Kaymer and took a lot from the whole experience.

“It showed me what you need to do to be successful. Those players don’t make mistakes like a lot of amateurs or younger pros.

“They tighten up a few things and it goes from there.’’

Bourke, 27, returned from Europe resigned to reigniting his professional career and was successful at last year’s Australasian PGA Tour qualifying school.

“I’ve played at tournaments like the Queensland Open for a couple of years and a win this week for be massive for me. It would get me a start in a few big Australian events later in the year and provide a bit of money for me to have a go at some q-schools overseas.’’

Bourke had a strong amateur career in Victorian, representing the state for five years and contesting the US and British amateur championships before turning pro.

“I had a decent amateur career,’’ he said. “That’s where I met and became good mates with Jin ...”

Bourke’s solid today 71 followed his opening 68 when he finished with eagle on the 17th a birdie on the final hole.

“I got off to a flyer but struggled a bit in the middle of the round. I kept my head up and finished okay.’’

After the morning rounds at Brookwater he holds a one shot lead over David Bransdon (71 today), Michael Sim (71) and Matthew Millar (71).

A further shot drift at three–under after 36 holes are Ed Stedman who carded a second round 71 and Aaron Townsend (69).

“Every hole is a bogey-in-waiting here so you have to be careful,’’ said Townsend.

“I’m not overly long but I hit it pretty straight and putted nicely. But I’d like to get my iron play a bit sharper.”

Low rounds of the morning came from Scott Laycock and Rohan Blizard who had five-under 67s, vast improvements on their opening 78 and 75 respectively.
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Volunteers make the tournaments go around
They are dotted around the course wearing red shirts and white caps, enjoying the golf and exuding enthusiasm.
Hardly a golf tournament in the world can operate without volunteers and the Isuzu Queensland Open is no exception.
About 25 volunteers are working at the 2015 Open and Golf Queensland manager Matt Field says they are stretched to cover a myriad of tasks on and off the course.
“Without the help of the volunteers the event would simply not function efficiently,’’ said Field. “They all have a love of golf, but are not necessarily good golfers or even regular golfers.
“We have a lady who worked at last year’s Open after just starting the game at St Lucia. She enjoyed the experience so much she is back again this year.’’
Field said the majority of volunteers were golf club members from nearby areas such as Oxley, Ipswich and host club Brookwater.
“But we have people from further afield such as Redland Bay,’’ he said.
“They all enjoying watching the players and also to see how a tournament functions. We receive some very positive feedback on their experience.’’
Aside from the satisfaction of being involved, volunteers receive a free Isuzu Queensland Open shirt, cap and voucher for a free game at Brookwater. They also receive an invitation to Golf Queensland’s annual Volunteer Day.
Duties for the volunteers are varied, ranging through scoring, spotting, providing information, player transport, car parking, on-course drinks, tending leaderboards and more.
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QLD Open: Round 1 Summary

Daniel Valente, Gavin Flint and Rory Bourke are tied for the lead on 4-under 68 following the first round of the Isuzu Queensland Open being played at Brookwater Golf and Country Club.

Victorian Daniel Valente has never played the Greg Norman designed Brookwater layout while Gavin Flint was a member of the Queensland State Team as an amateur and completed his training on the challenging layout.

Victorian Rory Bourke finished with an eagle and a birdie to join the lead as darkness threatened to halt his round.

Michael Wright fired 3-under 69 in the morning field on his home course and was joined later in the day at tied 4th on the leaderboard by David Bransdon, Michael Sim and Matthew Millar.

Rounding out the top-10 on 2-under 70 are Marcus Cain, Ed Stedman, Michael Choi and Taylor Macdonald who made his Professional debut today.

Key Quotes: 

Daniel Valente - 4-under 68

"I thought it was a really tough golf course the first time playing. I had heard that it's extremely tough. Obviously all the boys had said that its very penal. I got off to a hot start playing the back-9 and just kept it kind of going. You just have to be really on your game, it's there if you can play really well but if you are a little bit off, a hole can bite you very, very easily," said Daniel Valente.

Gavin Flint - 4-under 68

"I have played here a lot; I came through the Queensland Teams and Queensland Academy of Sport so I have probably had 100 plus rounds out here. I definitely have a good idea of how I like to play the course; it's pretty tricky so my game plan was pretty good today. You have to be aggressive off the tee without hitting too many drivers, because the second shots on this golf course can be really difficult. Today I put it into pretty good positions off the tee and then I was able to capitalise," said Gavin Flint.

Rory Bourke - 4-under 68

"I came home really hard the last few holes with a birdie and an eagle so it was great. I was playing terrible the last few weeks. I had a win and then haven't touched the clubs for a bit and so it's been getting back into it and it had completely dropped off. I was getting a bit worried actually but yesterday it was quite good and I thought that's fine I'll breed off that and today was exceptional so that's great," said Rory Bourke.

Michael Wright - 3-under 69

"I have played terrible the last few years. I just put so much pressure on myself the last couple of years. With everyone saying "oh it's your home course you're the red hot favourite," but this year I've actually slipped under the radar, it's been great. No one has really said too much so I just didn't really have any expectations and went out and played my golf. It's good to start off on a good note and I look forward to the rest of the week," said Michael Wright.

Michael Sim - 3-under 69

"That's actually my lowest round, around here so I haven't really broken par too much so I'm off to a good start this week so see how the next few days go. Hopefully the wind dies down in the morning tomorrow and we get some nice greens and keep going on top of 3-under. I'm playing better and I am enjoying my golf and I have been working hard so it's nice to get off to a good start. It will be nice to play the next three rounds and see what happens," said Sim.

Taylor Macdonald - 2-under 70

"The first tee shot, I have hit that tee shot many a time, it was just five times harder today, I'm not sure why. The nerves were there for about three of four holes and then after that I was good to go," said Taylor Macdonald.

For more quotes from the players please visit the PGA Media Centre.

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Trio lead Queensland Open
Daniel Valente, Gavin Flint and Rory Bourke are tied for the lead on 4-under 68 following the first round of the Isuzu Queensland Open being played at Brookwater Golf and Country Club.

Victorian Daniel Valente has never played the Greg Norman designed Brookwater layout while Gavin Flint was a member of the Queensland State Team as an amateur and completed his training on the challenging layout.

Victorian Rory Bourke finished with an eagle and a birdie to join the lead as darkness threatened to halt his round.

Michael Wright fired 3-under 69 in the morning field on his home course and was joined later in the day at tied 4th on the leaderboard by David Bransdon, Michael Sim and Matthew Millar.

Rounding out the top-10 on 2-under 70 are Marcus Cain, Ed Stedman, Michael Choi and Taylor Macdonald who made his Professional debut today.

For all round 1 scores please visit pga.org.au.

For all round 2 tee times please visit pga.org.au.
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Victorian rookie storms home to share lead
Rookie pro Rory Bourke stormed home with an eagle-birdie finish to share the first round lead of the Isuzu Queensland Open with Queenslander Gavin Flint and fellow Victorian Daniel Valente on four-under 68 at Brookwater.
Bourke’s stunning finish came in fading light as calm descended on Brookwater after difficult breezes had made afternoon play difficult.
His only previous wins as a professional have been in pro-ams at Yeppoon, three weeks ago, and in West Australia in June.
Flint and Valente had the best of the early conditions to share the one stroke lead over Queenslander Michael Wright, Michael Sim (WA), David Bransdon (Vic) and Matthew Miller (ACT).
The difficulty of Brookwater’s testing layout was evidenced when only 16 of 120 players broke par in the first round.
Flint, who turned professional in 2004 after a stellar amateur career, played consistently with six birdies and two bogeys.
The 34-year has something in common with US PGA champion Jason Day in that he suffers bouts of vertigo on the golf course.
“I’ve had vertigo on and off for the past three years but it stayed away today,’’ he said. “Hopefully that doesn’t change for the rest of the week.’’
Flint’s consistency was the keynote. He turned in 33 after starting on the 10th hole and held his game together on his homeward nine in perfect early conditions.
“I’m very happy. After getting away to a good start I held it together pretty well for the rest of the round,’’ he said.
Flint has campaigned in China for the past two years after losing his card on the Asian Tour.
As an amateur he was a Queensland state teammate of Steven Bowditch and Andrew Buckle. At one stage Flint concurrently held the Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand amateur titles.
Valente, 30, who was playing his first tournament in five months after a fractured rib, made a sensational start off the 10th with four successive birdies. He notched another on the 17th to play his opening nine holes in 31.
He dropped shots on the second and fourth holes but made birdie on the ninth (his last) for a 68.
“It was a real hot start and I should have actually birdied the fifth as well,’’ he said. “I’m fresh after a long break and it was good to come back that well.
“The injury set me back. But it has given me an opportunity to work on my game and get ready for European Tour school later in the year.”
Sims, Bransdon and Miller had to battle tricky winds during their afternoon rounds of 69.

“The wind was all over the place. One numerous holes you would be standing on the tee and the wind would change direction,’’ said Sim. “I chipped and putted well which helped.’’

Sim rolled in five metre putts on the eighth and ninth holes and then from 15m from the fringe of the green on the 11th for birdie.

Bransdon agreed the breeze which heightened after the benign morning conditions was a significant challenge.

“It was flukey and changed direction,’’ said

Bransdon. “But I enjoy the course. It’s up my alley because I’m a better ball striker than I am putter.’’

On 70 are Queenslander Taylor MacDonald, who played impressively in his debut round as a professional, Marcus Cain (Qld), Ed Stedman (NSW), and Michael Choi (Vic).

 Leading amateur is Victorian Zach Murray who is in a group of players on 71 including Matthew Guyatt who strung together five straight birdies despite the discomfort of back pain. Guyatt left the course immediately to seek treatment in an endeavour to be fit for the second round.


68 G Flint (Qld), D Valente (Vic), Rory Bourke (Vic)
69 M Wright (Qld), M Sim (WA), D Bransdon (Vic), M Miller (ACT)
70 M Cain (Qld), T MacDonald (Qld), M Choi (Vic), E Stedman (NSW)
71 R Beaufils (Qld), T Wood (Vic), M Guyatt (Qld), M McArdle (SA), Z Murray am (Vic)
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Valente joins the top
It’s safe to say Victorian Daniel Valente has taken a circuitous path to the top of the Isuzu Queensland Open leaderboard.
Valente, 30, peeled off a four-under-par 68 today to share the first-round lead with fellow Victoria Rory Bourke and Queenslander Gavin Flint.
But while his game was smooth, it has been anything but for the late-blooming Melburnian to arrive at this point.
Valente, who grew up playing at Werribee Park before moving to nearby Sanctuary Lakes, realised his game “wasn’t up to pro standard” when touring with fellow Victorian David McKendrick playing mini tours in the United States a few years back.
But when his game clicked with his good mate’s coach, American Geoff Jones, the pieces started to come together.
With a revised swing and outlook, Valente charged to prominence late last year after “Monday qualifying” to a string of events, then using good results to keep playing despite not having any official status at the time.
But four top-eight finishes in three months – and a bold showing at the Australian Masters -- to end last year’s Australian PGA Tour season gave him great hope he’d turned the corner.
But that all came to a grinding halt late last summer when he, without any contact and only swinging in practice, broke a rib.
“So I had gathered a bit of momentum, finally and then I haven’t played a tournament since,” said Valente, who made four birdies in his opening five holes, including a near ace on the 14th.
“It was really frustrating because I just started to feel like I was getting somewhere and then I had to stop.
“But I’ve just been to see Geoff again and I’m feeling pretty good about things again.”
It’s a name well worth watching this summer as Valente clearly has the game to feel comfortable on the Australian tour – and is only now getting the chance to show it.
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Taylor Macdonald all class in Pro debut

Debutant professional Taylor Macdonald was all poise and patience during an impressive opening 70 at the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.Followed by an enthusiastic gallery mostly from the Redcliffe and Pine Rivers Golf Clubs where he learnt his golf, Macdonald played a disciplined round in which he used his driver on only three tees.

 Impressively, he showed admirable composure to recover from an opening double-bogey six on his opening hole (the 10th).

 “I was actually very nervous but came back with a birdie on the next hole and was right from there,’’ he said.

 Macdonald was behind the green for three on the 347m, par four, but his chip skidded across the green and rolled back down the fairway.

 “I then hit a great pitch to about five feet and made the putt. I said to my caddie that I’d hit four good shots on the hole and still walked off with double-bogey,’’ said Macdonald.

 “You have to know when to be conservative around here. If you hit it off the fairway you’re going to have a wild day and it’s not going to be very nice in your head.

 “Keep the ball in play and on the greens and you are going to have a relatively good score. You can be patient or aggressive ... it can go both ways. It is about making judgements.’’

 The strongly-built Macdonald, 23, said he hit driver on only the second, eighth and 17 holes.

 “I’m lucky to have played a lot of golf at Brookwater and pretty much know how it plays.’’

 Other amateur opening rounds included 71 Zach Murray (Victoria), 73, 75 Travis Smyth (NSW), 75 Cory Crawford (Qld) and 78 Anthony Quayle and James Macklin (both Qld).

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Flint and Valente shoot 68s for early lead

Queenslander Gavin Flint and Victorian Daniel Valente shared the early lead in the $110,000 Isuzu Queensland Open today after shooting four-under 68s on the testing Brookwater layout near Ipswich.

Flint (pictured), who turned professional in 2004 after a stellar amateur career, played consistently with six birdies and two bogeys.

The 34-year has something in common with US PGA champion Jason Day in that he suffers bouts of vertigo on the golf course.

“I’ve had vertigo on and off for the past three years but it stayed away today,’’ he said. “Hopefully that doesn’t change for the rest of the week.’’

Flint’s consistency was the keynote. He turned in 33 after starting on the 10th hole and held his game together on his homeward nine in perfect early conditions.

“I’m very happy. After getting away to a good start I held it together pretty well for the rest of the round,’’ he said.

Flint has campaigned in China for the past two years after losing his card on the Asian Tour.

As an amateur he was a Queensland state teammate of Steven Bowditch and Andrew Buckle. At one stage Flint concurrently held the Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand amateur titles.

Valente, 30, who was playing his first tournament in five months after a fractured rib, made a sensational start off the 10th with four successive birdies. He notched another on the 17th to play his opening nine holes in 31.

He dropped shots on the second and fourth holes but made birdie on the ninth (his last) for a 68.

“It was a real hot start and I should have actually birdied the fifth as well,’’ he said. “I’m fresh after a long break and it was good to come back that well.

“The injury set me back. But it has given me an opportunity to work on my game and get ready for European Tour school later in the year.

Flint and Valente have a one stroke lead over Queenslander Michael Wright who knows the arduous Brookwater layout like the back of his hand.

A further shot back on 70 are Victorian Michael Choi and Queenslanders Marcus Cain and Taylor MacDonald who is making his professional debut.

Matt Guyatt, who finished his round in pain after battling a back injury, had a string of five successive birdies in his 71.

Leading amateur after completion of the morning rounds was Victorian Zac Murray who also shot 71.

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Guyatt opens with a rollercoaster round

Matt Guyatt signed for a 71 at Brookwater today – but it was far from plain sailing.

The affable Brisbane pro said he “felt something pop” in his lower back early in what became a rollercoaster opening round.

Guyatt, 40, was doing all he could to stretch out after and between shots, but feared that he might have to pull out midway through his first nine holes, on the back nine.

But true to his hard-working nature, Guyatt knuckled down and tried to get back to the clubhouse with his scorecard intact.

Bogeys on the 14th, 15th and the 18th tested his patience and dropped him to two over, but the 2011 NSW PGA champion soon had spectacular rewards for his fight.

Using a short putter in competition for the first time in almost 15 years, Guyatt calmly rolled in five consecutive birdie putts to storm through the pack.

Only two late bogeys prevented a score that would have better represented his efforts, but Guyatt was happy enough to “escape” with his 71.

“I need to go and work this out … maybe see my chiro and see what happens,” Guyatt said.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll be right to go tomorrow, but yeah, that wasn’t fun for a while.”
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Felton withdraws in agony

Perth prodigy Jarryd Felton has withdrawn from the Isuzu Queensland Open with a debilitating back injury.

An emotional Felton, 20, will fly home to Western Australia tomorrow with his immediate playing future in doubt, fearing a fourth serious flare-up of injuries in his hips and lower back.

The Golf Australia national squad member blames a 46-hour trip from Chicago to Perth via Los Angeles and Brisbane after the recent Western Amateur in the United States as the cause of his problem.

A short rest in Perth before flying to Brookwater seemed to help, but Felton, who had been considering turning professional this summer, said he knew after six practice holes on Monday that he was “in trouble”.

“I’ve had a history of these type of things and it’s something I can’t push when it happens,” said Felton, who was restricted to walking the course on Tuesday before deciding to withdraw today without swinging a club.

“It’s really painful, but the worst thing is knowing what I’ve gone through before and hoping it’s not a recurrence of that.

“The best case is that it’s just a back injury, maybe a swollen disc … and that it will get better with rest and treatment.

“I don’t really want to think about the worst case … I’m just going to analyse it all for now with (Golf WA physio) Martin Mcinnes and we’ll take it from there.

“It’s not a case of thinking surgery or anything right now, it’s just time to see what’s wrong and make a plan from there.”

Felton, based at Gosnells Golf Club in suburban Perth, has been in exemplary form this year, remarkably going unbeaten as the No.1 seed for WA in the Interstate Series.

He also had two great results touring with an Australian team to South America, finishing runner-up at both the Southern Cross Invitational and in the Argentina Strokeplay Championship.

But he has a history of having lengthy breaks with injury having spent more than six months out after separate hip surgeries as a young teenager, then again missing several months after a bulging disc in his back two years ago.

“I’ve had these things before and Marty and all my team in WA have said to me that I just will have to work through these things throughout my career,” a stoic Felton said.

“They’ve basically said that I just have to work six times harder than the average player on my fitness and … keeping these things (at bay).

“Hopefully it’s just something minor this time. I’ll just go back to Perth tomorrow and … get to the bottom of it.

“It just means I’ll have to go even harder on these things when I come back. It’s not going to stop me.

“It’s just something we will figure out and hopefully … get it to the point where it doesn’t keep happening in the future.”

Story: Mark Hayes, Golf Australia
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Matt Griffin ready to fire at Isuzu Queensland Open

Victorian Matthew Griffin has emerged from a slow start to the year to hit top form on the eve of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.

Griffin, who tied for third at Brookwater in 2014, has had two strong finishes on the Japan PGA Tour since June.

“I wasn’t playing well until the end of May but have finished eighth and 13th in Japan since then and have found some form,’’ Griffin said, after yesterday’s pro-am.

“I enjoy Brookwater and hope to be in there with a chance to win on Sunday. It’s a tight layout and you have to work the ball around which suits my game.’’

Griffin, 32, will fly out to South Korea immediately after the Open to defend the Korean PGA title he won last year.

“And then it is back to Japan for the second half of the season,’’ he said.

A former top amateur, ranked No 3 in the world at one stage, Griffin turned pro in 2008 and was the No 1 player on the One Asian Tour in 2013. The following year he won the Victorian Open as well as the Korean PGA.

Griffin last year carded rounds of 73,70, 68 and 74 at Brookwater to finish four strokes adrift of eventual winner Andrew Dodt.

IMAGE: Matt Griffin took to the skies on Wednesday thanks to Pterodactyl Helicopters to view Ipswich from above.
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Tour Veteran Stephen Leaney looking for a solid start at Brookwater

Seasoned global golf campaigner Stephen Leaney believes a strong start in tomorrow’s opening round is vital to his chances in the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.

Leaney, runner-up to Jim Furyk at the 2003 US Open and a four-time winner on the European Tour, has been hampered by limited tournament play this year.

“This will only be my fourth event for 2015,’’ he said. “I expect to be rusty and the biggest challenge for me is to come out and feel comfortable on the golf course.

“The times I’ve played this year it has taken me eight or 10 holes to gain any sort of playing rhythm. If I can get off to a solid start over the opening nine holes I should be able to set myself off for the rest of the week.’’

Leaney’s vast experience and proven patience as a professional over two decades should be an advantage if he makes a positive start. His first significant victory was in Queensland in 1996 when he defeated American Corey Pavin in a play-off to take the ANZ Players Championship at Royal Queensland.

“Brookwater is a hard golf course because if you miss by a little bit it is magnified and you can have a lot of high scores. You don’t have to do a lot wrong to have high numbers out there.

“In another sense, it is good that you have to be patient ... something I’ve been good at my whole career.’’

Leaney predicts this week’s winning score will be similar to Andrew Dodt’s seven-under aggregate which won in 2014.

“Scoring is not going to be low. Single digits under par will probably win it.’’

Leaney is out early in tomorrow’s opening round. He tees off at 7.15am with Kiwi Mark Brown and Victorian Josh Younger.

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Brad Kennedy’s form in Japan looks good

Brad Kennedy, the top-ranked player at the 2015 Isuzu Queensland Open, has interrupted a successful season in Japan for a “hit and run” visit to Brookwater.

Kennedy is currently seventh on the Japan PGA Tour money-list with earnings of $A338,500. He has finished runner-up three times this season from nine tournament starts.

A two-time winner in Japan, Kennedy is currently the 11th highest world ranked Australian at number 164.

“I’m only home for a week and look forward to playing Brookwater under tournament conditions,’’ said Kennedy. “I’ve moved my wife and two daughters to live in Tokyo this year so don’t need to travel home as frequently as I’ve done in past years.

“It has been a real positive for my family and my golf. We’re very happy to be based in Japan.’’

Kennedy, who played today’s pro-am at Brookwater will partner fellow Queenslanders Matt Guyatt and amateur Cory Crawford in tomorrow’s opening round, admits he is “very underdone” going to the Open.

“My last event was six weeks ago and I’ve just been practising and training in a very hot Japanese summer before coming over here,’’ said Kennedy.

The 41-year-old won the 2013 Queensland PGA Championship at Toowoomba’s City Golf Club and had previously notched the 2011 New Zealand Open and 2010 West Australian Open.

“Japan is probably the easiest place I’ve played tournament golf,’’ he said. “I feel like it is a second home. The crowds are great, travel is easy and I enjoy the people and the culture.’’

Kennedy said his eldest daughter, aged nine, attended an international school where children from 13 different nationalities are in her class of 16 students.

IMAGE: The Isuzu Qld Open Wednesday Pro Am - LtoR: Mike Yoda, Albert Sofia, Brad Kennedy and Chris Musch

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Smith inspiring mates at Queensland Open
Cameron Smith is Australian golf’s rising star and at just 22 years of age he is already an inspiration to his mates.

Smith’s rise up the ranks of professional golf has been meteoric. He turned Professional at the Isuzu Queensland Open in 2013 and since then has finished tied 4th at the US Open, competed just last week at the PGA Championship and has sealed his PGA TOUR card for 2016.

This week at the Isuzu Queensland Open another young Aussie, Taylor Macdonald (pictured), is turning Professional.

Despite thinking he is old, at the tender age of 23; Macdonald lists his biggest motivator for a move into the play for pay ranks at his good mate Smith.

“I was getting old, I’m 23 and my mate Cam Smith is killing it so that was a bit of a heads up to turn Pro,” said Macdonald, who played alongside Smith in the Queensland State Team.

“Cam has worked really hard to get where he is and obviously it inspires a few of us to do exactly what he is doing.”

“To get there is different but we all need someone to follow and he is the one.”

Macdonald isn’t the only young gun on the PGA Tour of Australasia looking to follow in Cameron Smith footsteps.

Geoff Drakeford and Todd Sinnott who have been competing on the European Challenge Tour are also impressed by what their former amateur competitor has achieved so quickly.

Continue reading at pga.org.au.
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Queensland Open to relaunch summer of golf
The Aussie summer of golf gets back underway this week with the Isuzu Queensland Open.

The PGA Tour of Australasia has arrived at Brookwater Golf and Country Club for the Isuzu Queensland Open which celebrates its 90th anniversary this week.

The honour board for the tournament reads like a who’s who of Australian golf with Australia’s first PGA Champion Jim Ferrier having won the title in 1934, 1938 and 1939.

More recently Australia’s newest PGA Champion Jason Day finished the low amateur when he competed in the Queensland Open at Ipswich Golf Club.

Other significant players of note to have won the Queensland Open in its 90 year history include recent World Golf Hall of Fame inductee David Graham (1985, 1987), Greg Norman (1983, 1985, 1986), Ian Baker-Finch (1990) and more recently Steven Bowditch (2004).

This week some of the rising stars of Australian golf have assembled to try and add their name to the trophy.

The field features Geoff Drakeford and Todd Sinnott who has been competing on the European Challenge Tour and Taylor MacDonald who makes his Professional debut this week.

In recent years the Isuzu Queensland Open has kick started its Champion’s careers. Nick Cullen won the title in 2013 before going on to win the Australian Masters while last year’s winner Andrew Dodt went on to regain his European Tour card in 2015 and has already notched up a victory on the lucrative Tour.

This week will also see the return of some past champions with Ryan Haller (2007) and Terry Price (1993) both in the field for the 90th anniversary.

The Isuzu Queensland Open is the first of nine tournaments to be played around Australia and the South Pacific this year.

The PGA Tour of Australasia’s Triple Crown is sure to have Australian sports fans captivated as it’s played across back-to-back weeks.

It begins with the Australian Masters which returns to its spiritual home at Huntingdale Golf Club from 19-22 November.

The next week sees newly crowned World Number 1 Jordan Spieth seeking to defend his title at the Emirates Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club from 26-29 November.

Australia’s richest tournament, the Australian PGA Championship will then be contested at RACV Royal Pines Resort from 3-6 December.

The PGA Tour of Australasia is also delighted to welcome the European Tour to the Gold Coast as the two tours co-sanction the tournament which is worth AU$1.75million.

Another highlight of the 2015 season will be the second staging of the Fiji International which will see World Number 15 Matt Kuchar adding his star power to the field at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course from 15-18 October.

To see the full schedule of for the PGA Tour of Australasia please visit pga.org.au.
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Victorian Anthony Brown chasing another course record at Brookwater

Brookwater course record holder Anthony Brown is chasing a repeat performance of last year’s opening round when the $110,000 Isuzu Queensland Open starts on Thursday.

The 32-year old Victorian equalled Nick Cullen’s course record 65 to set the pace last year before finishing tied third, four shots behind winner Andrew Dodt.

“I feel comfortable at Brookwater but that doesn’t mean it is easy for me,’’ Brown said, after completing today’s pro-am. “It is a very strong golf course ... you have to hit the ball in the right position on the fairways and into the greens.

“There are some really diabolical greens if you get on the wrong side of them. The greens are relatively small. It is about hitting it to the right spot to give yourself makeable birdie putts.

“But I really like how the course sets up off the tee. There is a lot of shot-shaping required and I like to play my golf like that.’’

Brown’s last tournament was two months ago at the Thailand Open and he admitted he was “a bit scratchy’’ in today’s pro-am.

His form in half a dozen Australasian PGA events was solid earlier in the year prior to campaigning in the China Tour. Brown finished eighth at the New Zealand PGA and had top-15 finishes at the Queensland and Victoria PGAs and Victoria Open.

“The China Tour has suffered because of the state of their economy and we haven’t had as many events as expected. It’s a little frustrating and I’ve had more time at home than I would have liked this year.’’

Brown’s career highlight came in 2012 when runner-up to surprise winner Daniel Popovic at the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum. His ability to fire a low round was evident at Coolum when he shot a sizzling 64 during the tournament.
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Qld Open was the first tournament outing for partnership of Jason Day and caddie Col Swatton

US PGA champion Jason Day has revealed his unique bond with caddie Col Swatton started at the Queensland Open at Ipswich 11 years ago.

Although Swatton had been associated with Day at the Kooralbyn International School and then at Hills College at Jimboomba, it was not until the 2004 Queensland Open at Ipswich Golf Club that he actually caddied for the then 17-year-old.

Following his emotional triumph in the US PGA Championship, Day said he had fond memories of the first time Swatton had been on his bag.

“He’s come a long way because the first time he caddied for me at Ipswich Golf Club we had a pull cart. He was pulling a little trolley,’’ said Day.

“It was the Queensland Open and he didn’t make it up the 18th fairway. He was that buggered he couldn’t make it up.

“So now he can carry a 45 pound (20kgs) bag around the place ... he’s come a long way.’’

Wet weather shortened the Queensland open to 54 holes in 2004 when Steven Bowditch shot 18-under to record his first win as a professional. Day shot 10-under to finish one stroke behind leading amateur Adam Blyth who subsequently turned professional and will contest the 2015 Isuzu Queensland Open which starts Thursday at Brookwater.

Swatton has been much more than a caddie for Day. He is also coach, mentor and mate.

“Col has been there for me since I was 12 and a half years old,’’ said Day. “For him to be on the bag for me from Ipswich to a major championship means so much.’’

PHOTO: Jason Day pictured with Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale (centre)
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Sunshine Coast amateur shoots six-under to lead qualifiers for Isuzu Queensland Open

Peregian Springs amateur Charlie Dann shot a sizzling six-under 64 at Virginia Golf Club today to lead pre-qualifers for the Isuzu Queensland Open which starts at Brookwater on Thursday. 

A total of 227 players contested pre-qualifying rounds at Virginia and Keperra Golf and Country Club for the final 10 spots in the Open field.

Dann, 19, had a three stroke margin over professional Ian Esson with a further shot to Luke Whitbread, Jordan Mullaney and amateur Sam Daley.

Another teenage amateur, James Macklin, 18, took the honours at Keperra with a four-under 68. Macklin, from the Pacific Golf Club and a member of last year's state junior team, had a one stroke margin over fellow amateur Matthew Smith with pros Alex Katholos, James Gibellini and amateur Jarrod Stirling qualifying with 70s.

A further 10 players received tournament invitations to complete the field of 120. They are Terry Price, a dual Queensland Open winner in 1993 and '95, Australian Open runner-up Jean Louis Guepy, experienced Kiwi Gareth Pattison, Geoff Drakeford, Adam Groom, Ray Beaufils, Marcus Cain, Sam Eaves, amateur Travis Smyth and Taylor MacDonald.

MacDonald, an outstanding Queensland amateur, will be making his professional debut.

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Isuzu Queensland Open drives funds into charity

Golfers at the 2015 Isuzu Queensland Open will show their support for Queenslanders affected by cancer this week as they tee off in the name of charity.

Cancer Council Queensland has been named the official charity of the annual event, held on August 20-23 at Brookwater Golf and Country Club.

Raffles and auctions will be held throughout the tournament to raise funds for CCQ’s work in cancer control, along with on-course collection buckets and a Cancer Council Queensland pop up shop.

Golf Queensland spokesperson Claire Power said they hoped to raise funds for Cancer Council Queensland’s work while raising awareness about sun safety.

“A number of staff have had melanoma scares recently and as golf is an outdoors sport we thought it was a great chance to raise awareness,” Ms Power said.

“In Queensland there is the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, with around 370 new cases diagnosed every single day.

“We hope to encourage golfers to be SunSmart while out on the golf course and show their support for the work of Cancer Council Queensland.”

The Isuzu Queensland Open is in its 90th year and the event will see more than 300 golfers competing for the top title.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the charity was proud to be named official charity of the 2015 Queensland Open.

“Community support from events like the Queensland Open is instrumental to our work in cancer research, prevention and support,” Ms Clift said.

“We commend Golf Queensland for their dedication to making a difference and encouraging golfers to reduce their risk of skin cancer by adhering to SunSmart policies.
“Sun protection is required when the UV Index is three and above. In Queensland, the UV Index is three and above all year round, so sun protection is required in every season.

“Even on cloudy winter days on the golf course, it’s important to slip, slop slap, seek and slide.

“To Golf Queensland, the golfers and spectators - thank you for your generosity and support.”

Cancer Council Queensland is an independent, community-based charity, the achievements of which are made possible by the generosity of Queenslanders.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or via 13 11 20.
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Nathan Green hits the crossroads at Isuzu Qld Open

After more than 10 years in America and a victory on the US PGA Tour, Nathan Green will tackle this week’s Isuzu Queensland Open at the crossroads of his playing career.

“You could call it a mid-life crisis,’’ said Green. “I really don’t know what happened, but I wasn’t playing great over there, wasn’t enjoying the travel and wasn’t 100 per cent motivated.

“All I knew was that I really didn’t really have it anymore at that level. I have a young family and in the end it was an easy decision to come back home.

“I’ve not really closed the door on playing but just have to see how things go for a while.’’

New South Welshman Green, 40, achieved his US Tour victory in the 2009 Canadian Open where he defeated Retief Goosen in a sudden-death playoff.

“That is something I’m pretty proud of because I never really thought I had to game to win on the PGA Tour,’’ he said.

A popular character on Tour, the genial Green came close to a significant debut victory three years earlier when involved in a three-way playoff with Tiger Woods and dual Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal at the 2006 Buick Invitational.

He had par on the first play-off hole but was eliminated with Woods defeating Olazabal on the second sudden-death hole.

“I played really well in my early days on the US Tour and competing against those really good players made me realise I could be competitive,’’ he said.

Green also won the New Zealand Open in 2006 which took him into the world’s top-100 for the first time.

He had made headlines early in his professional career with a $500,000 hole-in-one prize during the 2001 Australian Masters at Huntingdale.

“I’d only been a pro for three years and it certainly opened doors,’’ he recalled. “It helped set me up, but there was a downside in that I lost my hunger for a couple of years.’’

Since returning to Australia last year Green has undertaken a “bridging course” with the PGA of Australia and helps out in the pro shop of the Toronto Country Club on the lower north coast of NSW where his brother, Darren, is head professional.

“All of my family are based around the area and I’m doing some coaching at the club,’’ he said.

Green admits his preparation for the Queensland Open has not been ideal.

“The only golf I’ve played has been the last four Saturday competitions at Toronto,’’ he said. “I haven’t had a lot of time to go out and hit balls and I’ve heard Brookwater is one of the toughest tournament courses we play.

“I’m looking forward to a practice round on Tuesday and then Wednesday’s pro-am,’’ he said. “I’m looking forward to the week ... it will be good to get out with the boys again.’’
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Golf Queensland Congratulates Jason Day

Day: Major Championship Winner

Golf Queensland chairman Peter Castrisos saluted Jason Day as a “superb golfer and tremendous role model” after the Queenslander’s inspirational victory in the US PGA Championship.

Day, a member of state junior and senior teams during his amateur days, joined Greg Norman, Wayne Grady, Ian Baker-Finch and Adam Scott as Queenslanders to have won major championships.

“It makes us very proud that a player who came through our junior and senior ranks can move on to the world stage and achieve the highest honours,’’ said Mr Castrisos.

“Jason’s victory was inspirational for all of us at Golf Queensland and very satisfying to our coaches and high-performance managers. He always set a good example and is a tremendous role model for juniors, indeed all golfers.

“It is very positive for the sport to have a number of our emerging players performing at the highest level. Cameron Smith is another young Queenslander with a great future.’’

Smith, who has his 21st birthday tomorrow, finished fourth at this year’s US Open and earned a start in the 2016 US Masters.

Day debuted for the Queensland senior amateur team as a 17-year old in 2004 and played again the following year when he was also leading amateur at the Queensland Open Championship. He turned professional in 2006.

A teammate in the 2004 and 2005 Queensland teams was Andrew Dodt, winner of last year’s Isuzu Queensland Open who also won on the European PGA Tour this year.

The 2015 Isuzu Queensland Open will be contested this week at Brookwater where the Australasian PGA Tour’s director of tournaments, Andrew Langford-Jones, also hailed Day’s magnificent victory.

“We all knew that fame was not far away for Jason, even when he was a 17-year old. He was always something special,’’ said Langford-Jones.

“It is great that he now has his name on the Wanamaker Trophy (US PGA Championship) and how far Jason goes from here is purely up to him.

“Given the outstanding group of young talent in world golf, the Spieths, McIlroys and company, it is a very exciting time for the sport...”
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Finally, Day grabs his major

On the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, Jason Day fulfilled his destiny today.

The man from the Queensland town of Beaudesert, just north of Brisbane, won his first major championship at Whistling Straits, blowing away the field to take the United States PGA Championship.

He becomes the fifth Australian -- after Jim Ferrier, David Graham, Wayne Grady and Steve Elkington -- to win the Wanamaker Trophy, and the first of his countrymen since Adam Scott's Masters triumph in 2013 to secure one of the four majors.

The world No. 5, soon to rise higher in the rankings, closed with a brilliant 67 to win by three shots, holding off the new world No. 1 Jordan Spieth, South Africa's Branden Grace and Britain's Justin Rose. Spieth, the phenomenal 22-year-old American, finished outright second to overtake Rory McIlroy and climb to the top ranking in world golf for the first time.

Day was rarely threatened on the final day, finishing at 20-under-par for the tournament, breaking the major championship record under-par score of 19-under set by Tiger Woods at the Open Championship in 2000.

The Queenslander showed little emotion through most of the final day until he lagged his birdie putt at the 18th hole to tap-in distance, and then he burst into tears as he marked and waited for Spieth, knowing that it could not be ripped away from him now.

Afterward, he embraced his American wife Ellie and his young son Dash behind the 18th green. The couple are expecting a second child soon.

Day, 27 and now based in Columbus, Ohio, had endured a string of near-misses in the majors since 2010, with nine previous top-10 results and three runner-up finishes.

He was tied for the lead through three rounds in both the US Open and the Open Championship at St Andrews earlier this year, but could not complete victories, including a heartbreaking finish at the Old Course where his putt for a playoff stopped short of the cup.

Starting today with a two-shot lead, he immediately made a two-putt birdie at the par-five second to steady his nerves, and he was never headed all day, although South Africa's Branden Grace momentarily pulled within a shot as the Australian played the sixth hole.

After his strong start, Day made further birdies at the fifth, sixth and seventh holes, the last of the three with a bombed 10-metre putt, set it up. By the time he made a nice par-save on the ninth and his main rival Jordan Spieth took a bogey, he had a four-shot lead, but there was much golf to be played.

Day, flanked by his mentor and caddie Col Swatton, would not waver this time. At the par-five 11th, he bombed a 350-metre drive, hit the green in two and made another birdie. At 12, he made a fine up-and-down from a greenside trap to save par, then at the par-four 14th he delivered a killer blow to Spieth, making birdie from three metres to reach 20-under-par.

A bogey after finding the fairway trap at the 15th was a spoiler, and his lead came back to three shots, but at the par-five 16th he hit a peerless long iron second shot to the green and ventured a glance to Swatton as though to say: 'Almost there'. Day made birdie, and Spieth birdied there too, but the American was running out of holes.

Day held his three-shot buffer to the 18th, and piped his drive, then hit the green in regulation. There would be no glitches; it was breathtaking golf on a difficult course.

"I didn't expect I was going to cry,'' he said at the presentation. "A lot of emotion has come out just because I've been so close, so many times in major championships and just fallen short. Just really close. And to be able to play the way I did today, especially in tough conditions, especially with Jordan in my group. I mean, I could tell that he was the favorite, just to be able to play the way I did, finish the way I did was something special.''

Day had visualised the moment for years, since he won the Australian boys' championship in 2004, and the world junior. He wants to be world No. 1, and he is close now.

With the barriers down, who knows how many majors he can win? He has virtually no weakness in his game, and he sits comfortably with McIlroy and Spieth among that cluster of great, young players who have taken the mantle from a tiring Tiger Woods.

Arise, Australia, and acknowledge a new champion of world sports.
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It's your time to play! Juniors help open the Qld Open

Queensland’s future golfers were on hand to officially launch the 2015 Isuzu Queensland Open and celebrate 90 years of the Championship.

The junior golfers were on course at Brookwater Golf and Country Club trying their hand at the championship venue before the Professionals tee off on Thursday.

Golf Queensland chair Peter Castrisos said it was very fitting to celebrate the milestone with our future golfers.

“It is great way to showcase the Queensland Open and Brookwater to our junior golfers. “A future Queensland Open champion might just be here,” Mr Castrisos said.

The juniors today played a modified 9-hole course under the Pee Wee Pennant competition run by Golf Queensland.

Mr Castrisos said 90 years has seen many champions go onto international success.
“Many of our great golfers including Norman Von Nida, Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch and Peter Senior have won the Queensland Open,” Mr Castrisos said.

“In fact, Von Nida won his first Queensland Open in 1935 and then it was the last tournament he won in 1961 before retiring.”

“We look forward to seeing the next Queensland Open champion produce great things on the world stage.”

The $110,000 Isuzu Queensland Open will be held at Brookwater Golf and Country Club from August 20-23. Admission is free.
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For the Love of the Game: Anthony Quayle
TWENTY-five years have passed since a golfer wearing short pants and long socks was the last amateur to win the Queensland Open Championship.

Stuart Appleby, then a 20year-old from country Victoria, fired a final-round 66 at Brisbane Golf Club to defeat Adelaide professional Mike Sprengel.

Appleby's amateur status prevented him receiving the modest first prize of $3600, but the blond-haired Victorian had his name engraved on the T B Hunter Cup alongside golf luminaries including Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch, David Graham, Kel Nagle, Jim Ferrier, Norman Von Nida, Peter Senior and Billy Dunk.

Appleby might have missed collecting a cheque in 1991, but he went on to win an Australian Open, notched nine victories on the US PGA Tour and earned $35 million prizemoney in a stellar professional career.

Next week the Isuzu Queensland Open, starting at Brookwater Golf and Country Club on Thursday, will celebrate its 90th year.

Another 20-year old amateur, Anthony Quayle, is dreaming of emulating the deeds of Appleby.

Quayle won't be wearing shorts and long socks, but instead the uniform of the Golf Queensland state senior team of which he's been a member for two years.

"Last year's Queensland Open was my first tournament playing against the pros and I really took a lot out of the experience," Quayle said.

"I tried to pick the brains of two of the professionals I played with and tried to learn about their careers and how they approached things.

"It was interesting the way they managed their games around Brookwater."

Quayle made the cut at the 2014 Open and his career has accelerated with wins in the Tasmanian Amateur in February and the Pacific Northwest Amateur in Oregon last month during a nine-week American campaign.

"I went off to America on my own with a goal of learning more about the game," he said.

"My attitude was that whatever happened, win or lose, I'd come back with more knowledge and a better player.

"I travelled on my own, stayed on my own and learnt how to manage a lot of things."

Quayle played seven tournaments in the US, finishing runner-up at Birmingham, Alabama, as well as winning in Oregon.

He returned on Wednesday and went straight to the practice range at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast where he also works.

"The job at Sanctuary Cove, working in the golf shop and picking up balls on the range, means I can earn money to keep my dream going," he said.

"I've come back from the States with my confidence on a bit of a high and I'm looking forward to Brookwater."

Quayle grew up in Gove in the Northern Territory, where his father worked in mining and his mother operated a hairdressing business from the family home.

"None of my family plays golf," he said. "When I was six years old we used to drive past the little nine-hole course at Gove and I wrote Mum and Dad a letter asking for a set of golf clubs for my seventh birthday. They went to the local newsagent and bought me a plastic Looney Tunes golf set and I built my own six-hole course around our house.

"I put old baked beans cans in the ground for the holes and after that graduated to playing at Gove Golf Club. When I was 14 my parents could see I was passionate about the game and made some significant sacrifices to send me to board at Hills International College at Jimboomba.

"I'd always been passionate but being part of the Golf Academy at Hills gave me more focus and direction."

Quayle gained selection in the Queensland Academy of Sport golf squad last year where he is coached by high performance manager Tony Meyer. "Anthony is a very athletic kid who is extremely hard working and professional," Meyer said.

"He still has a couple of years to go in his development and his next step is to win a big event and push for selection in the national amateur squad.

"His effort to win in America was really commendable. " Quayle is one of 10 amateurs in the confirmed field of 103 players for next week's Open, with another 17 players (seven sponsor's invitees and 10 pre-qualifiers) to be added.

A record 227 players will contest pre-qualifying at Keperra and Virginia on Monday.

By Bernie Pramber, The Courier-Mail

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2015 Men's Country Week wraps up
Monday & Tuesday – Stroke

Scott Warren (Gin Gin) has won the stroke event of Queensland Men’s Country Week at McLeod and Oxley Golf Club’s.

Warren fired a 1-under par round 71 at McLeod to hold the joint lead with Matt Lejeune (Gatton) and Grant Rasmussen (City).

Warren was able to continue his good scoring from the first round to return a second round four-under par-68 in perfect conditions at Oxley, and enough to claim this year’s event by two shots.

This was a role reversal from last year’s event as the 2014 champion Adam Gemmell (Ipswich) finished runner-up after firing a consistent second round three under par-69.

Thursday – Foursomes

A blustery Indooroopilly Golf Club hosted the Foursomes section with 56 pairings vying for their Divisional Titles. 

Division 1 was won by Marty Manning (Ipswich) and Ben Daniels (Sandy Gallop), who, despite having a double and a triple bogey in the opening 4 holes, closed with a 78 to claim a 2 shot victory. 

Finishing second on count back were Toowoomba’s Chris Webster and Jason McWilliam.

Ryan Slack and Jeremy Zahl (Gayndah) returned a fine 70.5 to win the Nett section from Chinchilla’s Glen Gray and Deon Hunt (74.5).

Scoring was tough however Richard Marschke’s (Toogoolawah) and Robert Yeo’s (Laidley) gross score of 92 was enough for  a 3 shot victory over Country Week stalwarts John Smith (Craignish) and Michael Treay (Blackwater).

Division 2 Nett winners were perennial contenders, Chris Bath (Rosewood) and Barry Thoms (Ipswich), with a great score of 68. A distant 8.5 shots behind in second was the Biggenden pairing of Ivan Groves and Brett Flanders. 

Friday – Fourball

Blessed with yet another beautiful Queensland winter day, players headed to Redcliffe for the final day of Country Week, the Fourball Championship.

The leader board was tight all morning with many scores around the 40-43 point regions. With only a few groups remaining on course, Tod Mathews (Capricorn) and Clay Jacobson (Maroochy River) (pictured) signed for 44 points and an eventual 1 point win. Jacobson would go on to describe that the all-important point was secured with Mathews holing a 4 foot downhill putt on the last… with his eyes on his partner rather than the ball!

Finishing runners up on count back were Ryan Slack and Brent Chambers from Gayndah, on 43 points, with third place taken out by Peter Griffin (Maroochy River) and Shane Eastell (Sandy Gallop).

A massive thank you is extended to all four hosts (McLeod, Oxley, Indooroopilly and Redcliffe) for the fantastic manner in which their courses were presented and the hospitality extended to the Country participants. Players are already booking their 2016 trip!

This week would not be the same without the sponsors, and City Golf Club and Motel are to be congratulated and applauded for their continued support of country golf. They do a wonderful job promoting country golf, as well as supporting the annual Sand Green Championships.

For all results from the 2015 Men's Country Week, see below:

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McLeod leads Aussie charge

Jake McLeod leads a strong Aussie contingent after the first round of the Western Amateur in Illinois.

McLeod fired five birdies and two mid-round bogeys en route to a three-under-par 69 at Rich Harvest Farms, west of Chicago, to trail joint leaders Dawson Armstrong and Jose Mendez by just two strokes.

The Queenslander, fresh from the Golf Australia national camp in Texas, is tied sixth in a week in which the format means it’s important to be near the top.

West Australian Curtis Luck is tied eighth after at two under after a mercurial round featuring five birdies and an eagle, but marred by three bogeys and a double.

Queenslander Cory Crawford was also adventurous in a round of 71 that leaves him T18. The national squad member made five birdies, but also threw in a costly double-bogey on the 16th.

He’s joined on that score by Victorian Ryan Ruffels who uncharacteristically made five bogeys in his opening round, but offset that with an eagle three on the last hole and four birdies.

Victorian Ben Eccles and New South Welshman Harrison Endycott are also handy, both with even-par 72s that left them T36.

Victorian Lucas Herbert made a double-bogey on the first hole, but fought back to fire a one-over 73 that left him T52.

But it wasn’t all great news for the Aussie contingent with Sydneysider Cam Davis unable to find his normal rhythm and Perth’s Jarryd Felton enduring a quadruple-bogey eight as both signed for 76s that leaves them in trouble at T96.

Queenslander Taylor Macdonald suffered through two triple-bogeys on his back nine en route to a 77, but New South Welshman Travis Smyth had the day’s hard-luck story with a sextuple-bogey 10 on the par-four 17th as part of his otherwise fine 78.

The Western Amateur is played from Tuesday-Saturday in the United States with two 18-hole strokeplay rounds before a cut to 44 and ties.

There is then 36 holes of strokeplay on Thursday, with the low 16 advancing to matchplay.

On Friday, two 18-hole matches narrow the field to four semi-finalists before two more matches on Saturday to determine the champion.

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Dodt, Cullen dream big at WGC

Australian underdogs Andrew Dodt and Nick Cullen line up at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational knowing one good week could change their lives.

While world No.4 Jason Day and former winner of the event Adam Scott will spearhead the Australian charge at Firestone Country Club in the lucrative no-cut 77-man field, Dodt and Cullen find themselves on the brink of a life-altering opportunity.

Dodt, a two-time European Tour winner finds his way into the field after a win at the True Thailand Classic back in February while Cullen booked his ticket with his Australian Masters triumph late last year.

And while the fans in Ohio may not know much about the 1001-1 shots the pair hope they do by weeks end.

“It’s only my second world golf event so I am still trying to get used to it all. I play regularly on the European tour but its obviously not as big as this,” Dodt, who played in the 2010 WGC HSBC Champions event in China said.

“It’s so easy to get caught up in the range in this guy, that guy, that player, that coach, that manager but I just have to stay in my own bubble and do what I have to do without trying to be distracted.”

The 29-year-old might find it easier than normal to do so after drawing the lone single person tee time over the first two rounds and he spent time with Cullen and Day in a practice round to garner as much advice as possible.

Sighting Cameron Smith, who leveraged a fifth place finish at a world golf event late last year into what will eventually be a US PGA tour card next season, Dodt knows what is at stake.

“A big result here would be huge, it would just be big for my confidence,” he said. “Playing with Jason it is good to get a feel and a vibe for what level I need to get my game at.

“I would like to be thereabouts on Sunday, that would be nice.”

For Cullen, a hand injury has hampered his preparation for the biggest start of his career but he remains confident he has what it takes to put a cat amongst the pigeons.

Having only played once in nearly four months, where he withdrew after making the cut, the odds are stacked against him.

“I did a real good number on my left hand, bruising a metacarpal back in April hitting off golf mats at a driving range when the weather was a bit average. It is still bothering me a bit but this event is too big to not play,” the 31-year-old world No.318 said.

“It’s just nice to be able to come into an event against the big boys with no cut and play with a bit of freedom, especially not having played much in the last few months.

“I think anyone playing these events has the ability to win it. You want to be in contention Sunday in every golf tournament you go to, that’s the judge of being successful for the week, so I would love to be around Sunday and be up there competing for it.”

For Cullen the key will be getting in position off the tee.

“I just need a bit of confidence off the tee because the short game feels great and my putting feels great so that’s half of it taken care off,” he said.

“The swing off the tee hasn’t felt too great so I am trying to find that but I came into the Aussie Masters not feeling to good about it and it worked out well that week.”

Story: Ben Everill / Golf Australia

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Smith provided PGA Championship opportunity
Cameron Smith’s dream year continues next week when he tees up in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Smith burst onto the international golf stage after an eagle at the 18th hole at the US Open catapulted him up the leaderboard and launched his career.

“I didn’t think it would all happen this quick, but it’s definitely good that it has,” said Smith who has all but secured his PGA TOUR card for 2016 as well as places in the fields of the US Open and US Masters.

“At the start of the year I wanted to learn as much as I could and get as much as I could from playing in America but to have achieved this in a year is definitely unexpected.”

Smith, who is just 21-years-old, will have another opportunity to shine on a major stage, thanks to a special invite from the PGA of America he will compete in the PGA Championship.

Taking it all in his stride, Smith is remaining true to character and is not over-awed at the upcoming experience but does believe he will be better prepared to deal with the pressures of a Major Championship the second time around.

“I don’t think the US Open has changed my expectations, I never really expect much of myself, I’ll obviously go to the US PGA to contend but I don’t really expect anything,” added Smith.

“This time around I know what to expect with the pressure and the crowds and things like that.”

“But it’s just a game of golf at the end of the day, you just have to go and do what you do.”

Continue reading at pga.org.au 

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Silver lining to special efforts

Australia’s Special Olympic golfers are bringing home a pair of silver medals and so much more from Los Angeles.

Aside from their outstanding achievements in standing on the dais, Darren Tait and Kathryn Wilson both shone in the highest pressure environment they’ll likely face in their sporting careers.

Coach Jeremy Smith was ecstatic with both series performances with Canberran Tait and Queenslander Wilson dramatically slashing their best previous scores.

Tait, 47, playing in the level four nine-hole event, entered with a previous best score of 58.

So Smith was thrilled that in three of the four tournament rounds, Tait matched or bettered that mark with rounds of 58-61-56-54 for a 229 total that was just two outside the gold medal mark of Korean Gaeun Kim.

And not to be denied, Wilson matched those remarkable achievements in the level five 18-hole strokeplay event.

Wilson, who counts fellow Queenslanders Adam Scott, Karrie Webb and Jason Day among her heroes, had never shot better than 92 in a major competition.

So with extraordinary rounds of 89-83-86-84, she proudly took home silver with a total of 342 behind only Zimbabwe’s Tungamirai Mudyanadzo.

The Australian team fared superbly in Los Angeles with 76 athletes in 12 sports combining for an extraordinary haul of 23 gold, 19 silver and 18 bronze medals.

But, as evidenced by the Aussie golfing pair, perhaps even a grander achievement was the total of 15 “personal bests” among the team.

Story: Mark Hayes / Golf Australia

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Jack Sullivan qualifies for NSW Open

Jack Sullivan’s play-off victory in the 2015 Twin Towns Amateur Open gained the talented Queenslander automatic entry into this year’s NSW Open which will again be played at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club from 12-15 November.

Sullivan said he was excited and relieved after winning the sudden death playoff on the first hole against Jack Weston.

"I was very happy to win and qualify for the NSW Open. I actually played in the Open two years ago, and hopefully I can play as well as I did last time at Castle Hill and this time become the leading amateur."

Sullivan played his first professional event in the 2013 NSW Open firing an opening round of 66 to be co-leader with Aron Price and Victorian Michael Choi.

The 62nd Twin Towns Amateur Open Championship was played over 36 holes at the Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club in tricky conditions with slick greens and a testing wind.

Sullivan (70, 70) and Weston (72, 68), both fired rounds of 4 under par for the 36 hole event.

Nicole James, Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club's Golf Operations Manager, said, "It is a wonderful opportunity for Jack to get a start in the NSW Open and we are thrilled to have the winner of the Twin Towns Amateur Open gaining automatic entry into such a prestigious event.

"The support from our local MP Geoff Provest, Member for Tweed, Stuart Fraser, CEO Golf NSW, and Neil Steinhardt, GCDGA President, was brilliant," Ms James added.

In addition to winning the Open, Jack also became the 2015 Gold Coast District Golf Association Champion, a closed event to players who are members of any golf club affiliated with the District. Jack hails from the Palmer Gold Cost Golf Club enabling him to triumph in both categories.

For the 2015 Twin Towns Open Final Results go to: cooltweedgolf.com.au/twin-towns-open-final-results/

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Day's Olympic interest piques

A trip to former NBA star Michael Redd’s house has put Jason Day in an Olympic frame of mind.

The Queenslander, a good friend of the Olympic basketballer, said to see avid golfer Redd’s gold medal from the 2008 Beijing Games had piqued his own interest in Rio 2016.

“I had a buddy (Redd, who) represented Team USA and I was at his house and looking at his medal and it was just an amazing piece,” Day said.

“It's history being able to look back on it and tell a story one day and what you did, where it was, what happened.

“It would be a good moment just to capture in time.”

Day, 27, said he’d once thought of the Olympics as a realm of amateur athletes, but as golf prepares for its first Games appearance since Paris in 1904, he’s hot to pull on the green and gold in Brazil next year.

“One thing that I do want to do is I want to represent my country in the Olympics. It would be amazing to win (a) medal,” Day enthused.

“To have the opportunity of representing your country and going to the (opening) ceremony and winning a medal would be pretty neat just looking back on it.”

The newly crowned Canadian Open champion admitted solving scheduling issues in 2016 would be critical.

The Open Championship, Canadian Open, US PGA Championship and Olympics are likely to fall in successive weeks in a crowded 2016 calendar.

“Looking at the schedule right now with the two majors and Canada, that's going to be tough – a tough stretch for me,” Day said.

“But I'm looking forward to having a look at the schedule and picking my tournaments.”

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Women's senior: Chasing the champion quartet

Can anyone break the domination of Australia’s top quartet of women’s senior amateurs?

Entries are now open for the Australian Women’s Senior Amateur at Perth’s Gosnells Golf Club from October 26-30.

But only twice since 2000 – and not since 2006 – has anyone other than Robyn Puckett, Sylvia Donohoe, Jacqui Morgan and Josie Ryan won the event.

And they’re all likely starters again this year, putting the heat on the next wave to stand up.

Defending champion Puckett, from Queensland, will aim to win her third title, while seven-time champion Donohoe, from NSW, will hope to add another after finishing runner-up last year.

Morgan, from New South Wales and the No.1 ranked player on the Australian Women’s Senior Amateur Rankings, will again be among the favourites, while Queenslander Ryan wants to add her 2003 and 2013 titles. 

The championship will be played over 36 holes qualifying, followed by elimination match play.

The leading 16 players will qualify for the major championship, in addition to the top eight players in four age divisions qualifying for their own age match play flights.

To keep things interesting, there will also be a handicap competition in conjunction with the first two rounds of qualifying, as well as a state teams event to enhance the interstate rivalry.

Off the course, players will be able to renew friendships at the cocktail reception on Tuesday evening and conclude with the presentation reception on Friday afternoon, all included in the entry fee.

And again, any player who introduces a friend to the championship for the first time will go into the draw to win a prize for a $200 voucher to spend at the Gosnells Golf Club pro shop.

Click here for further information regarding the Australian Women’s Senior Amateur - http://www.golf.org.au/eventdisplay/australian-womens-senior-amateur/5491

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Blenkey victorious at the Qld Senior Women’s Amateur Championship
Jill Blenkey (Newcastle) has won the Queensland Senior Women's Amateur Championship at Maroochy River Golf Club on the Sunshine Coast.


The New South Welshwoman won her final match 2&1 over opponent Nikki Haines (Moore Park). 

In Wednesday's semi-final, Haines eliminated leading qualifier Jacqui Morgan (Monash) 2&1, as well as four-time Queensland Senior Women’s Amateur Champion, Wendy O’Connell (North Lakes), in the previous match.

Jill Blenkey eliminated last year’s champion and third place qualifier, Josie Ryan (Headland), in her first match 1Up. It was Blenkey’s continued consistency all week in the match play format that allowed her to remain undefeated and take out this year's event in stunning fashion. 

Vicki Jones (Bribie Island) was victorious in Division 1 of the 55-64 years match play final, while Gwen Clutterbuck (Oxley) took out the Division 2 title.

In the over 65 age group, Faye Payne (Caloundra) proved too strong, winning 3&2 Division 1, and Division 2 was won by Maroochy River member, Clem Sutherland.

Congratulations must go to Maroochy River Golf Club for again hosting this year's event. 

For full results, click here.

To read the wrap report for the Queensland Women's Mid-Amateur Championship, click here.

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The Queensland Senior Men's Amateur heads interstate, again

Victorian Ian Frost (Bendigo) shot the best final round of 74 to claim the 2015 Queensland Senior Men’s Amateur Championship at Southport Golf Club by five shots from repeat runner-up Sam Christie (Indooroopilly) and Barry Shannon (Wanganui).

The leaderboard was tight heading into the final round with 10 players within five shots of pace maker Barry Shannon. 

Through the first nine holes of the last round, Peter Hannah had assumed the lead from Frost, with Shannon, Christie and Darryl Hearsch within three shots. 

When both Frost and Hannah double bogeyed the long par 3 12th hole, the title race was even closer. 

However, a crucial point came on the very next hole, with Frost making a birdie 4 to Hannah’s 7. And Shannon and Christie weren’t to be denied, with birdies of their own. 

The closing four holes of Southport are demanding and Frost’s class as the highest ranked Australian Senior in the field, shone through, parring his way home. 

He couldn’t be matched, with eventual runner-up Christie closing his round with a bogey and a double bogey. 

Shannon also found grief and couldn’t apply pressure to Frost, as he bogeyed the final four holes.

Home course knowledge paid dividends for Ray Geary as he claimed the Overall Nett and also combined with fellow Southport members, Jeff Wood and Tony Irvine, to win the Club Teams Challenge.

Players enjoyed three spectacular days at Southport with first class course conditions and hospitality. 

Course superintendent Stuart Moore and his team are to be congratulated for the outstanding manner in which the course was presented and, as always, thanks are extended to Steve Lamerton and his staff for the welcoming atmosphere at Southport Golf Club. 

In 2016, the event will head North to Bribie Island. 

To view all results, click

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Jenkins wins the Queensland Women's Mid-Amateur Championship

Oxley member Jess Jenkins (pictured) has won the 2015 Queensland Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Maroochy River Golf Club.

Jenkins fired a final round of 81 (+9) to finish five shots clear of her nearest rival, returning scores of 74,82 and 81 to finish 237 for the Championship.

Wantima Golf Club member Katrina Van Trier's three-round total of 242 was good enough to take out second place. Van Trier, whose name appears on the trophy four times (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014), fell just short of claiming her fifth title after trailing by two shots overnight. 

Robyn Callaghan (Oxley) won the Nett division after three days of great scoring which included an eagle on the par-5 eleventh hole.

For full results in the Women’s Mid-Amateur, click here.

In the Queensland Senior Women’s Amateur the top placed qualifier, Jacqui Morgan (Monash), knocked out eighth qualifier Susan Jones (Headland) in convincing fashion, winning 10&8 to progress through to the next round.

The four players to progress through to the semi-finals of the knock-out match play in the Championship flight- Jacqui Morgan (Monash), Nikki Haines (Moore Park), Rosalind Fisher (Gosnells) and Jill Blenkey (Newcastle) will vy for a spot in the final on Wednesday 29th July at the Maroochy River Golf Club.

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Play-off decides championship

Two stars of Mount Coolum’s winning Sunshine Coast Pennant team have fought out a three-hole play-off before 23-year-old Stephan Scheepers was crowned 2015 club champion.

Scheepers and TJ King finished the four rounds of the championships on 307, 19 over the card. In a fluctuation of fortunes over the three play-off holes Scheepers survived, with two pars and a bogey.

Two rounds of 79 over the two-weekend championships ruined the chances of 18-year-old King, one of two scratch markers to contest the titles. But he fired an impressive final-round 74 last Sunday to put him in the play-off.

Scheepers started the championships well with two rounds of 75, but carded 78 and 79 on the final weekend. However, a spectacular eagle on the par five 17th on Sunday was enough to force the play-off. 

Two of the club’s promising juniors, Lochie Coleborn and Zac Quirk, were unable to contest the championships because they were playing in the Queensland State Schoolboys championships in Cairns at the weekend. Both were also members of the winning Pennants team, as was Todd Balkin, another who did not contest the championships.

Other members of the winning Pennants team, Stephan’s twin brother Tiaan and Scott Mitchell, finished sixth and eighth respectively. 

However Tiaan is the first twin to have his name on the honour board. He and perennial Mount Coolum winner Jean Brkic recently teamed to win the Mixed Foursomes championship.

Charles Brkic won B grade with a 14 stroke victory over Mike Beal; Kyle Sunderland scored a 17 stroke win in C grade from Darryl Hicks; Ryan Stephenson came from behind to beat Jared Barr for the junior club championship; and Grant Airey is the 2015 veteran’s champion, beating the long winning run of KR Smith. 

The respective grade nett winners were: A grade, Grant Airey; B grade, Morris Barnes; C grade, Terry Hyde. 

Photo: Stephan Scheepers looks on as his opponent TJ King putts during their play-off.

Story: Tony Durkin

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Day triumphs to win Canadian Open

Jason Day has vaulted to No.4 in the world rankings after winning the Canadian Open.

The Queenslander closed with a spectacular hat-trick of birdies, capped by a fist pump and a roar on the 72nd hole at Glen Abbey Golf Club when he made a similar putt to the one that would have sent him into The Open Championship playoff last week.

On that occasion, the 27-year-old left his birdie putt centimetres short, but he made no such mistake this morning.

"I got the ball to the hole this time which was nice," Day said with a wry grin after sinking a 7m birdie putt on the par-5 last hole.

“The first thing I said was I’ve got to get to the hole this time, that’s what I said in my head.

"There's no better feeling than coming down to the wire and contending with these guys. It was just back and forth all day, and I'm so glad that I got that putt in.

"To be able to do that it just gives me a lot more confidence going in to the rest of the season."

Day, who had been in contention for the past two majors, the US Open and The Open at St Andrews, fired a final round four-under-par 68 to finish 17 under the card to beat American Bubba Watson by a shot.

A further stroke back was hometown hope David Hearn who was aiming to become the first Canadian winner in 61 years.

It was Day's second victory on the US PGA Tour this year after he won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in February and showed he had quickly overcome the disappointment of St Andrews despite playing the final 36 holes of the Old Course without a bogey.

Day birdied three of his first seven holes to briefly snatch the outright lead before handing it back with dropped shots on the eighth and ninth.

He then made six pars to start the back nine before unleashing his birdie blitz.

Day is the sixth Australian to win the Canadian Open, joining Joe Kirkwood (1933), Jim Ferrier (1950, 1951), Kel Nagle (1964), Greg Norman (1984, 1992) and Nathan Green (2009).

He will now take a break before beginning preparations for next month's final major of the year, the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits,

"I feel good, I feel really good. I'm going to take next week off," Day said.

"The last two weeks have been a big grind for me, but it's all worth it.

"All the hard work that I put into it, it's my fourth win of my career and hopefully I'll have many more.

"But right now I'm just so proud to be the Canadian Open champion."

Rising amateur Ryan Ruffels, playing on a sponsor’s invitation, didn’t make the third round cut after opening with a spectacular 66.

In his debut on the US PGA Tour, the 17-year-old dual Australian junior champion was in a tie for third after the first round before he slumped over the next two rounds and fell foul of the Tour's Rule 78 regulation.

The secondary cut stipulates that if more than 78 players remain in the field after 54 holes, those beyond that number cannot play in the final round.

Story: Mark Hayes / Golf Australia

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Opening doors for amateurs

Monday pre-qualifying is a component of every major golf tournament and the 2015 Isuzu Queensland Open is no different.

Entries for this year’s pre-qualifying close on Thursday, 30th July, and male amateurs and professionals are eligible. Amateur golfers must have an Australian handicap of 4.4 strokes or lower to contest pre-qualifying rounds to be held over 18 holes on Monday 17 August, at Keperra and Virginia Golf Clubs.

For amateur golfers, the experience of testing themselves in pre-qualifying can be invaluable. They play in competition against professionals with all players in pursuit of a place in the field for the 72-hole Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater from August 20-23 2015.

Ten places in the final field are available to pre-qualifiers and last year four amateurs made the grade - Blake Proverbs, Terrence Ng, Shae Wools-Cobb (at Keperra) and Andy Chu (Virginia).

Last year 198 players contested pre-qualifying at the two venues.  

Wools-Cobb, from the Sunshine Coast, ultimately finished tied 24th in the quality Open field and was third leading amateur behind Kade McBride and Taylor MacDonald. 

Wools-Cobb, 19, will be exempt from pre-qualifying this year as he is a member of the State Team. He is in good form, having travelled north to win the Far North Queensland Championship at Mareeba earlier this month.

Proberts, 17, tied 38th last year and Chu also made the cut to finish tied 61st. Proberbs is exempt for 2015 (State Team member) but Chu intends to tackle pre-qualifying again.

Defending champion Andrew Dodt, who won on the European Tour after last year’s triumph at Brookwater, has not ruled himself out of playing next month. He is attempting to qualify for the US PGA Championship, but should he fall short a return to Brookwater is on the cards.

Dodt, a former top Queensland amateur, carded seven-under last year to defeat South Australian Tom Bond by two strokes with fellow Queenslander Cameron Smith a further. Smith also made the Queensland Open form look special when he shared fourth place at the US Open in June, pocketing A$524,000 and earning his US PGA Tour card for the remainder of the year.

Entries for the Isuzu Queensland Open close 5pm, Thursday 30th July. Enter here: bit.ly/IQOEntry15

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Two golfers represent Australia at Special Olympics

Two Australian golfers are representing their country at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles starting this weekend.

In what is billed as the biggest sporting event in the world this year, 7000 athletes from 177 countries are competing across 24 sports in the World Summer Games for people with intellectual disabilities.

Golf is represented by Kathryn Wilson, from Queensland, and Darren Tait, from Canberra. Jeremy Smith, from Queensland, is the coach.

Wilson counts Adam Scott, Karrie Webb and Jason Day among her heroes. “It feels very good to be going to the World Games and I am very proud to know that I will wear the green and gold,’’ she said.

Tait is the oldest athlete on the team at 47 years old. He says: “The most exciting thing about representing Australia is doing well for my team.”

The golf competition at the Games is to be held at the Harding municipal golf course and the Wilson municipal golf course, both owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles.

The team is in Huntington Beach for training and cultural experiences as part of the Host Town program. They will head to their athlete village in Los Angeles on Saturday in preparation for the Opening Ceremony on Sunday at 11am AEST, with Michelle Obama, wife of the US President Barack Obama, performing the duties.

Overall, there are 76 Australian athletes competing in 12 sports.

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Day gets back on the horse

Jason Day is bound to put another near-miss at the Open Championship last weekend behind him quickly.

The Queenslander took Golf Canada’s charter flight out of St Andrews to Oakville, Ontario on Sunday night and tees it up in the Canadian Open tomorrow.

Day, who finished a shot out of the three-man playoff to log his ninth top-10 finish in a major, was asked at a media conference about his problems with vertigo.

The world No. 9 is accustomed to fielding the interest after his collapse during the second round at the US Open at Chambers Bay.

Since then the problem has been diagnosed as benign positional vertigo, an inner-ear invection. Day is taking medication for the problem, which was under control at St Andrews, but there is no guarantee that the problem will not return.

“I sound like a doctor,” he told the media conference. “I feel like I’m in a conference right now. I mean, if anyone has benign positional vertigo, I can fix you.’’

Day, who ended up tied-fourth in the Open, says he needs to be patient.

“It’s a process, but it’s something I can be patient with because golf is kind of a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. “I’m not on a time limit, which is great. I have all the time in the world.’’

Day is one of seven Australians in the field for the Canadian Open.

Golf Australia elite amateur squad member Ryan Ruffels is one who is playing in the field on a sponsor’s invitation, continuing the Victorian’s foray into the big professional events. He recently played in the French Open on the European Tour, missing the cut.

Ruffels, 17, has won consecutive Australian boys’ titles in the past two years.

Story: Golf Australia / Martin Blake

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Scott commits again to Emirates Australian Open

Australia’s US Masters champion and former world No. 1 player, Adam Scott, is returning to compete in the Emirates Australian Open at The Australian in November.

Golf Australia confirmed today that Scott, the world No. 11, would tee it up in the nation’s most prestigious tournament from November 26-29 in Sydney.

Scott, 35, came close to winning the United States Open recently with his dynamic finishing 64, eventually tieing for fourth at Chambers Bay, reuniting with his longtime caddie, Steve Williams. He also tied-10th at the Open Championship at St Andrews over the weekend.

Adam is one of Australia’s all-time great players; the 2013 US Masters Champion, the only victory by an Australian at Augusta National; a multiple winner of top-level tournaments around the world and a former World No. 1.

The Queenslander won the Australian Open at New South Wales Golf Club in 2009, eclipsing the field by five shots at the tournament’s only visit to that venue. He has been a regular contender in the country’s most famous tournament, finishing fifth at The Australian last year, runner-up to Rory McIlroy in 2013, 14th at The Lakes in 2012 and fourth in 2011.

“The Australian Open is a tournament that I value highly, Sydney is a great city and The Australian Golf Club is an excellent venue for Championship golf. I am really looking forward to competing to win my National Open once again.’’ said Adam. 

Golf Australia’s chief executive, Stephen Pitt, said Scott’s appearance would provide a foundation for what should be a white hot field. “Adam has been a great supporter of the Open and he is always thereabouts at the finish,’’ said Pitt. “We look forward to seeing him play again and we know that the crowds appreciate not only his golf, but the way he carries himself. He’s an immensely popular figure and a great ambassador for the sport in this country.’’

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres, said it will be great to see Adam Scott coming back to Sydney in 2015.

"Adam is a local favourite and will be leading a world class field of golfers at this year's Australian Open. The NSW Government is proud to have secured this event for Sydney through Destination NSW, and with players like Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth it promises to attract visitors from all over the region to our State," he said.

The Emirates Australian Open will be broadcast live on the Seven Network across all four days.

The Championship is owned by Golf Australia and is managed by World Sport Group with the assistance of TRP Sport.

Tickets are available through Ticketek at www.ticketek.com or by calling 132 849.

The Emirates Australian Open will be played at The Australian Golf Club from 26-29 November. 

Website: http://www.ausopengolf.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AusOpenGolf and #AusOpenGolf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AusOpenGolf 

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Spieth to defend Emirates Australian Open title

World golf’s new sensation and aspiring Grand Slam winner Jordan Spieth will defend his Emirates Australia Open title.

As tickets go on sale around the country today for the November event in Sydney, 21-year-old Spieth, winner of both the Masters tournament and the United States Open in 2015, has committed to the Open at The Australian from 26-29 November.

The Texan superstar fell just short of winning a third consecutive major in the Open Championship at St Andrews overnight, finishing just one shot out of a playoff. Had he managed a third major in a row, he would have joined the late, great Ben Hogan and set off for an unprecedented Grand Slam of professional majors.

But now, he will focus on the remainder of the season and the Emirates Australian Open.

Spieth, 21, played arguably the greatest round in the Australian Open’s storied history last November to win the Stonehaven Cup by six shots.

And with the Open returning to The Australian Golf Club in Sydney for a record 19th time from November 26-29, the American is hoping he can emulate his eight-under-par round of 63 that sent the golfing world into a frenzy.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to return to Sydney,” said Spieth, who parlayed his Australian success into a string of great results, including his record-breaking run to win the green jacket at The Masters in April.

“I had a fantastic time in Australia. I can’t wait to come back and hopefully defend the Stonehaven Cup.”

Spieth was ranked 11th in the world when he hoisted the Stonehaven Cup, but after winning the Emirates Australian Open, The Hero World Challenge, The Valspar Championship and The Masters, he reached No.2. His victory in the US Open at Chambers Bay in Washington recently has him within touching distance of the world No. 1, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.

He is just the sixth player in history to hold both the Masters and US Open titles at one time, and just the second – behind the immortal Jack Nicklaus – to hold the Masters, US Open and Australian Open titles at one point. Nicklaus achieved this in 1972 after he won the Australian Open at Royal Hobart in 1971.

Spieth is in remarkable company. “It has been an amazing six months since I left Australia,” he said. “Shooting 63 in the final round and winning at The Australian Golf Club was one of the proudest moments of my career. To see my name on the Stonehaven Cup alongside all the champions of the game gave me great confidence.”

Spieth also was runner-up at both the Valero Texas Open and Shell Houston Open and fourth at the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles.

Emirates Australian Open tournament director Trevor Herden was delighted with Spieth’s signature.

“Jordan was a massive hit at The Australian last year – nobody who saw him play will forget his final round, in particular,” Herden said.

“But more than just play good golf, Jordan has been a tremendous ambassador for the tournament and has sung its praises in some pretty lofty places since he left, including at Augusta after he won The Masters.

“It’s a great honour to have another major champion in our field – we can’t wait to see Jordan again.”

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird said the global attention Spieth would bring was a boon for Sydney and New South Wales.

“We saw how much people gravitated towards Jordan last year and that he spoke so glowingly of his time in our state was a ringing endorsement of all we have to offer,” Mr Baird said.

“We are very keen to welcome Jordan back again in November and hope we can show him another few dazzling jewels of Sydney so he continues to spread the word on our behalf.”

The Emirates Australian Open is a flagship tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia. The winner will receive a minimum of 32 Official World Golf Ranking points.

The event will be telecast for all four days on Channel 7. 

Tickets are on sale now from Ticketek at www.ticketek.com or by calling 132 849.

The 2015 Emirates Australian Open will be played at The Australian Golf Club from November 26-29.

Website: http://www.ausopengolf.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AusOpenGolf and #AusOpenGolf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AusOpenGolf 

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Day, Scott finish close but not close enough at The Open

Jason Day and Adam Scott have been here before; they know the associated pain all too well.

The Queenslanders were neck deep in an enthralling final round of a major championship, but again fell agonisingly short. 

Their own final assessments of their T4 and T10 finishes in weeks to come will be more complex.

But in the brutal world of media and armchair analysis, the public will today address a couple of critical moments of the Open Championship that neither will recall fondly.

Day, although never having held a share of the lead, was always within touching distance and had a chance to join the playoff with a birdie try on the 72nd hole.

Almost unbelievably to his legion of fans, he left it short, just inches from his much-sought shot at “immortality”.

“I hit a good putt. All I wanted to do was put a good stroke on it. I didn't want to blast it way past the hole and hit it through the break, so I just wanted to hit my normal putt and try to hole it,” Day explained after finishing at 14 under with a closing 70.

“Unfortunately I thought it was a little bit faster, and it just pulled up short.”

Scott, conversely, held a share of the lead for several holes after a blistering six-hole stretch from the fifth hole yielded five birdies.

His critics will say that a missed par putt on the 15th from inside 30cm was his breaking point.

The man himself pointed to an errant approach to the par-five 14th that finished in a back trap and in a position from which par was extremely unlikely, despite his best effort.

Either way, both holes ended in bogeys that abruptly ended a round that had promised so much.

Scott unravelled with a bogey on the 17th hole, then a double on the last after carving his drive out of bounds right – his five-over stretch in the closing five holes dropping him to a 10-under-par finish.

“That (bogey on the 14th) wasn't the end of the world. But to miss a really short putt on the next, I don't really have an explanation for that,” Scott said.

“I just went up to tap it in from a foot and it lipped out. Just one of those stupid things that happens – and that really put me in a tough position to where finishing with a handful of threes was unlikely on a day like today.

“It's a tough finish, and I just didn't execute the last five holes.”

Scott, who memorably won the 2013 Masters as much by masterfully keeping his nerve as his sublime golf, now has six top-10 finishes in the subsequent 10 majors.

Day also has six in that time, including the third behind his mate at Augusta National.

Both rightly claim that being in contention is the only thing they ask of themselves.

Both insist their time in the major spotlight will come (again in Scott’s case).

And both gave remarkably composed press conferences that reflect their intellect and professionalism.

But behind all the polite answers, they were both bleeding.

The cameras trained on Scott’s eyes and typically dazzling smile.

All the while his hands were trembling.

Day, similarly, was hurt badly by another chance that slipped away, the rueful shaking of a slumped head away a clear indicator as he walked away.

Don’t let the slick answers fool you – these guys, our top-ranked players, were completely gutted.

Even Day, a relative pup at age 27, knows there are finite chances to win these titles that define careers – his mate Tiger Woods the prime example. 

Still, the answers to the immediate questions remained polished, at least publicly.

Day refused to blame a shot the high winds cost him on the 13th green moments before the 10-hour delay was called on Saturday.

Remarkably, that was the third and final bogey of a week dominated by shoddy weather.

He closed without dropping a shot in 41 quality holes of golf – yet still bafflingly to him, he came up short.

“I've been working very hard to try and accomplish my first major and it's a little frustrating with how it finished.

“But I've been in contention at major championships a lot now, and it just shows I'm doing the right things, and I can't look at it as a negative.

“I'm just a little frustrated because I just walked off the course. Give it time so I can just sit down and look at what the positives were and move on from there and just try and get better.

“It's just something that I really want to do is I really want to have that shot at immortality. It'll soon come my way. I've just got to be patient with it.”

Scott, even before regulation play finished, predicted that 15 under would have worked for him – indeed that was the playoff requirement.

Having reached that figure in the lead on the 10th hole only added to his anguish.

“I was six under (for the round) and I tied for the lead. I kind of levelled myself with where everyone was and that's exactly what I had to do,” Scott said.

“I knew from that point on, I was just going to have to play a great nine holes to have a shot at it. I felt that was even to two under from that point.

“It was playing really tough at times, straight into the wind, playing long, and I made my mistake on 14 with a poor shot in there and compounded that continuously coming in.

“(I’m) disappointed the way I played the last five holes for sure. I could have done a lot better than that.

“It's a shame not to get in there and finish with a shot, that's for sure, but maybe it was too much to ask today.”

Sadly, that proved correct.

Story: Golf Australia

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Day leads the Aussies at The Open

Queensland's Jason Day has charged into a share of the lead at The Open with Marc Leishman, Adam Scott and Steven Bowditch all within contention heading into the final round.

The third round of The Open called for low numbers at St Andrews and the Aussies answered.

Playing early in the morning, Marc Leishman got the ball rolling firing a bogey free 8-under 64, the lowest round of the tournament launching him into the clubhouse lead on 9-under the card.

"Today the goal was to shoot a good round so I had a chance tomorrow. I probably wasn't quite expecting to do what I did, but I really put myself in it," said Leishman who by the 16th hole had an opportunity to record the lowest ever round in a Major.

"I gave myself some really good chances on the last three holes, it was disappointing not to go a couple better."

"15, 16, 17, they're not easy holes, especially where the pin is on 16 and 17 today. Thinking about making birdies instead of thinking about trying to hold on and make pars like you normally do on those holes was a pretty good mindset."

Playing with Leishman, Marcus Fraser also put in an impressive showing, his 4-under 68 seeing him in a share of 33rd heading into tonight's final round.

Teeing off in the fourth last group of the day, Jason Day played a perfect round reeling off five birdies for a 5-under 67.

Day is well poised to claim the Major victory he so desperately wants; he starts the final round tied for the lead on 12-under the card with amateur Paul Dunne and Louis Oosthuizen.

"We haven't had an Aussie win the Claret Jug since Mr Norman; it would be nice to put my name on the Jug. We're just trying to chase that bit of immortality," said Day.

That's probably the best way to put it is just that you're stuck in history at that moment, and you know that year, that person's name on that jug is immortal in some way. It's just great to be able to have that piece of history and that glory that goes along with it."

However lurking dangerously on the leaderboard is Jordan Spieth, he is just one shot off the lead and aiming to collect his third leg of the Major grand slam.

"I'd be very shocked if he's not in contention going up the last few holes," added Day of his final round playing partner, Spieth.

"He's definitely going to be the favourite, but I still have a lot of fans out there that are supporting me along the way."

"I hear the Aussies in the crowds and I even hear the locals here, even people that aren't from the UK are supporting me."

Also nicely poised to take a run at the Claret Jug is Adam Scott. His 2-under 70 in the third round has him tied 6th on 9-under the card, just three shots behind Day and the leading trio.

Over the past three years Scott has been Australia's brightest hope of winning The Open with a memorable runner-up finish in 2012 and a further two top-5 finishes.

Steven Bowditch is putting in his best performance at a Major and is tied 15th on 8-under the card, which could have been two shots better if not for a late stumble in the third round.

A further two shots back on 6-under the card are Greg Chalmers and Matt Jones, while Geoff Ogilvy joins Marcus Fraser on 5-under.

John Senden recorded his first under-par round of The Open and is now 4-under the card courtesy of his third round performance.     

Playing his first tournament since April, Brett Rumford has been a model of consistency firing his third 1-under the card round of the tournament.

Scott Arnold rounds out the Aussie contingent and is 1-over the card after three rounds of his Major debut.

Story: PGA of Australia

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Baker-Finch: Scotty deserves this

Adam Scott deserves to stroll the Open fairways as a past champion, just like the 28 past winners who honoured Peter Thomson and the late Kel Nagle today.

That emphatic declaration came from one of those feted few, Ian Baker-Finch after the 1991 titleholder completed a unique four-holes challenge.

"No-one is ever owed anything in this game, but I think he's as close to being owed an Open as anyone,'' Baker-Finch said.

"I think this might be it because he deserves those special occasions and he's up for it.

"Like winning the first green jacket for Australia and winning an Open at St Andrews is something really special.''

Even the great man himself, Thomson will be a silent and dignified supporter of the Queenslander who has finished second, tied third and tied fifth at the past three Open championships.

"I've been wanting Adam Scott to win for several years now and he hasn't pulled it off yet, but I think he's the strongest player we've got. And it might be this year,'' Thomson said.

"He knows what to do. I wish he would settle on a putter and stick to it, he's experimenting now.

"There's no obstacle for him. He can win, really. He hits it as far as any of them and as accurately too.

"Australian golf is going well with or without Open champions, but it would help young people, I guess, to be more impressed.''

Thomson and Baker-Finch joined past champions that included Tom Watson, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods in the Champion Golfers' Challenge over four holes on the eve of the 144th Open championship first round.

Eight groups of four played St Andrews' first, second, 17th and 18 holes in which the best individual score on each hole hole counted for the team.

Thomson's team of Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Ben Curtis finished in a four-way tie with teams captained by Tony Jacklin, Tom Weiskopf and Palmer at three-under.

And so the focus shifts to the battle to be crowned a major winner.

"I think it's the major of all majors, the Open at St Andrews, and it would be great to see an Aussie win it, whether it be (Marc) Leishman or Jason (Day) or Adam,'' Baker-Finch said.

"Any of the guys could do it, but it would be good to see one again. I think that they're all prepared. There's 15 Aussies, any one of them could do well. I won one. Any one of those could win one, too.

"You always look at the highest-ranked, Adam Scott, Jason Day, but Marc Leishman, John Senden, Rod Pampling, they've all got the ability to do it.

"Matty Jones, nobody strikes it better than him, so I think it's patience, getting the right side of the draw. I think that's going to be a big part of this Open, Thursday, Friday weather.''

Bruce Matthews is a Herald Sun sports writer
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Bowdo living the dream
Bar an “ankle tapping”, Steve Bowditch is on the verge of fulfilling his lifelong ambition.

Bowditch, 32, dreamt of being a PGA Tour player by age 30 – he did so the first time at age 22 – and play The Open Championship at St Andrews.

He confessed today, just two days before his ambition is reached, that he doesn’t think about hoisting the Claret Jug.

But in the next breath, the Queenslander said he didn’t think about winning on the PGA Tour, but now has two titles to his credit following his Texas Open win in March.

“(Those visualisations are) not something I’ve ever done. This week, bar an ankle tapping, so I don’t get to peg it up on Thursday, my two biggest dreams will be made real. Which is pretty neat,” he said with his unique mix of raw comedy and reflection.

Bowditch first played a major at the 2003 Open Championship when he missed the cut at Royal St George’s by three shots. His only other majors were both last year – a sure sign of his sustained improvement, even if he still admits there’s much work to do.

“I always wanted to be out here and compete at the highest level all the time. I’m still not there.

“This is my fourth major now, so I’m not even close to the top level. Hopefully I can keep gaining experience and maybe I can keep sliding up those world rankings and compete with the big boys all the time.”

Bowditch has struck the ball well in practice, but has a wish that might sound odd to fair-weather golfers.

“The game’s in pretty good shape. And I enjoy this style of course, even though I don’t get to play it much,” he said.

“You’ve got to be able to think out there and unfortunately the last couple of days we’ve played it the weather conditions have been perfect.

“So hopefully tomorrow we might get some wind and rain to mix it up a little bit, because I dare say by the weekend it’ll kick on.”

The weather forecast in eastern Scotland is bleak, particularly for Friday’s second round with winds expected to top 60km/h late in the afternoon.

“It’s all part of the experience,” Bowditch said.

“You play a benign practice round and do all the prep work, but if you’re not out there when it’s trying conditions, you’re basically starting again on Thursday.”

But, as his qualification through FedEx Cup points rankings suggests, it’s the consistent side of the once mercurial Bowditch that has made his progress continual.

“It’s pleasing. It’s stuff we’ve been working on, just tightening up a few shots and take some big numbers out of my game,” he said.

“I (can now) play a little conservative … but also a little aggressively too, when it’s needed.

“I’ve been able to make a few more birdies from aggressive play with different shots, not just off the tee.

“Getting aggressive when we’ve got right numbers (yardages) and trusting my short game and, when we don’t, we’re playing away from it (the pin) a little more.

“It’s hard to explain, but we’re being more aggressive and passive at the same time.

“Back (in 2003) I thought my game was better, but I didn’t have the mental approach you need to play golf at the highest level. I don’t think I’m there yet.

“My game through (those middle years) deteriorated until I found a coach in Scott Hamilton who I trusted and believed what we’re doing.

“Then from 2009 through to now it’s gradually getting better.

“Once your game gets to a certain level, then you can really concentrate on the mental side of things and your preparation and you’re not sitting on the range all day beating balls and trying to find a golf swing.

“It’s not there every week, but it’s minor tweaks that will get you out there to compete every week (now).”

Bowditch said discipline would determine his finish this week, saying one hot stretch could be enough.

“Neil (Wallace), my caddie, and I, if we can attack when we need to attack but really just be patient. It really is a patience game out here and like most majors, if you can have a 6-9 hole stretch … when you can make five or six birdies, then the rest you just tack along and minimise mistakes, by the end of Sunday you’re going to be around the (mark).”

And that really would be a dream come true. Even for mild mannered Bowditch.

Story: Mark Hayes, St Andrews

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Quayle wins Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur
Anthony Quayle of Queensland, Australia sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 36th hole of the final match to defeat Shintaro Ban of San Jose, Calif. and win the 114th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship.

Ban had squared the match on the par-3 35th hole when Quayle 3-putted. 

After Quayle sank the birdie putt on the final hole, Ban saw his own birdie attempt, which would have extended the match, slide by the hole, giving Quayle the title.

In the morning round of the match, played on the resort’s Woodlands course, Quayle built an early lead as he played the round in 7-under par, and was 3-up at the lunch break as the two prepared to play the resort’s Meadows course in the afternoon round of the match.

Ban quickly got back into the match, squaring it up with a birdie on the par-5 19th hole and two eagles, which included a hole-out from the fairway on the 419-yard par-4 22nd hole and a 3 on the par-5 24th hole when he reached the green in two.

On the last nine holes, Quayle birdied the 28th and 29th holes, both par-4s, then Ban won the 30th hole.

Then, in gunslinger style, the two players matched birdies on the 31st, 33rd and 34th holes, Quayle clinging to a 1-up lead.

Ban squared the match on the 205-yard par-3 35th hole, as Quayle double-bogeyed the hole (he would double-bogey both par-3s on this final nine), which set up the final hole dramatics.

The championship was held at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort, and was conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).

Anthony Quayle, winner of the 114th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship, poses with the Macan Cup in front of the final scoreboard.

Of the putt on the final hole, Quayle said, “I just told myself I could make it, trying to keep positive thoughts in my mind. I was a little bit nervous and just wanted to put a good stroke on it. It was straight uphill.”

After making birdie, Quayle had to stand by and watch as Ban attempted to tie the hole with his own birdie. “In match play you always have to believe the other guy is going to make it,” Quayle said. “Otherwise it’s too much of an emotional rollercoaster.”

Of his win, Quayle said, “It’s such a massive relief. There’s so much stress all week, so much golf and so many matches. It’s very taxing taxing mentally. This win helps the confidence in my game, and I’ll always be able to say I have it on my resume that I won the Pacific Northwest Amateur.”

Quayle, the No. 5 seed, had defeated No. 1 seed Charlie Kern of Mercer Island, Wash., 1-up, in yesterday’s semifinal match, a contest that had also gone down to the final hole of the match.

Quayle, 20, recently won the Tasmanian Amateur Open Championship, is a member of the Queensland Men’s State Team and is ranked in the top 15 in the Australian Amateur Rankings.

Ban was attempting to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Shotaro, who had won this championship in 2012. Ban just finished his freshman year playing on the men’s golf team at UNLV. He was a co-medalist at the 2012 U.S. Junior Amateur, and qualified for the 2013 U.S. Amateur. He won the 2014 San Francisco City Men’s Amateur, and last week tied for seventh at the Sahalee Players Championship.

The Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur is one of the oldest amateur golf championships in the world. Past champions include names such as Tiger Woods, Jeff Quinney, Ben Crane, Jeff Coston, Nick Flanagan, Jim McLean and Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Famers Chandler Egan, Harry Givan, Jack Westland, Bud Ward and George Holland, among many others.

Players competed for the Macan Cup, which is named after legendary golf course designer A.V. Macan, a member of the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame and winner of this championship in 1913.

Story / Video: thepnga.org
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Success at the 2015 Bargara Junior Classic
The Bargara Junior Open Classic was held from Tuesday 7 July to Thursday 9 July over 54 holes of stroke play at Bargara Golf Club.

The tournament saw junior golfers from across the region battle it out for the title which has been in contest for 27 years.

Douglas Klein, 2014 Junior Male Amateur Golfer of the Year, took out the Boy’s title with a final score of 65, 72, 70 (207).

Kate Law, of Maryborough, won the Girl’s event finishing with 75, 74, 76 (225).

Next year, the event will no longer run in its current format with the Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur Championship set to move to the Bargara Golf Club.

The Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur will run from Tuesday 28th June until Friday 1st July 2016, providing a great opportunity for the junior golfers to participate in a junior state championship.

Entries for the 2015 Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur Championship held at Indooroopilly Golf Club from 7 to 9 December are opening soon.

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2016 Isuzu Queensland Open moves to Brisbane
Golf Queensland today announced the 2016 Isuzu Queensland Open will be hosted by The Brisbane Golf Club.

The three-year agreement will see the Queensland Open return to the course that has hosted the Championship 18 times over its 90 year history.

Golf Queensland chairman Peter Castrisos said it was pleasing to have the backing of Queensland golf clubs, like The Brisbane Golf Club and their members, to ensure this great Championship remains successful.

"There has been tremendous support for the Queensland Open since its return to the PGA Tour of Australasia calendar three years ago," Mr Castrisos said. 

"Golf Queensland, along with a number of stakeholders, banded together to get this historical championship back up and running.

"Brookwater Golf and Country Club was one of those behind the return and we thank them immensely for hosting the tournament over the past three years and look forward to another successful event this August."

"The next phase will see the championship back at The Brisbane Golf Club, 25 years since they hosted the event which saw the then amateur, Stuart Appleby, claim the title."

The Brisbane Golf Club President, John Kelly, said that The Brisbane Golf Club is delighted to support Golf Queensland in hosting the Queensland Open and contributing to the development of golf in Queensland.

"We are also tremendously excited about this great opportunity to showcase our fantastic course to the golfing world," said Kelly.

Tournament Operations Manager for the PGA of Australia, Graeme Scott, is pleased with the venue selected for the 2016 Queensland Open.

"Brisbane Golf Club will be a great venue for this tournament," said Scott.

"The course is already in great condition and I'm sure it will be presented extremely well for next year's Championship."

The 2015 Isuzu Queensland Open will be played at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club from 20 to 23 August. Entry is free for spectators who are also welcome to walk the course with the Professionals.  

To find out more about the upcoming 2015 event, click here.

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2016 Queensland Boy's and Girl's Amateur relocates
The Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur Championship is set to move to Bargara Golf Club and will be held from Tuesday 28th June until Friday 1st July 2016.

Following consultation between Golf Queensland and Bargara Golf Club it was agreed that the Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur will replace the Bargara Junior Open Classic from next year.

With this change, the Bargara Junior Open Classic will no longer run in its current format from 2016.

Luke Bates, Golf Queensland’s Manager of Golf Operations, said, “Golf Queensland and Bargara Golf Club see this as positive step to growing junior golf in the State.”

“The Junior Open Classic has been a prominent event over the past 27 years for junior golfers and Golf Queensland looks forward to continuing this legacy with Bargara Golf Club.”

Don McKewen, President of Bargara Golf Club said, “The Board welcomes this change and the benefits that a junior state championship will bring to the region. 

“This is a great achievement for our club and recognises the hard work of a dedicated team which has successfully run the three-day Bargara Junior Open Classic for 27 years.”

In 2011, the Bargara Golf Club hosted the Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur and it was well received by both players and parents.

The 2015 Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur Championship will be held at Indooroopilly Golf Club from 7 to 9 December 2015 with entries opening soon.

The 2015 Bargara Junior Open Classic is accepting registrations, click here for more information.

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Newcomers win Mt Coolum Cup

New members Gary Rehbein and Colin Eames have won the prestigious Mount Coolum Cup at their first attempt.

The pair, who joined the club in January, combined superbly for 50 points in the 4BBB stableford competition to win the 2015 annual honour board event.

Originally presented to the then Suncoast Beach Golf Club in 1984, the name became the Mount Coolum Cup the following year when the club name change occurred.

Club Patron Ken Chadwick has assisted to restore the prestige of the Mount Coolum Cup in recent years by sponsoring the event and bolstering the prizemoney on offer. 

As 2015 winners Rehbein and Eames will have their names entered on the club’s honour board as well on the trophy. They will also be invited to the 2015 presentation night where they will be presented with a trophy and a $150 cash prize.

Eighty teams contested the 2015 event. 

Story: Tony Durkin

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New sanctioning agreement for 2015 Australian PGA Championship
The Australian PGA Championship will reach more than 500 million viewers globally and be the richest tournament in Australia in 2015 thanks to a new co-sanctioning agreement announced today with the European Tour.

The Championship, the oldest and most prestigious professional tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia, will be played at the RACV Royal Pines Resort from the 3 – 6 December 2015 and is expected to attract a number of the world’s best players with the prize fund increasing to AU$1.75M.

PGA of Australia Chief Executive Brian Thorburn said sanctioning with the European Tour would provide a greater reach with a new broadcast agreement through Europe, Asia and the US.

“This will be the highest purse in Australian PGA Championship history and will position the tournament more strongly on the international stage with exposure to a greater broadcast platform than any of our previous tournaments.”

“This is a huge step forward for the tournament to rank alongside many of the great tournaments in Europe and Asia. The partnership will also provide the opportunity to improve the strength of the field through the greater depth of international players currently playing on the European Tour,” he said.

In addition to the 1st place cheque of A$315,000 from RACV Royal Pines, the winner of the 2015 Australian PGA Championship will be granted exemption into the 2016 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the 2016 BMW PGA Championship at The Wentworth Club in the UK, and compete for the A$19.5M in prize money at those events.

“As the last tournament of 2015 the Australian PGA Championship caps off what will again be another exciting year of Australian golf,” Thorburn said.

Keith Waters, The European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy, said: “The relationship between The European Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia continues to flourish and our partnership will continue to bear fruit over the coming years. We are delighted to assist in elevating this Championship and providing the opportunity for European Tour and Sunshine Tour members to play in this great event.”

The Championship will also provide visitors the chance to view Graham Marsh’s $10million completed upgrade to the RACV Royal Pines Resort layout.

“RACV has invested a significant amount of money to upgrade their championship course and it is looking exceptional. The newly designed 16th and 18th holes will provide fantastic viewing for fans attending the tournament while the 10th tee, which is now positioned near the tournament ‘village’, will enhance the fan engagement experience even further,” added Thorburn.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones, said she welcomed the new agreement that would provide a significant boost to the event’s international profile. 

“The Australian PGA Championships is a highlight on Queensland’s events calendar, attracting a crowd of around 40,000 each year,” Ms Jones said.  

“The Queensland Government is proud to support the event through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of our commitment to grow tourism and jobs for Queenslanders.”

The European Tour will receive 60 positions into the tournament. In an arrangement with (South African) Sunshine Tour, 30 of those positions will be granted to their membership.  The PGA Tour of Australasia will receive a minimum of 71 direct positions into the tournament. In addition, there will be 8 tournament invitations, 6 qualifying positions and 3 positions for PGA Vocational Members.  PGA of Australia is working on broader and enhanced playing opportunities at a number of different tournaments for its entire Australian membership in the medium to short term. 

The tournament is proudly supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, RACV, City of Gold Coast, Gold Coast Tourism, Emirates and Coca-Cola Amatil. 

It will be broadcast live on Ch7 from 3 – 6 December, 2015.

The official Australian PGA Championship event launch will be held on 12th August. 

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Golf Queensland congratulates Cameron Smith

On behalf of Golf Queensland Board, staff and Queensland golf clubs we would like to extend our congratulations to Queensland Professional Cameron Smith after his T4 finish in the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay.

In his first major, Smith sealed his position on the 18th hole when he played a spectacular three wood for a kick-in eagle. 

As the only player at the event with four rounds at par or better this week, he tied with fellow Queenslander Adam Scott and earned himself $US407,037.

It’s been a big 12 months for the 21-year-old who has come from strength to strength since his tied third finish at the 2014 Isuzu Queensland Open. 

Smith accumulated seven top 10 finishes from nine starts on the Asian Tour, making him eligible to compete in the USPGA Tour event, the CIMB Classic where he finished tied fifth and earning more than $250,000.

Following on from the CIMB Classic, Smith played four US Tour events including the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am at Pebble Beach, missing the cut on each.

Smith then flew back to his hometown of Brisbane to play in the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship at City Golf Club Toowoomba where he finished in 2nd place to Ryan Fox, a gesture which was recognised by many people in the Queensland golf industry.

Since then, Smith competed in the New Zealand Open (T4) and played four events on the US Tour including the RBC Heritage (T15), the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (T43), AT&T Byron Nelson (T46) and the Memorial Tournament (MC), to qualify for the US Open.

His top four finish at the US Open gives Smith a start at the 2016 Masters Tournament, 2016 US PGA Tour Card as well as earning enough points for US PGA Tour Special Temporary Membership Category for the remainder of the year and being ranked in the world’s top 100.

Golf Queensland is very proud of Cameron’s achievements and look forward to watching him compete against the world’s best.

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Doors fly open for heroic Smith

It had already been a great week when Cameron Smith stood over a three-wood on the 18th fairway.

But when the 21-year-old major championship debutant put the 265m shot to within 20cm for a kick-in eagle, it launched his career into a stratosphere he couldn’t quite grasp.

The Golf Australia rookie pro laid the foundation for his next 18 months with his eagle the icing on a round of 68 that propelled him to three under overall and a tie for fourth alongside Adam Scott.

Did we mention it was his first major?

The result won him $US407,037 and effectively secured his US PGA Tour card for next season, along with a start at next week’s Travelers Championship.

It gives him a return entry to next year’s US Open and the Masters and catapults him into the world’s top 100.

And should he accept, which will be a matter of time, a special temporary membership that’s now on offer based on his FedEx Cup points total, he’ll be able to accept unlimited sponsor invites into the remaining events this American season.

In short, he’s skipped about normal 1000 steps with four days of almighty heroics.

And it was too much for the mild-mannered Brisbane lad to take in.

“I'm speechless. I just want to sort of sit in the hotel room and let it all absorb,” he said with trademark cheeky grin.

“That sounds pretty good, though, doesn’t it? I honestly haven’t thought about it. It’s pretty crazy actually.”

What he could explain was the feeling after his withering finish with 6000 people in the 18th grandstand roaring in unison.

“It was spine tingling, it was crazy,” he beamed.

“Never, ever been -- nothing near that. It's awesome.

“I said to my caddie, Dan, on the tee, `Do we have a shot at getting there (in two shots)?’.

He said, `If you hit a good drive’, so I hit a really good drive, ended up just short of the bunker there on the uphill slope, which helped a lot (with my second shot).

“It was just a perfect 3- wood. And I hit it … and it went a lot closer than I thought it was going to go.

“I wasn't really expecting it (to go that close) to be honest. I just wanted to get it somewhere on the green and hopefully I would have putted it.

“But to finish up and have a tap-in for eagle is a nice way to end,” he said in one of the year’s great understatements.

“It still hasn't really sunk in, and I don't know what to say. Sorry.”

Smith said his form hadn’t been great in his US starts, but that he’d had a good feeling before coming to Chambers Bay and in practice rounds.

“I thought I could definitely compete and if I could get my way around the golf course pretty good, I'd sort of thought I had a shot.

“But it wasn't to be, really. But I'm happy with where I finished, for sure.”

And as it slowly began to sink in, Smith began to reflect on what might have been had his normally laser accurate putting been on song during the final round.

“I probably hit it the best today of the whole week.

“I gave myself plenty of opportunities, but my distance control with the flat stick today was definitely not as good as it has been.

“I had three three-putts today, so it might have cost me a `W’. But what can you do? It’s golf.

Smith said his win gave his confidence an extreme boost.

“To be up there in a major means that you can play with the big guys,” he said.

“So I just (need to) keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully it all works out.

“I have had plenty of opportunities this year on the PGA Tour and didn’t really do too much and I really thought I wasn’t playing my best.

“But to come out here and show everyone what I’ve got is a very cool thing.”

Very cool indeed. And in his first major!

Story: Mark Hayes / Golf Australia

Click here for a statement from Golf Queensland.

Queenslanders in US Open news:

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Champions make a habit of winning

When it is time for the honour boards at The Brisbane Golf Club to be updated, the sign writer will not need to check the spelling of the 2015 Men’s and Ladies’ champions.

Champions Cameron Powell and Lynne Conroy have won their divisions nine and five times respectively, and their names adorn the honour board for a number of other championship victories.

Twenty-eight-year-old Powell, who concedes he did not become serious about his golf until he was 19, scored a 4&2 win over three-time champion Don Nicol in the recent 36-hole match play final.

He had previously scored qualifying rounds of 74-75 before winning 8&7 and 3&1 in the match play quarter and semi-finals.

The ladies play a different championship format to the men.

Every even year they contest the same format as the men (top eight play match play after two qualifying stroke rounds), and every other year they play four stroke rounds.

Lynne Conroy’s winning score this year was 339, and she beat Angela Fong by one stroke.

Mrs Conroy, who joined The Brisbane Golf Club in 1996, has now won 48 honour board events including the Brisbane Shield twice, both times partnering her husband John.

She has now won the ladies' championship nine times, her recent victory giving her the title for a record six years back-to-back.

After winning successive titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Cameron Powell turned professional and had brief stint playing the China Tour in 2013.

However he decided the life of a touring professional was not for him and was re-admitted to the amateur ranks in October last year.

Powell conceded that playing Don Nicol in the match play final had been a little surreal.

“Don is nine years older than me and when I was starting to get serious about my golf about a decade ago, I would watch him play and be in awe of his ability,” he said.

“To play him in the final, and beat him, was a major achievement for me and also a huge thrill.”

Mrs Conroy described her win as unexpected, claiming she had not been playing well prior to the championships.

“I actually had only one good round during the championships, and eventually snuck home by a single shot. I was nine shots behind after two rounds but my 78 in round three put me back in the running,” she said.

Her goal now is to win three more times to eclipse the current ladies’ record of 11 championship victories. – TONY DURKIN
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O'Keeffe victorious at Queensland Women's Sand Greens Championship
Brooke O'Keeffe (Springsure) has won the 2015 Queensland Women's Sand Green Championship at Alpha Golf Club this weekend.

O'Keeffe shot a final round score of 66 (-4) to join her first round score of even par-70 to take out the Silver Division by six shots. 


The overnight leader, O'Keeffe managed just a single shot start over Emerald member Sonia Bray who returned a 71 (+1) for her Saturday round. 

Bray returned another consistent round of 71 to finish on 142 (+2) for the championship, enough to secure second place.   

In the Bronze 1 division Lola Cuffe (St George) and Loretta Lockie (Taroom) fired first round scores of 87 to lead the division by a single stroke. 
Cuffe returned a second round score of 86 to finish on 173. 
Katherine West (Borneo Barracks) returned a second round 85 to join her first round score of 88 to also finish on 173. 
Loretta Lockie's second round wasn't good enough to join the pair and a sudden death play-off was required to separate the players. 
Both ladies couldn't be separated on the first play-off hole with each returning par. 
Cuffe was the eventual winner on the second play-off after returning a second par, enough to win the Bronze 1 division.  

The Bronze 2 division was also decided by a sudden death play-off with Rochelle Robinson (Blackall) the eventual winner on the first play-off hole against local member Eunice Frazer (Alpha). 
Frazer finished with 101,92-193 and Robinson retuned rounds of 98,95-193,

All players were greeted with superb conditions on both days of the championship.

The Alpha Golf Club received extremely positive comments from all involved due to the great preparation of their course and kind country hospitality.

For all championships results and information, please click here.

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Smith's poise defies his years
There was a split second when Cam Smith looked vulnerable in his major championship debut today.

It didn’t last long.

The Queenslander’s entourage said he’d woken up before his debut US Open round as calm if it was a Wednesday chook run at his home Wantima Country Club.

And barring a quick slap of his putter after an uncharacteristic double-bogey on the 13th – his fourth of the day – Smith played true to script for an even-par 70 built on patience beyond his 21 years.

Smith, without any status in the United States but rapidly building a resume of impressive invitational starts, only qualified in Ohio last week.

But a great sign of his ability to keep his head in a crisis came with a 40-foot bomb for par on the 11th hole, his second, after a drive into deep rough in a mid-fairway mound.

A missed birdie chance on 12 was followed by that double-bogey on 13, but the Golf Australia rookie squad member calmly jammed in great approaches inside 1m on both 14 and 15 to right the ship.

“Yeah, I’m pumped. I started off a bit shaky … but a couple of birdies in a row that got the momentum going and held on to it pretty good for the rest of the day,” Smith said.

“I could have let that get to me, but my caddie Dan said, `Just keep at it, it’s a US Open, it happens’.

“Really, you’ve just gotta take it on the chin and keep moving forward (and) I just got on with it and did my stuff the rest of the day.”

And that’s nearly a perfect description.

He birdied the 18th, bogeyed the 2nd and otherwise parred out – a steadiness reflected in his calm post-round assessments.

“It was tough, but fair. The game plan was to make 18 pars and that was sort of how it ended up,” he said.

“I’ll keep the game plan exactly the same tomorrow and hopefully a few more putts can go in.

“But I think I’m in a pretty good spot.”

Smith said his first major championship tee shot had been nervy, but far from overwhelming.

“There weren’t too many around when we teed off (at 7am), (but) the crowds got bigger as the day went on and there were a couple of big roars and it was a pretty cool experience.”

And very cool to see the first edition of something Australian golf can get used to for many years ahead.

Story: Mark Hayes

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Smith has plenty to play for at Chambers Bay
WHILE his namesake couldn't lead Queensland to a series-clinching win on Wednesday night, young Queensland golfer Cameron Smith is hoping the state, and the country, is cheering his name come Sunday.

The 21-year-old is more than happy for his name to be associated with the Queensland and Australian rugby league skipper but as he lines up for his maiden major championship at the US Open he is ready to forge his own identity.

As a former Australian amateur champion Smith has been plying his trade on the US PGA tour this season on limited sponsor invites, riding a T5 finish on debut in Malaysia last year to $US407,530 and 207 FedEx Cup points in nine starts.

While he has used up his allotted sponsor invites for the year Smith could become a special temporary member should he earn 116 or more points at Chambers Bay, the equivalent of somewhere around a top-five finish.

It would enable the young star to accept further sponsor invites and put him in prime position to collect a full playing card for 2015-16.

To get those privileges he need only match the 125th ranked player on tour this year in points or money, which would be all but a lock given he would already have more money than last years cut off.

"This is a good week to do something for sure," said Smith, who birdied four of his last six holes in sectional qualifying to earn his place.

"I am playing good. I am hitting the ball solid.

"I think the key this week is just keeping out of the cabbage and just doing your work around the greens.

"I'll try to shoot somewhere around even because that should be up there at the end of the week."

Read more on the Golf Link website here.

Smith joins eight Australians at the US Open, including fellow Queenslanders Adam Scott, Jason Day and John Senden as well as Australian's Marc Leishman, Geoff Ogilvy, Kurt Barnes and Marcus Fraser.

Watch the US Open LIVE on Fox Sports - dates and times below in AEST:

  • Round 1 | Fri 19 June | 0200 - 1300 | Fox Sports 3
  • Round 2 | Sat 20 June | 0300 - 1300 | Fox Sports 3
  • Round 3 | Sun 21 June | 0500 - 1200 | Fox Sports 3
  • Round 4 | Mon 22 June | 0500 - 1230 | Fox Sports 3

Queenslanders in the news:

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Taylor Macdonald does Queensland proud in Scotland

The British Amateur Championships held at Panmure and Carnoustie golf clubs in Scotland this week has provided invaluable learning opportunities for one of Queensland’s top amateurs.

Taylor Macdonald, 2014 Male Queensland Amateur of the Year, travelled to Scotland this week with Golf Queensland Head Coach Tony Meyer and the Golf Australia team to compete in one of the oldest and most prestigious amateur events in the world.

This year, the Amateur comprised almost two-thirds foreign players including five of the world’s top 20 all of which compete for a start in the Open Championships of the same year, as well as the following year’s Masters Tournament and the US Open.

After competing over 36 holes of strokeplay, one round at each of the two courses, the top 64 players then progress to the match play section.

Day one saw Taylor shoot an opening round 72 (E) at Carnoustie placing him in good position heading into the final qualifying round scheduled for Tuesday.

Taylor went on to finish T32 in the qualifying round after he shot a second round even par 70 in tough conditions at the Panmure course.

Day three saw him up against world number 10 and two-time European Amateur champion Ashley Chesters of England for the first round of match play at Carnoustie.

Unfortunately, Taylor fell behind early and the Englishman played a solid game, leaving no opportunities for Taylor to come back and took the win over Taylor 3-2.

Despite the loss, the tournament has provided new opportunities for the Queenslander who impressed his coach Tony Meyer, “Taylor played extremely well in very tough conditions and should be proud of how he played all week.

“These couple of weeks in Scotland have been a great learning curve for Taylor and will no doubt help him continue to develop as player.

“The conditions Taylor has played here in Scotland have been something he would not have faced before with strong winds, cold weather and thick rough” says Tony.

Taylor will now return to Australia before heading to the United States in July to contest the Western Amateur and the US Amateur.

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White and Proverbs win Mixed Foursomes Championship
Stacey White (Pacific Golf Club) and Blake Proverbs (Pacific Golf Club) combined magnificently to win the 2015 Mixed Foursomes Championship at McLeod Country Golf Club on Sunday 14 June 2015.

White and Proverbs led by two shots at conclusion of the morning round when they fired a commanding score of 70.

Sarah Wilson (Half Moon Bay) and Shae Wools-Cobb (Maroochy) finished the first round a further two shots back on 72. 

The pair was unable to capitalise on their morning form, carding a 76 in the afternoon round.

White and Proverbs fired a consistent second round score of 74 giving them a thirty-six hole score 70,74-144 enough to win this year’s championship.

It was champion Stacey’s sister, Nadine White (Pacific), and her partner Nick Barney (Windaroo) who fired the day’s best. 

Their second round score of 68 along with their first round score of 77 elevated them into second place, finishing on 145.

Golf Queensland wishes to thank the McLeod Country Golf Club for presenting the course in fantastic condition.

For complete gross and nett scores please click here.

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Dodt chases European honours
Isuzu Queensland Open champion Andrew Dodt has no doubt his victory at Brookwater last August played a significant role in his on-going success during 2015. 
Dodt is uncertain if he will defend his title later this year as he chases higher honours in Europe and the United States. This year’s Open will be contested at Brookwater from August 20-23, a fortnight after Dodt plays the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational at Akron, Ohio, and a week after the US PGA Championship for which he hopes to qualify. 

Read more in the Winter 2015 edition of Q Golf Online magazine here.
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O'Dell proves to be the local hero at Barcaldine
Barcaldine member Jacob O’Dell has beaten one of the strongest fields in recent memory, to claim the 2015 Men’s Sand Greens. 

Leading by 2 shots after Round 1 with a 6-under 67, the pressure was on O’Dell with 2012 Champion Anthony Timms (City Golf Club) primed for a final round charge.
Coming through 9 holes in Round 2, O’Dell had extended his lead to 3 shots over Timms with fellow City member Nigel Weldon making a run. 

Timms birdied the 10th and 11th holes to close the gap to only 1, but when O’Dell responded with birdies on 13, 15, 16 and 17, the title was staying in Barcaldine. 

A final hole eagle secured a runner-up finish for Timms, but all the plaudits go to O’Dell who closed with a steady par, a final round 8-under 65 and a two shot victory.
Edward Choyce (City Golf Club) overcame a 2 shot deficit to win the B Grade Championship from overnight leader Barry Littlewood (Isisford Golf Club).

Birdies on the 17th and 18th holes proved to be difference after Littlewood surrendered his lead with a double bogey on the 10th.
The C Grade Championship proved to be a popular victory with 23 year Sand Green veteran Jim Bourke (Baralaba Golf Club) receiving a rousing ovation after claiming his maiden title by 1 shot over Phil Kennedy (Mitchell Golf Club), with rounds of 83 and 86.
The Fourball Championship was held on Friday with Wes Waugh and Cameron Tindall winning in a triple countback (52 points) from the teams of Jesse Noonan and Ted Choyce, and Glenn Forsyth and Bob O’Brien.
Barcaldine Golf Club is to be applauded for the outstanding job in hosting the 2015 edition of Men's Sand Greens. 

Thanks also to the local sponsors and the naming sponsor City Golf Club, for their generous continued support. 
With the previous two editions of the Men’s Sand Greens reaching capacity field, players are already excited for Quilpie in 2016.

For full results please click here.
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Smith joins US Open field

Queenslander Cameron Smith has joined the list of eight Australians who will tee it up in the United States Open at Chambers Bay later this month.

Smith, the 21-year-old member of Golf Australia’s rookie squad, qualified today after he shot eight-under over 36 holes in sectional qualifying in Columbus, Ohio.

It was enough to give the former Australian amateur champion the right to play his first US Open from June 18-21.

Smith has made impressive strides since turning professional in 2013, finishing fifth on the Asian Tour order of merit last year.

The eight Australians already qualified for the US Open are Smith, fellow Queenslanders Adam Scott, Jason Day, and John Senden as well as Marc Leishman, Geoff Ogilvy, Kurt Barnes and Marcus Fraser.

There is a further cut-off point after the St Jude Classic this week on the US PGA Tour, where the top 60 on the world rankings who have not already qualified will earn a start.

This is the opportunity for another Queenslander, Steven Bowditch, who is at No. 64 on the rankings this week.

Story: Martin Blake / Golf Australia

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Bowditch salutes in Texas

Queensland's Steven Bowditch held firm on a dramatic final day to win the Byron Nelson tournament on the United States PGA Tour today, his second tour victory.

Bowditch, 31, had recorded just one top-10 finish since his maiden triumph, the Valero Texas Open last year.

But starting the day two shots clear, he carded a 64 to win by four shots at a venue where he and his wife Amanda Yarussi celebrated their wedding four years ago.

The Queenslander, who lives in Dallas, Texas near the tournament venue of TPC Four Seasons, closed superbly.

He nailed a long par-saving putt after finding the back bunker at the par-four 15th hole, then made a great birdie from beside the green at the par-five 16th after tugging his approach. That made the margin three shots, and then at the par-three 17th, he thought that he had flared his tee shot into the water that guards the right of the green.

Destiny was with him. The shot cleared the water narrowly and stopped on the right fringe. Bowditch rolled in the birdie putt that sealed the deal, leaving him with a four-shot lead going up the 18th hole.

At 18, he striped his drive over the water and into the fairway, almost made birdie from the fringe of the green, then tapped in from a few centimetres for the win.

He pockets $US1.278 million, and gets a further two-year exemption to play on the US Tour.

Bowditch, a brilliant rather than steady player, is unpredictable. After his win in the Texas Open last year and his first appearance at the Masters, where he was tied-26th, his world ranking slid to 127th.

But his best is quite something. "When it's good, it's good,'' he said. "When it's not, I'm just trying to hang on.''

Bowditch played alongside Dustin Johnson, one of the world's best players, and outplayed him, rarely looking flustered. At one point during the back nine, he signed an autograph for a fan; at one green, he yawned. But it was a mirage. "Moving a mile a minute,'' was his own description of his mindset. "I wasn't really at ease.''

His American wife was waiting behind the 18th green, where their wedding photographs were taken just a few years ago.

“This is a pretty special place for myself and my wife,’’ he said. “We took some wedding pictures here. Now I get to take some more pictures here!’’

Bowditch is the second Australian to win on the US Tour this year, behind Jason Day.

Meanwhile fellow Queenslander Karrie Webb had her best result for some time on the LPGA Tour this morning, finishing tied-fifth in the Shoprite LPGA Classic in New Jersey.

Veteran Richard Green finished tied-10th in the European Tour’s Irish Open behind Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark.

Story: Martin Blake / Golf Australia

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Mount Coolum wins Pennants
The club may be regarded as ‘little brother’ among the Sunshine Coast golfing fraternity but Mount Coolum has proved to be the great upstart of the 2015 Pennant season, winning both A and B grade titles.

Fielding the youngest team in the history of the club, Mount Coolum beat defending minor premiers Headland 5 and 2 in the A grade final.

The club’s first and only other A grade Pennant victory was in 2008. 

But it was a different story in B grade, with the 4 and 3 win – again over Headland – the third win in seven final appearances during the past decade.

Mt Coolum also finished minor premiers in both grades.

According to Sunshine Coast Golf Zone Director of Golf Scott Mayes, who is a Mount Coolum member and played in the winning B grade team, the key to the success of the A grade team has been the club’s on-going cadet system.

“Three young members of our team – TJ King, Lochie Coleborn and Zac Quirk – have come through the system which has been diligently run over the years by Barry and Denise Degenhardt, Kevin Smith, Yvonne Clohesy and Heather Gibbie,” he said. 

“Since they were 10 and 12 years of age these boys have been at the club practising almost every day. This win has been a culmination of much hard work by the boys and wonderful dedication by their mentors.”

The winning team was a mixture of age and experience, with two ‘40 somethings’, three 20-year-old's and three teenagers. 

Scott Mitchell
(37) captained the winning team which included Nigel Smyly (43), 23 year-old twins Stephan and Tiaan Scheepers, Todd Balkin (24), TJ King (18), Zac Quirk (17) and Lochie Coleborn (16). And Luke Parker (20) was a reserve.

The win in the final was even more impressive considering Coleborn did not play. He was unavailable because of commitments with the Queensland Junior Squad, playing in the Northern Territory Open.

Although beaten in the final, TJ King was named Player of the Year and at 18 is believed to be one the youngest recipient of this honour in A grade.

A previous winner of the award – also as a teenager – was Steven Bowditch, a former Mt Coolum member.

Sunshine Coast Pennant results for 2015 were: 

  • A grade: Mount Coolum beat Headland 5-2 (Player of the Year - TJ King Mt Coolum); 
  • B grade: Mount Coolum beat Headland 4-3 (Player of the Year - David Butler Peregian Springs); 
  • Masters: Headland beat Peregian Springs 4-3 (Player of the Year - Marc Bright Cooroy); 
  • Juniors:  Horton Park beat Nambour 3.5-1.5 (Player of the Year - Josh Taylor Nambour)

We love hearing your stories! Send us your news to cassie@golfqueensland.org.au.

Story: Tony Durkin
Photo: Mount Coolum A grade. Back (L-R): Zac Quirk, Todd Balkin, Stephan and Tiaan Scheepers; Front: TJ King, Scott Mitchell, Nigel Smyly.

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Aussies slide down leaderboard

Australia has stumbled to finish 10th at the Queen Sirikit Cup.

With Hannah Green (77),
Queensland's Becky Kay (80) and Liz Elmassian (81) uncustomarily battling in windy conditions on the Hong Kong Golf Club’s New Course, the team suffered its worst collective round of the tournament.

With the best two daily scores counting towards the Asia Pacific team title, Australia’s three-round total of 448 left it 26 strokes adrift of winner Korea with Philippines runner-up and New Zealand third.

Green finished tied eighth in the individual event at five over par, with Elmassian tied 25th on 12 over and Kay tied 31st on 14 over.

Australian coach Tony Meyer said the women “just couldn’t find any momentum” as the team fell from fifth overnight.

“All the girls had bad starts and just couldn’t really get it back on track after that,” he said.

“It was just a disappointing finish to a good week.

“But I’m certain that Becky and Liz would have taken plenty from the week and learnt a lot given they haven’t played in conditions like this before.”

Korea’s domination of the event continued with its eighth win in nine years with Australia’s win in Chinese Taipei in 2013 the only exception since 2007.

With Hyun Kyung Park (-7), Eun Soon Jang (-3) and Joung Eun Lee (E) finishing first, second and tied fourth respectively in the individual event, the powerhouse Korean team finished 14 strokes clear of its nearest rival.

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Sheree Hasson captures 2015 Women's Country Championship

Cairns Golf Club and Half Moon Bay Golf Club played host to the 2015 Women's Country Week Championships from Monday 18 May - Wednesday 20 May.

Over 280 players from 38 clubs travelled to Far North Queensland for an exciting week of golf, with the Foursomes Championship beginning play on Monday and the individual championships playing out across the two courses on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Cairns Golf Club hosted Round one of the Silver and Bronze II Championships with Sheree Hasson (Mackay), Marion Wright (Half Moon Bay) and 2012 Women's Country Champion Eileen Thompson firing an opening round of 78 (+5) to hold a two stroke lead over Half Moon Bay Golf Club member Sarah Wilson.

In the Bronze II Championship, Debbie Curnow (Rowes Bay) set the pace early, as she managed 40 points on the Cairns layout. 

Over at Half Moon Bay, local member Sue Job led a large field of more than 110 players, including Rosemary Veitch who trailed by a single shot after the conclusion of the first round.

On Wednesday, clear conditions greeted the players for Round two, with Silver and Bronze II teeing off at Half Moon Bay Golf Club and Bronze I players heading across to Cairns Golf Club.

Solid performances on the Cairns course earlier gave Sheree Hasson and Eileen Thompson confidence and prevented them from separating as they played on the Half Moon Bay layout.

Both players showed early promise with Thompson returning birdies on the seventh and ninth holes, and later firing a double bogey. 

Hasson managed just one birdie for her round and both players couldn't be split, both returning rounds of 5-over par 76 and heading to extra holes.

Unfortunately Thompson was unable to contest the play-off due to travel commitments in the afternoon and therefore Sheree Hasson from Mackay claimed the 2015 Women's Country Championship title.

At Half Moon Bay, Debbie Curnow (Rowes Bay) produced 31 points, enough to close out the rest of the field and take the Bronze 2 by a massive eight points.

Round two of the Bronze I Championship concluded at Cairns, where Rosemary Veitch (Rowes Bay 95,101-196) emerged victorious, three shots clear from Alice Nurthern (Half Moon Bay - 97,102-199). 

In Division 2 of Bronze I, a count back was required and Clare Kirby (Sanctuary Cove) defeated Half Moon Bay member Jennifer Bussey.

Marion Wright (Half Moon Bay) and Erina Williams (Cairns) played well together to take out the 2015 Women's Country Foursomes on Monday. 

Wright and Williams shot 7-over par 80 to win by three strokes from the sister pairing of Eileen Thompson and Fiona Bell from Townsville.

Congratulations to Cairns Golf Club and Half Moon Bay Golf Club for hosting a fantastic event, with special mention to both of the clubs' ladies committees who had put in hours of work to coordinate volunteers and make the 2015 Women's Country Week Championship a success. 

In 2016, the Women's Country Week Championship will head south to the Gold Coast and both Southport Golf Club and Surfers Paradise Golf Clubs are looking forward to hosting upward of 400 players.

For full results please click here.

All photos from the tournament can be viewed on our Facebook page here.
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Queensland men come off second best

Victoria has completed an unprecedented clean sweep of state teams’ titles, downing Queensland 5-3 in the men’s final at Huntingdale.

A day after winning the women’s championship at Royal Melbourne and less than a month after winning the girls’ and boys’ trophies in South Australia, history was made when Brett Coletta sealed his No.3 match 3&1.

And then as the rest of the results fell Victoria’s way, the party began for the delirious home teams with the women’s squad watching in support.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” Ben Eccles said after his quality match with Simon Viitakangas was halved, earning the Victorian skipper a medal as one of three unbeaten players for the week with five wins and two halves.

“To have the girls and boys, then the women all win, we were really keen to get the four up today and it couldn't have worked out better.

“It’s a really proud day for me, but mostly the state – to do that for the first time ever is almost unbelievable.

“But we did it.”

Victoria came hard out of the blocks and with David Micheluzzi four under and 5-up through seven holes against Jack Sullivan, his eventual 5&4 victory gave the home team a vital buffer.

Thomas Power-Horan soon racked up his fifth win from six matches this week, dispatching the impressive Anthony Quayle 2&1 to add to the Vics’ comfort levels.

But then things tightened up as Queensland showed the spirit it used to topple New South Wales to reach the final.

Shae Wools-Cobb beat Andrew Schonewille 2&1 in the No.8 match and Blake Proverbs, the second of the unbeaten triumvirate, overcame Frazer Droop 2&1 after a roller-coaster ride throughout their tense match at No.5.

But in terms of “wow factor”, however, the top match between Ryan Ruffels and Brisbane’s Taylor Macdonald had it all.

Macdonald could scarcely have played better, bar for a couple of birdie putts sliding narrowly by.

When he conceded Ruffels a birdie on the par-3 15th from inside 30cm, Macdonald was himself five under the card.

But so imperious was Ruffels, who turned 17 on Wednesday, that that score was only good enough for a 5&3 defeat.

Ruffels almost holed out on both the 15th and 3rd (10cm) and was an extraordinary 10 under par when he walked off.

“I really didn’t want to let anyone down today,” said Ruffels, who was also a member of the winning boys’ team and won the individual national junior championship last month.

“So I was really excited to be able to do that – it was an important day for Victorian golf, because those four wins have never happened before and it’s great to play my part.”

Ruffels was 2-up early with birdies on the first and third, but gave one back when Macdonald almost aced the fifth, testament to the quality of the match.

Macdonald’s eagle putt on the seventh sat on the lip, but Ruffels made a miraculous up-and-down birdie to halve the hole and start a birdie blitz that incredibly lasted six straight holes as the Queenslander was left just shaking his head.

Senior squad rookie Brett Coletta fought a ripping match at No.3, which looked headed Queensland’s way when Jake McLeod led 1-up after 13 holes.

But the emerging Coletta dug deep to win three holes in a row when it mattered most for his 3&1 triumph, sealing the title for Victoria.

It didn’t, however, finish two stunning matches that, in the end, could not be split.

Eccles scrambled impeccably for a par up the last as he and Viitakangas ended square after each player led at stages of a tense match.

And then Cory Crawford had a chance to edge out Lucas Herbert in the No.2 match with a 4m putt on the last hole, but his birdie try slid by and the match was halved to seal the 5-3 final result and allow the party to begin in earnest.

In the consolation matches, New South Wales ensured it finished third with a hard-fought 4.5-3.5 win over Western Australia.

WA ace Jarryd Felton completed a superb week with a 3&2 win over Australian Amateur champion Cam Davis to remarkably remain unbeaten this week in the No.1 slot at an incredible collective 28 under par (estimated).

In the playoff for fifth, South Australia breezed past Tasmania 6-2 with Antonio Murdaca winning the top match against Greg Longmore 2&1.

Story: Mark Hayes / Golf Australia

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Queensland women finish third in the Australian Women’s Interstate Series
After four days of competition at Royal Melbourne Golf Club (East Course), the Queensland Women’s state team have finished in third place after defeating South Australia 3.5-2.5 in the first consolation final on Thursday 30 April.

Day one commenced on Monday 27 April and the women’s team locked in their first win in Round 1 against South Australia with 3.5-1.5. 

It wasn’t an easy start for the women as South Australia looked strong leading in four matches after nine holes. 

Yet, the opponents were unable to pull through and Gennai Goodwin and Karis Davidson brought home the win in their No.2 and No.1 matches respectively.

The team played Tasmania in Round 2 defeating the team 4.5-0.5, the highlight being Robyn Choi’s 7&6 win in the No.4 match, resulting in an undefeated first day for the Queensland women.

On day two, Queensland faced their first loss against hosts Victoria. 

Robyn Choi commenced play in the No.5 match defeating opponent Bianca Ling 7&5.

The Victorians managed to scrape through in the No.4 and No.3 matches with both matches halved. 

Victorian captain Joanna Charlton edged out national squad member Rebecca Kay 2&1 in the No.2 match.

Victoria’s Julienne Soo followed suit defeating Karis Davidson 2&1 in the No.1 match and settling Victoria’s win of 3-2 over the Queensland women.

Round 4 saw Queensland fight back to claim a victory over New South Wales with a final score of 3-2.

After play concluded on day two, it was clear Victoria was through to the finals and their opponent was determined in a final-round shootout between Queensland and Western Australia on Wednesday.

The Round 5 decider proved too much for the Queensland women who succumbed to the pressure and lost out 2-3 to WA. 

Yet, the women qualified for the first consolation final on Thursday and managed a win over SA 3.5-2.5 to place third in the interstate series.

In the women’s final, team Victoria was victorious over Western Australia with 3.5-2.5.

A great effort by the Queensland women’s team, coach Richard Woodhouse and team manager Shirley Dean

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Queensland scuppers rivals' hopes
Queensland will play Victoria in the final of the men’s Interstate Teams Championship.

The Queenslanders put paid to the mathematical chances of New South Wales and Western Australia when they breezed past South Australia 7-0 this morning at Huntingdale.

NSW held up its end of the bargain by pounding the Northern Territory 7-0, but finished a half-point behind Queensland, with the idle WA team a further half-point behind in fourth.

Victoria edged past the gallant Tasmanians 4-3 to remain unbeaten in the preliminary rounds and will be chasing history tomorrow against Queensland.

With its women’s, boys’ and girls’ teams all successful in the national championship in the past month, a win to the men tomorrow will provide an unprecedented sweep.

NSW will face WA in the third-place playoff with Tasmania against South Australia in a battle for fifth.

The Northern Territory finished winless in seventh place, but won four matches for the week in a memorable and successful debut in the championship.
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Queensland wins epic tussle

It didn’t have the biffo, but Queensland and New South Wales fought out a classic Interstate Teams Championship state-of-origin-style tussle on Day 3 of the Series.

And with a likely final berth against Victoria on the line, it came right down to the last match until Queensland emerged victorious 4-3 after a gripping battle.

The states alternated victories in a tense final hour with some brilliant shot-making under pressure.

But ironically, the 17th hole – the 11th at Huntingdale – halved in bogeys was enough for national squad member Cory Crawford to seal a 2&1 victory in the No.2 match for the Queenslanders to be in front when it mattered.

The result left Queensland tied for second with Western Australia on the ladder with Victoria clear and assured of its final berth.

But WA has the bye in the final round on Thursday, meaning any points from either NSW or Queensland will eliminate it.

Queensland will advance with a win over South Australia, while New South Wales will qualify with a win over the Northern Territory and a Queensland halve or worse.

Tasmania’s afternoon 4.5-2.5 loss to WA took it out of contention, while South Australia ensured Northern Territory will finish seventh with a 7-0 thumping of the newcomers.

Crawford, Jake McLeod, Blake Proverbs and Anthony Quayle all saluted for Queensland against NSW, which had Kevin Yuan, Troy Moses and Cam Davis victorious.

Quayle, originally from the NT, was sublime in the No.7 match winning 6&4 to set the ball rolling and from then on, McLeod said it had a “state of origin feel” to it.

“It’s a big rivalry, especially in league, so it feels good,” McLeod said.

“We were looking pretty good with (Quayle) and Blake had a late win on the 17th before things got a bit tighter… it’s a great feeling to win a tight one like that as a team.”

McLeod, who has won 3.5 of a possible five points this week largely by weaving magic with his putter, said his 4&2 result over Travis Smyth belied the match’s closeness.

“Trav played well (but) I just putted well and made a few too many birdies for him in the end.

“They’re nice and receptive (greens), so you can land it up next to the pin, hit it close and give it a good roll – I like them.”

But McLeod said there was no room for complacency with South Australia more than capable of an upset on Thursday morning.

“We can’t get a head of ourselves. We’ve just got to play our own game and get the wins we need to get in the final.”

Earlier in the day, Victoria – which had the afternoon bye – became the first team through courtesy of its impressive depth.

Despite Jarryd Felton’s impressive win over Victorian ace Ryan Ruffels the hosts won through 4.5-2.5.

The Vics, though, turned to Brett Coletta (2-up over Kiran Day), skipper Ben Eccles (4&2 over Min Woo Lee) and unsung heroes David Micheluzzi and Thomas Power-Horan to seal a place in the final before having the afternoon off.

Coach Marty Joyce was delighted with his team’s even performance.

“They’re doing a very good job all the way through. The bottom four have been playing fantastic which is nice because a lot of the battles have been close going into the back nine,” Joyce said.

“It gives us great confidence, absolutely. The team is very strong as a whole and a lot of the guys could be playing in different spots.

“But the nice thing is they’re more comfortable playing in their spot, playing for a win and not worried about what position they’re in because at the end of the day we need four wins each time, regardless of where they come from.”

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Registration for Olympic golf tickets opens
If you’ve been waiting a lifetime to see golf in the Olympics, here’s your chance.

As golf returns to the Games for the first time since 1904, you can now register your interest for tickets to personally welcome it back to the Olympic family in Brazil next year.

The Australian Olympic Committee has launched the ticketing process for the Rio Games with residents having until May 5 to register their interest in attending the first Olympics ever held in South America.

The AOC announced today it had joined again with CoSport as its authorised ticket reseller through website www.CoSport.com.au which will run the ballot and ticketing process.

“For our athletes and fans alike, there are few experiences more exhilarating than being part of competition on the world stage,” Australian Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller said.

“Together with CoSport, we are excited to extend an invitation to Australian fans from around the country to share this truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

CoSport managing director Grant Little said his company had a “deep knowledge of Brazil” and offered an “exciting variety” of individual ticket and package options.

“Our hotel and tickets packages especially simplify attending the Rio 2016 Olympic Games so our guests can focus on enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime experience. There will be plenty of opportunities to choose from once sales open, but the best packages will surely go fast,” Little said.

The initial ballot closes on May 5 at 10am and by May 11, CoSport will confirm with fans which requested tickets have been secured and advise the payment process.

Tickets start for as little as $27 to preliminary rounds in a range of sports and for sports such as marathon swimming and mountain biking in open precincts.

Tickets to watch an athletics session which features a range of finals including the women’s 100m hurdles final, where Sally Pearson hopes to defend her Olympic title, start from $175 and range to $574.

One of the iconic experiences of the Games will be beach volleyball on Copacabana Beach, with tickets to pool matches ranging from $33 to $67.

The most expensive ticket at the Games is a prime seat at the opening ceremony for $2654.

After the initial ballot phase, the next opportunity for Australian Olympic fans to purchase tickets will occur on May 19 as part of a first come, first served process.
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Queensland, Victoria locked in battle
The Interstate Teams Championship has begun in Melbourne with Victoria and Queensland locked in heavyweight battle in men’s competition.

In showery conditions at Huntingdale, Queenslander Cory Crawford has clawed back from an early deficit to put the visitors right back in the hunt through nine holes.

Crawford was two down to Lucas Herbert after the powerful Victorian was conceded a birdie on the par-five 14th hole.

But Crawford wrested back the momentum with a spectacular approach to the 16th for birdie and turned all square.

Queensland's No.3 Jake McLeod has Brett Coletta under the pump with a 3-up lead through the turn, with teammate Anthony Quayle also 1-up on David Micheluzzi.

But Tom Power-Horan, Frazer Droop and Ryan Ruffels each lead for Victoria in a tense battle.

In other men’s matches, South Australia has a decided edge over Tasmania with leads in four matches and two others square.

But in a slight turn-up, Tassie’s No.1 Greg Longmore is 2-up through 10 holes over South Australian ace Antonio Murdaca.

Northern Territory’s Mitch Gridley is 1-up through 16 against Western Australia’s Ben Seward in the Territory’s first ever match at Interstate Series level.

WA leads four of the seven matches against NT, with two others square.

In women’s matches on Royal Melbourne’s East Course, Victoria has won the week’s first point with Grace Daniell beating Tasmanian Sharon Crowden 8&7.

But the hosts aren’t having it all their own way with Tassie up in two other matches through nine holes.

In a potentially bigger shock, though, South Australia leads Queensland in four matches after nine holes, with Ella Adams leading 3-up against Robyn Choi with six holes to play in their No.4 encounter.

Powerhouses Western Australia and New South Wales are locked in another tense battle with Jessica Whiting already securing one match for WA and Paige Stubbs likewise for NSW.

Perth’s Hannah Green is 4-up over Liz Elmassian in the No.1 match, with the No.2 and No.3 matches all critical.

Story: Mark Hayes / Golf Australia

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Australian Interstate Teams Matches commence in Victoria
The Australian Interstate Teams Matches will run from Monday 27 April until Friday 1 May, 2015 in Victoria.

The Interstate Teams Matches are Australia’s premier Amateur Team Golf Championships with each State team contesting singles match play in a round robin format, concluding with a final.

The men’s competition will be played at Huntingdale Golf Club with each team consisting of eight players.

The Women’s Interstate Teams play for the Galdys Hay Memorial Trophy and will play at Royal Melbourne Golf Club with each team consisting of six players.

Queensland’s State Women’s Team:

  • Robyn Choi (Royal Pines)
  • Karis Davidson (Sanctuary Cove)
  • Gennai Goodwin (Indooroopilly)
  • Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe)
  • Rebecca Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed)
  • Amy Walsh (Palmer Gold Coast)
  • Women’s Coach: Richard Woodhouse
  • Women’s Team Manager: Shirley Dean

Queensland State Men’s Team:

  • Cory Crawford (Sanctuary Cove)
  • Taylor Macdonald (Redcliffe)
  • Jake McLeod (Royal Queensland)
  • Jake Proverbs (Pacific)
  • Anthony Quayle (Sanctuary Cove)
  • Jack Sullivan (Palmer Gold Coast)
  • Simon Viitakangas (Palmer Gold Coast)
  • Shae Wools-Cobb (Horton Park)
  • Men’s Coach: Tony Meyer
  • Men’s Team Manager: Matthew Toomey 

Stay up-to-date with all the results streamed through the Golf Queensland Twitter account here.

Photos of the tournament will be uploaded daily to the Golf Queensland Facebook page here.
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Smith cashes in again
Queenslander Cameron Smith has recorded his second top-15 finish in a remarkable US PGA Tour season.

Smith, a Golf Australia rookie squad member, carved out six birdies in a four-under-par round of 67 at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina this morning to seal a T15 finish in the RBC Heritage.

Playing on a sponsor’s invitation, the 21-year-old finished at nine under, nine shots behind champion Jim Furyk who beat Kevin Kisner in a playoff.

Smith’s stellar play on the Asian Tour – six consecutive top 10s late last year -- earnt him a start in the co-sanctioned CIMB Classic in Malaysia where he cashed in with a T5, the first player in six years on PGA Tour debut with a top-10 finish.

He has now parlayed that into six starts from which he has banked $366,300, giving him a great leg-up towards a Web.com Tour berth next year – and even the faint hope of a card on the big tour if he can shine at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans this week.

Both Smith and fellow rookie squad member Oliver Goss will tee up in Louisiana.

This morning’s win for Furyk came on the back of an impressive 11 birdies in 20 holes, including two in the gripping playoff with the winner on the par-three 17th.

It was the American veteran’s 17th career victory on US PGA Tour, but he roared with obvious delight and relief when he broke a 100-start winless drought dating back five years.

Though still ranked 10th in the world, the 2003 US Open champ had been winless in nine attempts while leading through 54 holes since the 2010 Tour Championship.

''I think getting excited on 17 there was a lot of pent-up frustrations,'' said Furyk, who closed with a 63.

“I was starting to feel like this game is beating me up, and the losing hurts a lot more than winning feels good.

''I think I just forgot how good it feels to win.”

Masters and Australian Open champion Jordan Spieth closed with a 70 to finish T11 at 10 under.

Story: Mark Hayes / Golf Australia
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Golf Queensland announces two-year sponsorship with Srixon

Golf Queensland is pleased to announce Srixon’s commitment as a sponsor until 2017.

Srixon will return as a sponsor for the 2015 Isuzu Queensland Open and major sponsor of the Queensland Men’s Mid-Amateur Championships.

In addition, Srixon have committed to a new venture coming on board as a major sponsor of the Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur Championship.

 The Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur Championships will be played from 7 to 9 December at the Indooroopilly Golf Club.

Managing Director for Srixon, Martin Wright said the company was pleased to partner with Golf Queensland and support another State-based Championship.  

“Junior events such as the Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur are important for the growth of golf and we’re excited to add another pinnacle event to the agreement”.

Golf Queensland Manager of Golf Operations Luke Bates said he was looking forward to seeing the success of the new partnership with Srixon on top of their returning sponsorship agreements. 

 “Srixon has provided invaluable support for Golf Queensland in previous years and their continued support is only testament of the quality of golf in Queensland.”

 About the Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur Championship 

The Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur is the pinnacle Junior Championship in Queensland and is a three-day event comprising of 72 holes.

Past winners include Karrie Webb, Katherine Kirk (nee Hull), Rachel Hetherington, Greg Norman, Wayne Grady, Peter Senior, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Andrew Dodt and Cameron Smith. 

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Queensland Boys' Place Fifth in the 2015 Interstate Series
The Australian Boys’ Interstate Teams Matches played from 13 – 17 April 2015 at Links Lady Bay Golf Club in South Australia and saw the Queensland State Boys’ Team finish in 5th place (20.5 matches won) at conclusion of play on Thursday.

The Queensland boys’ team included 2015 Junior Male Amateur Golfer of the Year Doug Klein, 2014 Greg Norman Junior Masters Champion Charlie Pilon, Chris Park, Lawry Flynn, Louis Dobbelaar and Steven Cox.

The boys claimed their first win on day one of competition up against Tasmania with 4 – 1. 

Round two saw the boys against hosts South Australia in a tough fight for the win. Queensland’s No. 5 Louis Dobbelaar secured the 3 – 2 round win after his 3&2 win over Travis Miller.

On day two Queensland claimed a 4 – 1 win over the Northern Territory before going on to play a tense battle against New South Wales. 

Queensland captain Doug Klein finished the No. 1 match with a 3&2 win over Jason Hong to have the match halved.

Play concluded on day two and Queensland was tied with New South Wales and Victoria all at the top of the table on 3.5 points.

Day four and Queensland lost round five to Western Australia (1.5 – 3.5), yet managed to come back in round six with a 4 – 1 win over the ACT. 

Unfortunately, the last day of competition didn’t see any success and the Queensland boys lost to Victoria (3.5 – 1.5). 

Thirteen-year-old Louis Dobbelaar was undefeated and wasn’t going to let Victorian Aiden Didone break his run in the No. 5 match which ended in a half-point for each state after both players parred the last hole.

The No. 4 match saw Queensland’s Charles Pilon go down to Konrad Ciupek of Victoria with 4&2.

Chris Park managed a win, Queensland’s only, in his No. 3 match with his 10m birdie bomb on the 17th and he went on to win 2-up with a final hole par.
The No. 2 match saw Steven Cox make huge putts on the 16th and 17th holes to have the match square going up the last but after a misjudged putt he went down with Victoria’s Cameron John winning 1-up.

The final match of the round saw Victoria seal their win with Ryan Ruffels defeating Queensland’s Doug Klein 2&1 in the No. 1 match.

The Victorian boys’ team took out the title and completed a clean sweep in the Interstate Series after the Girls’ title was secured a day earlier.

After all play concluded, the Queensland Boys’ Interstate team finished in 5th place behind championship winners Victoria, Western Australia (2nd), New South Wales (3rd) and South Australia (4th). 

Despite not placing, Queensland’s Louis Dobbelaar finished undefeated in the series - at just 13 years of age, this is an outstanding effort!

To read a wrap report on the Girls' Interstate Series, click here.

For full results and information, visit the Golf Australia championships page here

Photo: nEverest Photography
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Playgolf WEEK 2015 Dates Announced
If you’ve ever wanted to play golf, put this week in your calendar.

The second annual Playgolf WEEK 2015 will run from Monday, October 26 through to Sunday, November 1.

Playgolf WEEK is an event to inspire and motivate people to give golf a go and play more often.

It provides a great opportunity for facilities to promote all aspects of their venue, increase their revenue and engage with their local community. 

The 2014 event saw nearly 200 facilities Australia-wide take part in Playgolf WEEK, with over 7,000 people attending activities throughout the week.

For facilities or people wanting to know more about Playgolf WEEK, or for a full report on the 2014 event, please contact the Playgolf WEEK Team on 03 9626 5050 or info@playgolf.com.au.
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Queensland Girls' State Team End Four-Year Winning Streak to Victoria
The Australian Girls’ Interstate Teams Matches for the Burtta Cheney Cup played from 13 - 16 April 2015 at Fleurieu Golf Club in South Australia and saw reigning champions, Queensland, admit defeat in an upset fourth round against Victoria.

The Queensland girls’ team included 2015 Australian Ladies Master Leading Amateur and Golf Australia National Squad member Rebecca Kay and 2014 Golf Queensland Junior Female Amateur of the Year Karis Davidson

The girls were joined by Robyn Choi, Stacey White and Kate Law in the three-day round robin format of competition. 

After six title wins over the past eight years, including a more recent four-year winning streak, the Queensland girls’ team went into play as strong favourites. 

Day one of competition saw Queensland defeat South Australia 3.5 - 1.5 with Karis Davidson, Robyn Choi and Kate Law successfully overcoming their southern opponents. 

The No. 4 match saw Stacey White’s score halved against Jin-Young Yun and Rebecca Kay went down 3&2 to Cassidy Everniadis of South Australia.

Glorious conditions on day two of competition set the tone for the Queensland girls as they defeated Western Australia in a whitewash 5 – 0.

Next up was Round 4 against Victoria and they started confident as Robyn Choi secured the first point with a 3&2 win over Zara Woodbridge. 

This familiar confidence was quickly put to rest when Victorians Alexandra Hilliard and Cheerie Tan defeated Queensland girls, Kate Law and Kirsty Hodgkins in the No. 3 and No.4 matches. 

It didn’t stop there and Stephanie Bunque of Victoria played a 2m par putt on the 17th hole to give her a 2&1 win over Queensland’s Karis Davidson

In the No. 1 match, Victorian captain Olivia Kline played a birdie on the 18th to defeat Rebecca Kay and cement Victoria’s round win and championship title after four straight wins throughout the competition.

Not going down without a fight, the Queensland girls defeated NSW 3.5-1.5 in the final round of competition with Kirsty Hodgkins and Robyn Choi overcoming opponents 3&1 and 5&3 respectively.

As a result, the Queensland Girls’ State Team finished competition in second place with three wins and one loss ahead of New South Wales.

To read a wrap report on the Boys' Interstate Series, click here.

For full results and information visit Golf Australia’s Championships page here

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Vics topple giants to seal title
If you believe golf is played above the shoulders, the Victorian girls’ team is your proof.

The Vics left the highly fancied New South Wales and Queensland teams in their wake on Tuesday, stunning each en route to sealing an early victory at the Girls’ Interstate Teams championship in South Australia.

And with a bye on Wednesday morning, the party started early Tuesday night with manager Jo Charlton promising her charges “plenty of ice cream and chocolate” in celebration.

The Vics entered the week ranked fifth of five teams by the Australian rankings, but that mattered little to the team of Olivia Kline, Stephanie Bunque, Cheerie Tan, Zara Woodbridge, Alex Hilliard and Soo Bin Park who triumphed all four times they played Fleurieu Golf Course at Mount Compass.

“It’s a really testing course and we just told the girls that pars would get the job done,” Charlton said.

“So we just talked about hitting fairways and greens and not much else and that’s exactly what they did.

“It’s incredible and the girls are justifiably rapt – we all are.”

Victoria hung tough in the morning match against NSW, with Park‘s 2&1 triumph over Antonia Gonzalez in the No.5 match setting the tone.

Then with undefeated Bunque and Tan leading the charge in the afternoon, the Big V took down the powerhouse Queenslanders 4-1 to give Victoria its first interstate title since 2007.

“That’s the beauty of matchplay, it’s anyone’s game,” Charlton said.

“They’ve worked really well all week and they’re a great little unit … we’re a happy little camp.

“All the girls have really improved in the past year, but we didn’t expect this.

“You always go in with a bit of faith and do the simple things well and we thought third would be great.

“But once you have that belief, anything is possible.”

Queensland, which has won six of the past eight titles, were confident after off a morning 5-0 win over WA and had Robyn Choi earn the first point with a 3&2 win over Woodbridge.

But after Hilliard and Tan saluted, Bunque set the team into celebration mode with a 2m par putt on the 17th hole to give her a 2&1 win over red-hot Karis Davidson and seal overall victory.

To cap it off, captain Kline then made a birdie on the 18th to beat Golf Australia national squad member Becky Kay 1-up in the No.1 match.

In the other afternoon match, NSW edged past WA 3-2, meaning that WA and SA will play for fourth tomorrow morning, with Queensland and NSW fighting for second.

Story: Mary Hayes / Golf Australia
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Boys going by halves
The stage is set for an epic conclusion to the Boys’ Interstate Teams championship with four states still right in the hunt.

A tense afternoon of Round 4 matches left more questions than it answered at Links Lady Bay today after the top four teams remarkably shared the spoils.

Queensland and New South Wales could each have put the other on the back foot, but fought out a tense halved match with skipper Douglas Klein winning 3&2 in the No.1 battle with Jason Hong.

In theory that could have opened the door for Victoria, but a determined Western Australia had different ideas.

The Sandgropers had unexpectedly halved their morning match with South Australia, but when Connor Faulds and Cameron Jones beat Vics Aiden Didone and Matias Sanchez, respectively, an afternoon upset looked on.

But Cameron John beat Ben Ferguson 1-up and captain Ryan Ruffels trounced Min Woo Lee 6&5, the Vics salvaged half a point.

The result left Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria tied on 3.5 of a possible four points, with WA poised on three.

And host South Australia remains a mathematical chance on 1.5 after beating ACT this afternoon, while Tasmania opened its account with a 4-1 win over the Northern Territory.

But it’s so close at the top, WA manager Darren Goss couldn’t split the teams.

“Honestly it’s so close and it’s such high quality, you can’t call it,” Goss said tonight.

“It’s a really good matchplay course with an open nine for the big hitters and a tighter one for the thinkers, so it’s just really close.”

WA was extremely close to upsetting the fancied Victorians with John rolling in a 5m bomb on the last hole of his match, the sixth at Lady Bay, for his 1-up victory over Ferguson.

“It was an amazing finish. But it was like that all the way around with most of the boys,” Goss said.

“At one stage, Fred Lee (and Josh Hetherington) were about 35 feet away from the pin for their birdie putts and couldn’t decide who was away.

“They tossed a coin to decide, then both of them just rolled in their putts. It was unbelievable golf.”

Goss said his WA charges were confident they could continue on with matches to come against NSW and Queensland among their final three rounds.

“All the boys played brilliant. Everyone’s confident and it’s matchplay, so anything can happen, especially the way it’s working out.”
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Queensland Juniors Path a Promising Future
The Australian Girls’ and Boys’ Amateur was held at the Tee Tree Gully and Kooyonga Golf Club’s in South Australia last week with several promising Queensland juniors dominating the field inside the top 20. 

Queensland was well represented with 40 boys and 17 girls in the field of the 140 juniors competing in the tournament. 

They competed against a star studded field with the boys gaining five top 20 finishes, and the girls earning seven spots in the top 20.

Christopher Jimenez (Royal Queensland) was the top ranking male Queenslander placing tied fourth with rounds of 70, 72, 74, and 74 (290) after sharing the midway lead with defending Victorian Champion Ryan Ruffels. 

Myoung Kim (Lakelands) was among the contenders only three shots behind (293) placing ninth while 2014 Golf Queensland Junior Male Amateur Golfer of the Year Douglas Klein (Redcliffe) finished with six over par (294) taking out 11th place. 

Hills International’s Charles Pilon and Lakelands’ Chris Park also earned spots within the top 20 placing 13th and 15th respectively. 

In the Girls’ competition, Sanctuary Cove’s Karis Davidson and Coolangatta Tweed’s Rebecca Kay were favourites leading into the tournament with each earning respective Amateur title achievements within the last month. 

After a slow start with 75, followed by a promising four-under-par 69 on the second day, Davidson duly responded to a playoff with Sydney’s Celina Yuan. 

The tense playoff resulted in an Australian Girls’ Amateur title for Yuan after a birdie on the third extra hole. 

Davidson followed through and finished runner-up  (293) for the second consecutive year with fellow Queenslander Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe) earning fourth place (297). 

The remaining Queensland girls finished in a strong suit as Jiwon Jeon (Hills International) placed equal six with fellow Queenslander Robyn Choi (Royal Pines), both scoring 300. 

Golf Australia National Squad Member Rebecca Kay stumbled through the second day with rounds of 75, 80, 74, and 77 to place 13th. 

Rounding out the top 20 for Queensland was Pacific Golf Club’s Stacey White with 308 and Yun Eun Eunice Kim (Lakelands) with 313.

We wish the Queensland Girls’ and Boys’ Teams well with their endeavour’s to take out their respective Australian titles in South Australia this week.
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Regional Junior Clinics take off in North Queensland
The 2015 Junior Regional Clinics have kicked off in North Queensland with 40 keen juniors registered to attend.

The two-day clinics are set to take place at Rowes Bay Golf Club in Townsville and Mareeba Golf Club in Cairns from 13-14 April 2015 and Bargara Golf Club from 4-5 July 2015. 

At the clinics, juniors are afforded a fantastic opportunity to develop their golfing ability and exposure to Golf Queensland’s High Performance pathway.

The two-day clinic is at a cost of $70 per participant which includes coaching (from a Golf Queensland coach and local Professional), technical analysis, acceleration and all meals and drinks.

There are numerous opportunities to improve their game through both personal and social development, plus access to improved coaching and education programs including with state coaches and selectors.

The Regional Junior Clinics play an important role in Golf Queensland’s development division and also gives the state team coaches the opportunity to work and connect with local community coaches.

Golf Queensland Participation Development Officer Adrian Hewat highlights the importance of the clinics to drive development and exposure of our High Performance Program at an early age throughout the state.

 “This grassroots approach is imperative in building and maintaining relationships within the coaching teams across the state and is important in providing Queensland players with the best possible coaching and education,” says Hewat.

“Each year we see success in our juniors and I look forward to seeing many more junior golfers from regional Queensland at next year’s clinics.”

Follow us on Facebook here to see updates throughout the clinics. 

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Karis gets her SA groove back
Emerging Queenslander Karis Davidson has renewed her passion for South Australia, storming to the lead in the Australian Girls’ Amateur Championship.

Davidson, runner-up in the Australian Amateur at The Grange last year, systematically picked her way through the field today with a bogey-free second round of four-under-par 69.

Her exemplary form at Tea Tree Gully Golf Club, near Adelaide, gave her a three-shot buffer with 36 holes to be played on tomorrow’s final day.

Sydney’s Celina Yuan (70) and New Zealender Brooke Hamilton (72) shot sub-par rounds today to join first-round leader Olivia Kline (77), of Melbourne, at one over in a tie for second.

The only other red number of the day was posted by Perth’s Hira Naveed, whose 71 brought her back into the frame at six over after an opening 81.

The shock of the day came when Golf Australia national squad member Becky Kay stumbled through three double-bogeys to manage an 80, which left her 11 shots off the -3 pace of her fellow Queenslander.

Davidson, 16, a member at Sanctuary Cove, said she enjoyed the South Australian conditions.

“It’s mainly because the courses here are pretty tight with plenty of trees and it really just makes you focus in on your shots because you’ll get in trouble if you’re not straight,” she said.

“And the greens are soft and smooth, so you can putt with confidence.”

Davidson, whose personal-best tournament round is five under, said she wouldn’t do anything different in tomorrow’s final rounds.

“I had a good day today … happy I didn’t make any bogeys. I’ll just try my best tomorrow, have fun and see how it goes,” she said.
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Kolar bubbles as leaders stall
Some cracking scores lit up the Australian Boys’ Amateur Championship today – but oddly not at the top of a crowded leaderboard.

Sydney’s Daniel Kolar peeled off a Kooyonga championship course record five-under-par 67 in today’s second round, but, like several around him to make their move, he was coming from a fair way back.

World No.16 amateur and defending champion Ryan Ruffels, of Victoria, shares the midway lead at two under with Christopher Jimenez, of Queensland, after both followed opening 70s with 72s.

First-round bolter Fred Lee, of Perth, fired a 73 to share third at one under with Jason Hong, who was one of a handful of players to push forward as the leaders stalled.

Hong’s 70 was bettered by fellow Sydneysider Blake Windred (69), who shares fifth with Melburnian Cameron John (69), Canberra’s Josh Armstrong (69) and Kiwi visitor Daniel Hillier (68).

But it was Kolar who stole the spotlight in Adelaide.

The 17-year-old from St Michaels actually made an eagle on his last hole of the first round to finish with a 79.

And using that momentum, he came out firing in the second round with birdies on the first, second, and fourth holes en route to seven birdies of an ultra-attacking round.

“It was pretty good. I didn’t play too badly (on Wednesday), but didn’t have much luck,” Kolar said.

“Today a couple of putts dropped and that’s the difference, I suppose.

“It was good to back in contention a little bit, but I’ll have to have another one of them tomorrow … I’m still a fair way back.”

Of the other pre-tournament fancies, Perth’s Min Woo Lee fired a 73 to sit at three over alongside Brisbane’s Douglas Klein (74).

The field was cut to 63 at 12 over par or better, with the final 36 holes to be played in a Friday marathon.

Story: Mark Hayes / Golf Australia
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Kline's all out attack pays off
Olivia Kline’s sparkling attacking flair has given her a cosy early lead in the Australian Girls’ Amateur Championship in Adelaide.

The Melburnian was the only golfer under-par on the demanding Tea Tree Gully layout today – but her three-under-par 70 was anything but routine as she built a three-shot gap after the first of four rounds.

Kline, 17, of Victoria Golf Club, extraordinarily made three bogeys and a double-bogey, yet offset them with a brilliant attacking barrage around the long course.

She made five birdies – on the 5th, 7th, 8th, 15th and 17th holes – and threw in an eagle on the par-five 10th hole for good measure.

The Victorian captain in next week’s teams event, Kline leads Malaysia’s Ashley Lau Jen Wen by three strokes, with Queenslander Kirsty Hodgkins and South Australian Cassidy Evreniadis another shot back after each fired a one-over 74.

Pre-tournament fancies Becky Kay and Karis Davidson, both of Queensland, each fired 75 to be five back, but still in touch, while defending champ, Victoria’s Kono Matsumoto has work to do after her opening 79.

At the other end of the scale, a score of 92 might not immediately set hearts racing, but a closer inspection of Sophie Yip’s score might change the perspective.

Yip, of New South Wales, is just 10 years old and in her first national girls’ championship – but you can bet it won’t be her last.

Story: Mark Hayes / Golf Australia
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Mystery man Freddy Lee stuns them all
There are remarkable golf stories – and then there’s the one about Australian Boys’ Amateur Championship leader Fred Lee.

Lee, 15, fired a career-best 69 today to lead a star-studded field at Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide.

And if that wasn’t remarkable enough, consider this: Lee rarely plays competitive golf – of any description.

The impeccably mannered Perth teen instead chooses to practise his technique with teaching pro Craig Bishop, rarely bringing his skills to the course.

“I’m really quite excited, it’s the first time I’ve ever shot three under,” Lee said of his round that gave him a one-shot buffer over Victorian Ryan Ruffels and Queensland’s Christopher Jimenez, the only golfers under par.

“When I play, I’m normally pretty steady around par or one under, but I don’t get out very often to play.

“I just practise every day, but just working on basics, rather than playing on the course.

“I enjoy that, too, but mainly just to learn to read the greens.”

Lee, a member at Royal Perth, but who rarely plays competition rounds at the South Perth venue, said he spends more time with his father David, a one-time 12-handicapper who largely shelved golf when Fred was born.

“I surprised myself, actually. I started out wanting to be aggressive when I needed to be and patient when I needed to be,” he said.

“But I judged my shots well and worked off the yardage book pretty well.”

Lee, who plays off +1, confessed a limited knowledge of many of his rivals this week, having spent precious little time in tournaments.

But remarkably, he idolises defending champion Ruffels, a comparative veteran aged 16.

“I know Ryan. It’s actually a goal of mine to play with him – I think he’s outstanding.

“My goal is to be like Ryan Ruffels, he’s an inspiration. So is (West Australian teammate) Minwoo Lee, they inspire a lot of people.”

The pristine Kooyonga was a stern test today, despite playing a shorter length than its maximum.

Most of the pre-tournament fancies are within reach of the lead, with Minwoo Lee firing a 74, one stroke better than last year’s runner-up Blake Windred and rising Victorian Cameron John.

Queensland is well represented with Douglas Klein (73) and the impressive Charles Pilon (72) poised after the first of four rounds.

Both Pilon and Ruffels made double-bogey on the tough par-four eighth hole, preventing them from even better finishes.

Round 2 will be played tomorrow before the field is cut to 60 plus ties for 36 holes on Friday.

Story: Mark Hayes / Golf Australia
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Dann wins with six-under score
A four-hole birdie blitz on the final day of the 2015 Sunshine Coast Men’s Open amateur golf championship at Headland Golf Club over the Easter weekend helped local Charlie Dann to yet another big tournament win.

Dann, who plays out of Pelican Waters, shot rounds of 72 and 66 to return an impressive six-under par score and win the Tate Professional Engineers-sponsored event by one shot from Chris Crabtree (also Pelican Waters) and Headland’s Matt Walkenhorst.

An impressive field of 220, including 30 players with a scratch handicap or better, teed off in the 56th annual event. Five players broke par, with Ash Grosvenor (Keperra) and defending champion David Grenfell (Horton Park) joining Dann, Crabtree and Walkenhorst under the card.

But in a strange scenario, 22-year-old Dann said he had played better on Saturday than on Sunday, despite his brilliant six under 66.

“On Saturday I left my putts short. On Sunday I had just 24 putts, and that was the difference,” he said.

“But I was really happy with my overall ball striking and the course was superb - the best condition I have ever seen it. The greens were soft, receptive and really true and because there was very little run the trees did not come into play.”

Teeing off on Sunday Dann was two behind the four overnight leaders, but turned at two under then birdied the first four holes on the back nine. His only blemish coming home was a bogey at 15 after missing the green to the left with a wedge.

Dann, whose goal is to play in as many professional tournaments as possible during the next 18 months, has taken his national amateur ranking from 130 to 25 since October.

Sean McGill, a Headland member playing off five, had his two best rounds in ages when he parred the course on both days to win the overall best nett score (134) with another local, Peter Folker (nine) second on 137. McGill also won the B grade gross with 144, while Kane Jongeling (North Lakes) won C grade with 169. 

A grade nett was won by Scott Walker (Headland) with 140, B grade also by McGill and C grade by Scott Mayes (Mt Coolum) 140. The junior champion is Chris Jimenez of Royal Queensland while Headland’s club captain, Ian Moore, took out the senior title. 

Story: Tony Durkin. Photo: Jason Dougherty / Sunshine Coast Daily

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Next generation right now
If this were football, there’d be dozens of scouts lining the fairways.

The Australian Junior Golf Championships start in Adelaide on Wednesday – and with the gap constantly narrowing between our emerging youngsters and their elite open-age counterparts, it’s no surprise that many of the combatants are already well established in senior ranks.

There’s no clearer example of that than defending boys’ champion Ryan Ruffels, the Victorian prodigy who at 16, remarkably has this and one more year of eligibility at this level.

Ruffels, ranked 15thin the world senior amateur rankings, scooped the pool at Heritage last year and is eager to defend at Kooyonga from Wednesday.

But Ruffels won’t have things all his own way with a talented field gunning for him.

Among the leading contenders are Perth’s Minwoo Lee, last year’s runner-up Blake Windred, from Sydney, and Queenslander Douglas Klein.

Emerging Cameron John showed his wares when he led the recent Riversdale Cup, while his Victorian teammate Josh Hetherington is making his first appearance for his new state having moved south from Darwin to further his golf.

Lee, 16, had a taste of international golf in Argentina late last year as part of a touring Australian team.

And he can’t wait to put the lessons to good use in the chase to topple Ruffels.

“I’m totally up for it,” Lee enthused.

“It’ll be really good to play alongside Ryan again and show what I have.

“The time in Argentina was great … it was great to represent Australia (and) I really learnt a lot about my game.

“It’s a great field, so it will be good to test what I’ve learnt against everyone.”

The girls’ title will be contested at Tea Tree Gully with an equally gifted field.

Newly promoted Golf Australia national squad member Becky Kay, of the Gold Coast, will be a nominal favourite after a stellar summer.

But in Victoria’s defending champ Kono Matsumoto, Sydneysider Doey Choi, and fellow Queenslander Karis Davidson, the 2014 Australian Amateur runner-up, Kay won’t have it easy, either.

Throw in some international visitors including New Zealand’s Astor Trophy representative Alanna Campbell returning to South Australia, and it’s clearly a hot field.

The pathway from the national junior titles to golf stardom is well trodden with past winners including Adam Scott, Jason Day, Wendy Doolan and Jan Stephenson.

But, as Ruffels knows all too well, the gap is shrinking.

“Obviously there’s a step up to pro tournaments, but you realise that if you can avoid being star-struck that the difference between the levels isn’t as big as you think,” he said.

The tournaments are both 72-hole strokeplay with 18 on Wednesday and Thursday followed by 36 on Friday with the winners earning berths in the respective Australian Opens.

The Junior Interstate Teams Championship will be held the following week, also in South Australia.

Story: Golf Australia // Mark Hayes
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Queensland Golf Industry Awards winners announced

The Queensland golf industry capped off a stellar year last night at the 2014 QGI Awards on the Gold Coast.

The evening recognised the achievements of those from the Queensland Division of the PGA of Australia, Golf Managers Association Queensland (GMAQ), Golf Queensland as well as the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Queensland (GCSAQ).

With 25 awards presented and over 450 attendees, it was a strong representation of the positive direction of the Queensland golf industry.

Golf Queensland presented five awards, including Headland Golf Club's Laurel Opray for Club Super Volunteer of the Year, Doug Klein for Junior Male Amateur Golfer of the Year, Taylor Macdonald for Male Amateur Golfer of the Year and Karis Davidson for both Junior Female Amateur Golfer of the and Female Amateur Golfer of the Year.

Other notable winners include Chris Gibson winning the coveted PGA Teaching Professional of the Year and Dave Delahunty from Emerald Golf Club winning Club Professional of the Year. Redcliffe Golf Club won GMAQ Club of the Year. Keperra Country Golf Club's Gavin Lawrence took home the GMAQ Manager of the Year, while Victoria Park Golf Complex picked up the Junior Program of the Year Award.

Winners Background:

Laurel Opray - Club Super Volunteer of the Year
Laurel Opray has volunteered an enormous amount of her time and energy into instigating an introductory ladies program at Headland Golf Club over the past two years.

Laurel has over 60 ladies on her database, with 24 of these ladies progressing into club membership at Headland Golf Club.

The financial gain of Laurel’s program to Headland Golf Club has been very significant and in late 2014, Laurel secured a $9,000 grant from the State Government’s “Get Going” funding program. With this grant, Laurel has been able to advertise extensively and purchase golf equipment to be used during the clinics.

Doug Klein - Junior Male Amateur Golfer of the Year
Doug Klein had a fantastic year, finishing as the winner of the Bill Kennedy Junior Averages Trophy.

Doug had a number of top 10 finishes throughout the year including runner-up at the Gary Player Classic, 3rd placings at the Greg Norman Junior Masters, Queensland Boys Amateur, Aaron Baddeley International and South Australian Junior Masters, as well as 5th at the South Australian Junior Amateur.

Karis Davidson - Junior Female Amateur Golfer of the Year
Karis Davidson excelled in both junior and open company, consistently achieving top results at just 16-years-old and finishing as the second ranked player on the Australian Girls Ranking System. As a result of her dedication to the game, Karis won the Greg Norman Junior Masters and the Queensland Girls’ Amateur and finished 3rd in the Katherine Kirk Classic.

Another highlight was her runner-up finish at the Australian Junior Championships. She was also a strong member of the Queensland Girls Junior Team, helping the State to be crowned champions in the Australian Girls’ Interstate Team Matches.

Taylor Macdonald - Male Amateur Golfer of the Year
This is the second successive year that Taylor Macdonald has won this award after an exceptional 2014, consistently finishing with top results. Taylor represented Australia at a number of events including the Asia Pacific Amateur, Asia Pacific Bonnallack Trophy and US Amateur. In February he finished as Leading Amateur at the Queensland PGA Championships.

He is current Australian Men’s Foursomes champion, teaming up with Aaron Wilkin to win for the second straight year. Taylor won the Federal Amateur and finished as runner up at the Keperra Bowl. He also had a number of top ten finishes throughout the year including the Riversdale Cup, Lake Macquarie Amateur and Australian Master of the Amateurs.

Taylor is a member of the Queensland Academy of Sport Program and the Queensland Men’s State Team.

Karis Davidson - Female Amateur Golfer of the Year
Karis Davidson enjoyed a very successful 2014, winning tournaments including the Queensland Girls’ Amateur as well as the Sunshine Coast Ladies Open.

Karis also had a number of top 10 results including an impressive runner-up finish at the Australian Amateur Championships, 3rd in the South Pacific Ladies Open and 5th in the Dunes Medal. Another highlight was competing in the St Rule Trophy at St Andrews where she finished 3rd in the under 18 competition and 10th overall. Karis was a member of the Queensland Women’s State Team. 

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2015 Australian Open dates confirmed

The 2015 Emirates Australian Open will be played from November 26-29.

Golf Australia chief executive officer Stephen Pitt confirmed the date today, saying it was the perfect time to again showcase record-setting host, The Australian Golf Club.

“We’re really excited to be heading back to a club that will host our national championship for an unprecedented 19th time,” Pitt said.

“It’s the same week on the golf calendar as last year which was a resounding success and a great time of the year to bring a world-class field to Sydney.”

Pitt said The Australian’s redesigned course had been “superbly prepared and well received by both players and fans” in 2014 as American Jordan Spieth lifted the Stonehaven Cup with one of the storied event’s greatest rounds.

“The overwhelming feedback we’ve had from players and sponsors is that they’ll be delighted to go back in 2015, so we’re thrilled to be able to make that happen,” Pitt said.

The Emirates Australian Open is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia, a member of the International Federation of PGA Tours, and the OneAsia Tour. The flagship tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Emirates Australian Open winner will receive a minimum of 32 Official World Golf Rankings points.

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2015 Qld Men's and Women's Foursomes Championships
Ben Stieler (Brookwater) and Matt Pitty (Laidley) have stormed to victory in the 2015 Queensland Men's Foursomes Championships at sunny Wynnum Golf Club, with a final round of 69 and a 36 hole total of 139. 

Sitting one shot adrift of first round leaders and eventual runners-up Charles Pilon (Hills) and Steven Cox (North Lakes), Stieler and Pitty finished with three birdies in their final four holes to emerge 3-shot victors.

The Women's Foursomes Championship was won in dominant fashion, with Kate Law (Maryborough) and Amy Walsh (Palmer Colonial) streeting the field to win by 12 shots on a 36 hole total of 149. An opening round of 71 set up a 7-shot buffer which was only extended in the afternoon, highlighted by 10 birdies for the day.

Law and Walsh were excited to have their names on a trophy that has also been won by Karrie Webb.

Sanctuary Cove members Isabelle and Eloise Taylor played consistently over 36 holes to finish runners-up on a total of 161.

Wynnum Golf Club was presented in great condition with players commenting on the great work done by the grounds staff.

CLICK HERE for full events.
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Queensland Men's and Women's Foursomes tees off this weekend
The Queensland Men’s and Women’s Foursomes Championships is on this Sunday at Wynnum Golf Club, with a large field of over 170 players teeing off.

The Men’s Championship has attracted a high quality field with many pairings under the handicap of three.

Teams to watch include former professional tennis players and brothers Scott and Mark Draper, who will team up to contest the championship. Chris Fraser and Adam Gemmell will be looking to go one better on Sunday, after finishing as runners-up last year.  

Queensland Boys Team member’s 16-year-old Charles Pilon and 17-year-old Steven Cox are also in with a good chance.

The Women’s Championship is to be the largest field size since 2009, with 27 teams registered.

A number of the Queensland Girls’ and Women’s State Team members will be competing, with Kirsty Hodgkins teaming up with Lisa Edgar and Amy Walsh partnering with Kate Law.

Other women’s teams to watch include defending champions Madeline Trew and Sheridan Gorton, as well as 2015 Indigenous Championship winner Kimberley Crawley with partner Heidi Falconer. 

The Queensland Men’s and Women’s Foursomes Championships will be held on Sunday 29 March at Wynnum Golf Club in a 36-hole Foursomes Stroke Play format.  Round one commences at 7am and round two at 12pm. 

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Golf Queensland teams win Caddies Cup and PJ Davies Plate
The Queensland State representative Men's and Boys' teams today competed against a team of PGA Professionals and PGA Trainee's in the annual Caddies Cup and PJ Davies Plate at Oxley Golf Club.

The Golf Queensland Men's Team was victorious over the PGA 5-3, with the amateurs retaining the trophy. In the PJ Davies Plate matches, the Golf Queensland Boys’ Team defeated the PGA Trainees 5-1. 

The PGA Team featured players such as Matthew Guyatt, Michael Wright and Ryan Haller in what is considered one of the strongest PGA teams in recent years.

Golf Queensland State Team Player Anthony Quayle was said “it was great to play against such a strong group of players and pick their brain prior to the Interstate Series in Melbourne” 

All players in the PGA Team have represented Queensland at an Interstate Series in the past.

Dating back to 1927 the Caddies Cup originally sponsored by The Courier Mail and was a tournament specifically for Caddies, when caddying was popular. A young Norman Von Nida was the winner in the first two events played at Royal Queensland Golf Club. The event was discontinued in 1961. Wanting to maintain the trophy the Queensland Golf Union began using the trophy for the annual match against the PGA in 1986.  
The Queensland State amateur teams are in training for the Australian Interstate Series' with the Boys' Team competing in Adelaide from 13-16 April and the Men's Team heading to Melbourne to compete from 27 April - 1 May. 

Oxley Golf Club 24th March


Taylor Macdonald v Matthew Guyatt - GQ 1up
Simon Viitakangas v Sam Eaves - GQ 1up
Jake McLeod v Michael Wright - PGA 1up
Jack Sullivan v Ryan Haller - GQ 2up
Anthony Quayle v Heath Reed - PGA 2/1
Blake Proverbs v Tim Hart - GQ 3/2
Shae Wools-Cobb v Blake McGrory - GQ 1 up
Bailey Knoll v Chris Wood - PGA 5/4  


Doug Klein v Paul Griffiths - GQ 4/2
Charlie Pilon v Kris O'Sullivan - GQ 1 up
Steven Cox v Nelson Turner - PGA 2/1
Chris Park v Ryan Norton - GQ 5/4
Lawry Flynn v Will White - GQ 3/2
Louie Dobbelaar v Shane Kelly - GQ 1 up


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PGA International Challenge
Team Australia Host China on the Sunshine Coast at the Pelican Waters Golf Club.

Team Australia will be aiming for their maiden victory this year when Team China return to our shores for the fourth staging of the International Challenge.

In the six legs of the events history, the best result the Australian team have managed was a tie at the China round in 2014.

The International Challenge pits two 12 man teams from China and Australia in friendly competition designed to give participants from the China Golf Club League sponsored by Buick and the Holden Scramble the opportunity to play in an international tournament.

This year the winning team from the 2014 Holden Scramble Championship Final, Palm Meadows, are joined by seven PGA Professionals; Darren Spencer (Devonport GC), Carl Evans (Logan City GC), Jake Nagle (Queanbeyan GC), Nathan Stubbs (Sanctuary Lakes GC), Richard Stokes (Narrabri GC), Shaun Piper (South West Rocks CC), and Simon Gough (Shortland Water GC).

The competition will be hosted by Pelican Waters Golf Club on the naturally refreshing Sunshine Coast. After intense days on the golf course the International Challenge competitors will enjoy the facilities of the Pelican Waters Golf Resort & Spa while the Chinese guests will be treated to traditional customs and delicacies of Australia.

The tournament got underway on Sunday 22nd of March with competitors taking in a practice round. After the day’s golf the players, organisers and guests enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Pelican Waters Golf Club and were entertained with special visitors from QLD Zoo.

Players will be teeing off in a 4BBB Stableford round on Monday 23rd of March followed by an Individual Stableford round on Tuesday 24th of March.

If Team Australia is unable to secure victory they will have a second chance when they travel to China for the away leg of the International Challenge to be played near Beijing.

Updates for the event will be available via www.holdenscramble.com.au or the Holden Scramble Facebook page.
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Craig Dodd seals the deal at Qld Men’s Indigenous Championship

Craig Dodd (Blackwater) has secured the 2015 Queensland Indigenous Championship at the Murgon Golf Club, relegating his brother and 2013 champion Rickie Dodd (Mt Warren Park) to second. 

After previously finishing runner up four times, Craig wasn't to be denied this year and fired the low round of the tournament on Sunday (68), extending his three shot overnight lead to a seven shot final margin. 

Rickie led after the first round (69) but could not withstand the charge of a determined Craig.

A shot further back in third was Burleigh junior Shalun Hay who rocketed up the leaderboard with a final day 1-under 69. As leading junior, Hay has also been offered a scholarship with Hills International Golf School.

In the Nett division, Gayndah junior Jesse George dominated. George finished with nett scores of 65,55,60 for 180 total and has now dropped almost eight shots off his handicap. 

Both Craig Dodd and Jesse George have secured a start in the 2015 Isuzu Queensland Open Pro-Am to be held during tournament week at Brookwater.

Kimberley Crawley (Horton Park) has made the Women's Indigenous Championship her own in the past few years, and 2015 was no exception. Crawley played beautiful golf and rounds of 77,71,71 produced a record low score for the Women's Championship. It was a successful week for the Hay family with Shalun's sister Ashleigh finishing runner up.

The Senior Men's Division saw Scott Ridgeway (Maryborough) successful with consistent scoring over the three days. Ridgeway returned rounds of 79,81 & 81 to defeat Elgar Harrison by three shots.

William Letts (Logan) took out the junior division with scores of 83,82 and 85. 

Congratulations must go to the volunteers and staff of Murgon Golf Club for their hospitality and efforts in the operation of the 2015 Indigenous Championship. Thank you must also go to the Murgon and Cherbourg communities for their continued support throughout the event.

For full results please click here.

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Golfers make most of Redcliffe

Over 100 players teed up on Thursday in the PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit (QSOOM) at Redcliffe Golf Club making the most of the peninsula location.

Despite the warm Autumn day hitting the mid 30 degree Celsius mark, players enjoyed the picturesque Clontarf Beach course and northwesterly winds.

The popular event consistently attracts a large field every year with people coming from Cairns, Dalby, Laidley and Brisbane to play.

The PresCare QSOOM series provides the senior golfing community with an opportunity to connect with fellow golf enthusiasts while getting to visit some of Queensland’s great courses.

Peter Lynch, PresCare’s Chief Financial Officer, was at today’s Redcliffe event and said opportunities like the QSOOM events to be with likeminded people provides an important social connection for seniors.

“As we age, and particularly once we’ve left full time employment, it can be harder to maintain social connections,” Mr Lynch said.

“Golf is not only a great way to keep fit, but provides opportunities to connect with others in your community and remain socially active.”

Results from the Redcliffe event are available. Click here.

The QSOOM is available to all male and female golfers, 55 years of age and over, who hold a current Men's Australian or overseas equivalent handicap of 27 and under, or a Women's Australian or overseas equivalent handicap of 45 and under to play.

Golf Queensland wishes to thank Naming Rights Sponsor PresCare for their ongoing support of the Queensland Senior Order of Merit.

CLICK HERE for the 2015 PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit event calendar.
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Teen trio to represent Australia
It was meant to be a transitional phase – just don’t tell the Australian Queen Sirikit Cup team.

Sydney’s Shelly Shin, Perth’s Hannah Green and the Gold Coast’s Becky Kay were today named as the Australian trio to compete in the Asia-Pacific team championship in May.

But coach Tony Meyer and manager Virginia Irwin see no reason why the new-look national team can’t be more than competitive at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Along with Jenny Lee and Gennai Goodwin, the three teenagers united to bring unexpected silverware home when they won the Commonwealth-based Astor Trophy in January.

So despite the progression of Minjee Lee and Su Oh to professional ranks, Meyer says there’s confidence in the ranks that they can keep the winning roll started in last year’s world amateur teams triumph.

“Absolutely they can – all three are in excellent form and there’s no reason it can’t continue,” QAS-based Meyer said.

“I think we’re a really big chance of winning. If you look at the Astor Trophy, we didn’t expect to go so well with such a young team, but they did it there.

“The Astor has been a real catalyst for the girls to kick on.

“Shelly won the Aussie Amateur, Hannah was runner-up in the New Zealand Open and Becky was low amateur and sixth overall at the Ladies Masters.

“So they’ve all done really well and I think they’ll be full of confidence.”

The Queen Sirikit Trophy has been contested annually since 1979 with Australia victorious nine times.

However, Korea has been its dominant force in recent years with Australia’s 2013 triumph the only time the international golf powerhouse hasn’t saluted since 2007.

“The Koreans are always extremely strong at women’s golf – pro and amateur – but I think that the girls in our team have been in great form and we’ve had some great results over the last couple of Queen Sirikit Cups,” Meyer said.

“There’s no reason that can’t continue with the international and competitive experience they now have under their belt.”

The event runs from May 20-22 and pits Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, India, Taiwan, China and Indonesia.

The format is three rounds of strokeplay with an individual champion and the team trophy based on the best two scores daily from each country.
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Queensland's Becky Kay announced in National Squad
Perth's Hannah Green and the Gold Coast's Becky Kay have been rewarded for stellar summers with elevation to the Golf Australia national squad.

Green, 18, and Kay, 16, were key contributors to Australia's Astor Trophy triumph in Adelaide in January - and both have since recorded outstanding results in professional tournaments to underline their potential.

Green, of Mount Lawley Golf Club in Perth's northern suburbs, took a giant step with her recent runner-up finish to world No.1 Lydia Ko in the LET-sanctioned New Zealand Open.

That result came hot on the heels of competitive results at the RACV Ladies Masters at Royal Pines and the Oates Victorian Open at 13th Beach; and all this after winning her home state WA Amateur last year, the Dunes Medal in Victoria in November and then a quarter-final finish in the Australian Amateur.

Kay, of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads Golf Club, was third in last year's Australian Girls Amateur and a semi-finalist in the Australian Amateur, but vaulted to prominence when sixth behind winner and former national squad member Su Oh in the Ladies Masters.

Kay finished leading amateur with three birdies in her closing six holes amid a classy field testament to her mental strength.

Golf Australia high performance director Brad James was delighted that both young women had enjoyed such consistent results.

"Hannah and Becky have both shown they are capable of taking their games to the next level," James said.

"We think they've both just scratched the surface of what they can achieve and we're delighted that we can look after their development processes going forward.

"Hannah was a really key player for us at the Astor Trophy and showed really improved signs of maturity in her golf, just as she did in New Zealand.

"Becky is just 16 and has an enormous upside to her game - what she did at Royal Pines was outstanding in just her second professional event."

Golf Western Australia national coach Ritchie Smith said Green had already shown aptitude to compete with the world's best and would improve that again in the national program.

"She's already a great athlete even though she's still learning the ropes at an international level and what it will take to succeed," Smith said.

"If she develops that side of her game and how best to use her skills at that level, we've got high hopes for what she could achieve."

Golf Queensland national coach Tony Meyer said Kay already had considerable experience including competing overseas and would soon represent her state for the third time.

"Even with that and although she's had great results of late, she knows there's much work to be done," Meyer said.

"But Becky has got a really strong work ethic and if she continues that and focuses on developing physically, she's likely to have great results in years to come."

The duo joins Shelly Shin as the female members of the 11-strong national squad that also includes Lucas Herbert, Ryan Ruffels, Cameron Davis, Zach Murray, Brett Coletta, Cory Crawford, Antonio Murdaca and Jarryd Felton.

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The 2014 Golf Queensland Stroke Average winners are...

Congratulations to the 2014 Golf Queensland Stroke Averages winners for taking out their respective Stroke Average events.

Angus Buchanan Trophy:
1st - Doug Klein - 71.82
2nd - Charles Pilon - 71.88

Anne Bongers Trophy:
1st - Eunice Kim - 69.89
2nd - Karis Davidson - 69.95

William Kennedy Trophy:
1st - Doug Klein - 71.82
2nd - Myoung Kim - 73.9

Val Johnston Trophy:
1st - Karis Davidson - 69.95
2nd - Robyn Choi  - 73.53

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Queensland State Teams Announced for Interstate Series
Golf Queensland has named its representative teams to compete in the Australian Men's and Women's Interstate Teams Matches from 27 April - 1 May 2015.

Victoria will host this year's event, with the Men's event to be held at the Huntingdale Golf Club and the Women's at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

Queensland Head Coach, Tony Meyer said there was a mix of new and experienced players in the teams this year.

"The team selections were incredibly competitive with many players performing well over the past year," Meyer said.

Some of the highlights include Taylor Macdonald, winner of the Federal Amateur Champion (World #36), Cory Crawford who won the Malaysian Amateur Champion (World #56) and Karis Davidson who is number 71 in the world golf amateur rankings.

The Women's team comprises of four junior players including Rebecca Kay who only recently finished fifth at the RACV Ladies Masters.

"It's extremely exciting for the junior players who have been selected in the Women's Team, showing that the future is bright for golf in Queensland," said Meyer. 

Meyer has travelled with over 10 interstate series teams as a coach. "I'm looking forward to being involved this year and seeing the camaraderie between players both on and off the course," Meyer said. 

The Women's Team will be coached by Richard Woodhouse who is into his third year as an Interstate Series Coach.

"Richard will provide the Women's team with the support and guidance needed to get the best out of our players." Meyer said.

Both the Queensland Men's and Women's Teams will be hoping to improve on last year's third placing's.

Men's State Team:
Cory Crawford (Sanctuary Cove)
Taylor Macdonald (Redcliffe) 
Jake McLeod (Royal Queensland)
Blake Proverbs (Pacific)
Anthony Quayle (Sanctuary Cove)
Jack Sullivan (Palmer Gold Coast)
Simon Viitakangas (Palmer Gold Coast)
Shae Wools-Cobb (Horton Park)

Men's Coach: Tony Meyer

Men's Team Manager: Matthew Toomey 
Women's State Team:
Robyn Choi (Royal Pines)
Karis Davidson (Sanctuary Cove) 
Gennai Goodwin (Indooroopilly)
Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe)
Rebecca Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed) 
Amy Walsh (Palmer Gold Coast)

Women's Coach: Richard Woodhouse
Women's Team Manager: Shirley Dean

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Dates set for Isuzu Queensland Open
The dates have been set for the 2015 Isuzu Queensland Open to be played from 20 to 23 August at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club.

Naming right sponsor, Isuzu, is proud to be aligned with the historical Championship which will celebrate its 90th year in August after first being played in 1925.

“To reach 90 years is a terrific milestone and Isuzu is proud to be associated with this achievement,” said Alan Newcombe, Dealer Principal of Brisbane Isuzu.  
“Being part of a Championship that provides Professional golfers with a pathway to larger events is humbling.”

Last year’s winner Andrew Dodt hopes to return to Queensland in August after continuing with his winning form which saw him claim the Thailand Classic on the European Tour earlier this year.

“Winning the Isuzu Queensland Open in 2014 at the Brookwater Golf & Country Club is definitely a highlight in my career and certainly an achievement I will never forget,” Dodt said. 

“I have always wanted to win my State Open and to be able to do it in front of my family and friends was a really proud moment.

“Depending on my 2015 schedule I hope to be able to defend my title later this year.” 

Sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Isuzu Queensland Open attracts a strong field which along with prizemoney also competes for Official World Golf Ranking Points.

“It is wonderful to have the Isuzu Queensland Open back on the PGA Tour of Australasia schedule for 2015,” said Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia which owns and manages the PGA Tour of Australasia. 

“Since the tournaments return to our schedule it has become a favourite amongst players and has attracted strong fields evidenced by 2013 champion Nick Cullen going on to win the Australian Masters and defending champion Andrew Dodt winning his second European Tour title this year.”

“Tournaments such as the Isuzu Queensland Open provide important playing opportunities for up and coming Professionals and amateurs and I congratulate Golf Queensland and Isuzu on their dedication to ensuring the tournament success.”    

It is the third year the Championship will be played at the Greg Norman-designed course which has ranked as Queensland's official number one and best public access golf course in Golf Digest as well as securing a place in the top 30 courses in Australia.

Brookwater is a par 72, tournament standard course measuring 6,469 metres, that uniquely hugs the magnificent natural bush landscape in a cathedral of ghost gums and undulating terrain. 

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Fox eagles his way to miraculous victory
With a tournament total of 17-under 263, Ryan Fox triumphed in dramatic circumstance at the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship by one shot from Matthew Millar (ACT) and Cameron Smith (QLD).

"I am pretty ecstatic right now to be honest," said Fox.

"I was around the lead all day. To do what I did on 16 and 17, just….I really can't describe it."

A phenomenal final round of 8-under 62 highlighted by consecutive eagles on the par-4 16th and par-5 17th ensured Fox claimed his second PGA Tour of Australasia title.

"16 is certainly not one, standing on the tee, that you think you are going to hit on the green. But I just figured I needed to do something," added Fox.

"I aimed at the green, and hit driver as hard as I could, I managed to hit it to eight feet and knock that one in."

"I thought maybe at best I would get it 10 short of the green but a little bit of adrenaline helped."

Walking to the 17th tee, Fox was one shot behind leader Matthew Millar. 

"On 17 I hit two really good shots into the green and got a good read from Snow, a local guy who caddied for me over the weekend," added Fox.

"About 10 foot out the putt never really looked like it was going to miss."

"I guess I went from two back to one in front after two holes, it was a bit surreal."

A crowd favourite Fox finished runner-up in Toowoomba last year after Anthony Summers also made eagle at the 16th.

"I love coming here; I have played here four times now, and had some really good results," added Fox.

"I guess I did the same to Matty (Millar) today to what Anth Summers did to me last year."

"He made two on 16 too when I was one behind and then he won by three, I guess it's nice to get a little bit of my own back."

"Well done to Rug (Matthew Millar) he played well all week, I have probably stolen it off him a little bit."

The win comes at a great time for Fox with the PGA Tour of Australasia heading to his home territory for the Holden New Zealand PGA Championship and BMW NZ Open in March.

Queensland young gun Cameron Smith also played a superb round of 7-under 63 to ensure his runner-up finish alongside Millar on 16-under the card.

Finishing with a tournament total 13-under 267 were Brad Kennedy (QLD) and Tim Hart (QLD).

Qualifying School winner Ed Stedman (NSW) fired 7-under the card today to finish outright 7th on 11-under 269.

Brad Shilton (NZ), David Bransdon (VIC), Alex Hawley (NSW) and Aaron Pike (QLD) round out the top-10 on 10-under 270.

For all final scores please click here.

The PGA Tour of Australasia now has a week off before heading to Auckland for the Holden New Zealand PGA Championship to be played at Remuera Golf Club from 5-8 March. 

For the PGA Tour of Australasia schedule please click here.

The Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship was played at City Golf Club in Toowoomba from 19-22 February.

A prize purse of AU$120,000 was played for, with the winner also receiving Official World Golf Ranking Points and becoming fully exempt on to the PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of this season plus a further two years.

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Lydia Ko wins Australian Open
World No. 1 Lydia Ko has won the 2015 ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open.

It is the 17-year-old Ko's first victory as the No. 1-ranked player.

The New Zealander is also the youngest-ever Open winner in tournament history.

Ko, who began the day in a share of the lead, held her nerve to card a two-under par 71 on the day and complete the tournament at nine-under par.

She won by two shots from South Korea's Amy Yang at seven-under.
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Aussie youngsters miss Open field
The last three qualifiers for the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open have been named.

Korean So Jin  Baek, American Hannah Collier (both 69) and Spain's Marta Sanz Barrio (70) were the top three players from the official qualifying at Peninsula-Kingswood Golf Club today.

Leading amateurs Jo Charlton (73) and Hannah Green (75) and Rebecca Kay (75) were among those who missed out on qualifying.

Kay, the 16-year-old Queensland schoolgirl, was the leading amateur at the RACV Australian Ladies Masters over the weekend.
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Anthony Quayle wins Tasmanian Open

20-year-old Queenslander Anthony Quayle has won this year’s Tasmanian Open in a come from behind victory.

A run of four birdies in five holes saw Quayle overtake overnight leader Austin Bautista.

The Sanctuary Cove member carded rounds of 68, 71, 72 and 71 to win this year’s event at Royal Hobart.

Quayle finished on six-under-par and two shots clear of Bautista on four-under.

Victoria’s DJ Loypur placed third on three-under-par.

17-year-old Victoian Julienne Soo has won the corresponding Elvie Whitesides Golf Championship.
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Dodt makes it an Aussie double
Queenslander Andrew Dodt made it a double for Australia with a last-ditch win in the True Thailand Classic on the European Tour tonight.

Following Su Oh's magnificent triumph in the RACV Australian Ladies Masters, 29-year-old Dodt ralled with a final-round 67 to win the Thailand event by a shot at Black Mountain.

It was his second European Tour win, but his first in five years after a rough stretch in which he lost his playing card.

Fellow-Queenslander Scott Hend finished in a tie for second with Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee after he led for much of the final round. A bogey at the par-four 17th, when he tried to drive the green, left Hend needing an eagle at the last to reach a playoff with Dodt, but his chip from the fringe missed narrowly.

Jaidee came even closer. Trailing Dodt's 16-under by a shot, he hit the green in two at the par-five 18th and had a long putt for the outright win. But the local hero three-putted, ultimately missing from two metres with a putt for a playoff with Dodt, who was waiting in the scorers' hut.

"I'm speechless, it's just come out of nowhere,'' he said afterward. "I played well yesterday, but I didn't think I'd come out on top.

"To be honest, losing my card two years ago was probably the best thing that could've happened to me. I went home last year, spent 12 months at home, played the Asian tour again, found myself again, found my game. To be in the winners' circle again, it's unbelievable.''

It was just his third career win as a professional. He won in Asia in 2010 and took out the Isuzu Queensland Open in 2014 as he recovered his best golf.

Today's win is worth $300,000 to the man who won the Australian amateur strokeplay championship in 2007.

It also gives him an exemption on the European Tour until the end of 2016.

Story: Golf Australia/Martin Blake
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Su Oh wins RACV Ladies Masters with Becky Kay finishing as Leading Amateur
Victorian teenager Su Oh signalled her arrival as a world class player when she captured her first professional victory in only her second professional tournament in the RACV Ladies Masters at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast.

With rounds of 69, 75, 72 and 69 Oh finished atop of the leaderboard at seven-under-par and three clear of 2009 champion Katherine Kirk (69) and England’s Florentyna Parker (69) and Charley Hull (73).

As Kirk (69)  and Englishwomen Florentyna Parker(69) walked to the clubhouse sharing the lead at four under, Oh made her winning move.  The teenager reeled off four straight  birdies at the 15th, 16th,  17th  and 18th to finish in fine style.

Outright fifth was Annie Choi, while six players finished at two-under-par including South African Lee-Anne Pace and leading 16-year old Queensland Academy of Sport Squad member, amateur Rebecca Kay who finished two under after a closing birdie playing in just her second professional event.

With words of encouragement from her idol Karrie Webb who texted her messages of support before her final round,

“I spoke to Karrie. I asked her: ‘what do I need to do, you’ve won this eight times’,” she smiled.

Oh burst into tears of joy on the 18th green after tapping in her winning birdie putt, hugging her caddie father SG.

“I got pretty emotional, didn’t I?  That was a bit weird,” said the exuberant teenager.

Co-runner up and 2009 winner Katherine Kirk was full of praise for Oh and the way in which she claimed her first victory after having secured an invite from tournament director Bob Tuohy.

“She looked pretty composed out there, she’s got the goods,” declared Kirk  who fired rounds of (70-75-72-69).

Oh who the world’s number one ranked amateur in 2013. She made her professional debut in last week’s Victorian Open finishing second.

The Ladies Masters has a tradition of producing world class players since 1990 with  Webb,  Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam and Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa all going on to be ranked No.1 in the world.

Oh will be looking to go back-to-back at next week’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

“I would love to, because then I would get my LPGA card too. It would be my dream two weeks, but I mean one wins hard, but two wins, yeah maybe we’ll see.” 
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Kay qualifies for Ladies Masters
Another week, another great amateur golf tale emerges.

Gold Coaster Becky Kay qualified for the Australian Ladies Masters this week, winning qualifying at host club Royal Pines on Monday.

Kay, 16, will make her second appearance in the Masters – her only professional events to date – after firing a two-under-par round to lead home 70 aspirants to compete in the co-sanctioned ALPG and LET event.

It’s another important step in the Coolangatta-Tweed Golf Club youngster’s progression – of which there have been many this summer.

“I didn’t think I’d get through, so I was really excited to get another chance to play in the Masters,” Kay said.

“But I’ve been playing well for a while … and it’s great to get reward for all the hard work I’m putting in on my game.”

Kay, playing primarily at No.3, was a key member of Australia’s winning Astor Trophy team at The Grange in Adelaide in mid-January, winning 4.5 of seven possible points as the hosts regained the Commonwealth teams trophy.

That followed on from her outstanding second place behind Golf Australia national squad member Shelly Shin in the Lake Macquarie Amateur.

“I was really happy with the way I played there – that’s probably my best result so far,” Kay said.

“(Then) to be involved with the (Australian) team in Adelaide was fantastic. We had a great team bond and … it was good to know my game stacked up against the girls from the other countries.”

Kay’s progress was further evidenced when she reached the semi-finals of the Australian Amateur Championship at The Australian when she was narrowly beaten 3-&-2 by eventual champion Shin.

Queensland Academy of Sport head coach Tony Meyer said Kay had developed nicely in the past two years, particularly her physical training.

“She’s always been a good golfer, but she’s beginning to get stronger through her work at the QAS and you can see how her game has come along with it,” Meyer said.

“If she continues to work hard in all areas of her personal development, Becky could become a really good amateur and hopefully have a good professional career.”

Kay herself is keeping her goals on the realistic side, despite the increased expectations of many who’ve seen her take such huge strides.

“I just want to make the cut this week – if I can do that, I’ll be happy,” she said.
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Community activities kick off Ladies Masters week on the Gold Coast
Golf Queensland has kicked off the community engagement activities in the lead up to the RACV Ladies Masters, starting on Thursday at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.

Golf Queensland will engage with over 2,000 juniors throughout the week, incorporating visits to a number of schools on the Gold Coast, including Robina State High School, William Duncan State School and Merrimac State School. 

ALPG Professionals Lauren Hibbert and Adrianna Brent assisted students during the clinics at William Duncan State School on Tuesday morning, along with RACV Royal Pines Golf Coach, Loic Truet.

William Duncan State School Physical Education Teacher, Jason Raffin, said it was good to see the students enthusiastic about golf. 

"Golf Queensland has been very supportive in the promotion of the sport at our school and on the Gold Coast," Mr Raffin said.

"I was given a MyGolf starter pack for the school after completing my Community Golf 1 Coaching Course and it has been instrumental in introducing the students to golf."

A 'Behind the Ropes' experience will take place at Royal Pines Resort on Friday, where students from Hills International School will tour the media centre, have an opportunity to talk with the stars, attend a clinic, learn about career pathways in golf and watch the players in action on-course.

The free MyGolf Junior Zone will be set up on the grassed area in front of the clubhouse over the weekend, open from 9am - 2pm Saturday and Sunday. There will be chipping targets, putting practice and other fun activities available, using the latest MYGolf and SNAG equipment.
Golf Queensland Development Officer, Lee Harrington who is coordinating the week's activities, said the week isn't just about watching top level golf, but also about giving it a go.

"With tournaments such as the Ladies Masters on, it is a great opportunity to promote the game of golf in the community," Ms Harrington said.

"Golf Queensland strives to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle and playing golf is a fantastic way for children to keep active."

"The juniors are always very excited to pick up the clubs and have a hit and we hope to see lots of eager young golfers at the MyGolf Junior Zone over the weekend." 

The 2015 RACV Ladies Masters is on 12-15 February at RACV Royal Pines Resort. Tickets are available here, children under 18-years-old are free with an accompanying adult.

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Golf Queensland announces 2015 QAS Squad
Golf Queensland has today announced the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) Golf Squad for 2015, with two new faces joining seven existing squad members.

Rebecca Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed) and Anthony Quayle (Sanctuary Cove) will join Jack Sullivan (Palmer Gold Coast), Cory Crawford (Sanctuary Cove), Blake Proverbs (Pacific), Amy Walsh (Palmer Gold Coast), Taylor Macdonald (Redcliffe), Jake McLeod (Royal Queensland) and Gennai Goodwin (Indooroopilly) to make up this year's squad.

The QAS Golf Program is aimed at players who have the potential and commitment to succeed at elite level competition golf. 

The selection of squad members is based on recent state, national and international tournament performances as well as their commitment to continuing development in all aspects of their games, including technical, physical and mental.

Golf Queensland Head Coach Tony Meyer said the QAS Squad forms the pinnacle of the Golf Queensland High Performance Program.

"There is no doubt that all players selected this year have earned their spots on the squad," Mr Meyer said.

"We have a fantastic group of athletes in the squad and I'm looking forward to working with them."

"We are also extremely lucky to have a great team of coaches and sports science providers which the elite athletes will have access to."

"It is an excellent opportunity for the athletes to improve their skills and work towards their goals of becoming elite professionals."

The QAS Golf Program had a number of standout achievements in 2014, specifically through Cameron Smith (GA/QAS rookie squad Member), Aaron Wilkin and Cory Crawford.

Smith had a breakout year in the Professional ranks earning rookie of the year honours on the Australasian PGA and Asian Tours. 
Wilkin successfully transitioned from the amateur to professional ranks following a Top 10 finish in the PGA of Australasia Tour School, earning himself a strong tournament exemption status for 2015.

Crawford improved his World Amateur Golf Ranking in 2014 from 701 to inside the top 70. Further to this, Crawford was selected in the Golf Australia National Squad. 
The squad members train together three times a week and have the opportunity to travel both interstate and overseas to compete against some of the best amateurs and professionals. 

The 2015 QAS Squad is proudly supported by Fayde Apparel. 

The Queensland Academy of Sport Golf Program is conducted with the assistance of the Queensland Government and forms the pinnacle of the Golf Queensland High Performance Program. 

The QAS Golf Program, which commenced in July 2001, is designed to assist Queensland's most talented amateur players in reaching their full potential within the amateur golf ranks. 

QAS scholarship holders have access to world-class coaching and support services including sport science, strength and conditioning, medical, career and education in addition to financial support for competition and training costs, depending on the level of their scholarship.
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Jason Day wins on PGA Tour
Jason Day has won the Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA TOUR this morning.

Finishing regulation play on 9-under the card, Day was tied for the lead with J.B Holmes, Harris English and Scott Stallings who competed at the Australian PGA Championship in 2014.

The quartet headed to a playoff where on the par-5 18th Day and Holmes made birdie while English and Stallings dropped out of the running with pars.

On the second playoff hole, the par-3 16th, Day took the advantage with a beautiful tee shot at the flag to set up a 15 foot birdie opportunity.

While he missed his birdie putt he holed his par putt to seal the title, his third on the PGA TOUR.

Holmes made bogey after his tee shot flew the green and ended up against the corporate marquees.

He was provided relief but left himself too much to do on the green as his chip sailed past the hole.

Day becomes the first Australian to win on the PGA TOUR in 2015, getting his season off to a strong start.

“It’s an amazing feeling, I just kept visualising myself all week holding the trophy, like I did at the Match Play, and I just told myself I’m not going to stop,” said Day immediately after his win.

“I am just really proud of myself for hanging in there and grinding it out.”   

With this win Day is predicted to move to 4th on the Official World Golf Rankings.

“My ultimate goal is to get to number 1 at some point but there are a lot of great golfers in front of me,” added Day.

“It’s a good start to the year, just like last year; hopefully I can stay healthy and give it a good run.”

Day’s win continues a good run for Australian golfers around the world with Mathew Goggin winning on the Web.com Tour last week and Richard Green taking out the PGA Tour of Australasia’s season opening Oates Vic Open yesterday.

“The quality of Australian Professional golfers right now is just so strong, Jason’s win today is certainly evidence of that,” said Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia and Chairman of the Australian Golf Industry Council.

“To already have two Aussies winners on International Tours so early in the year is very exciting and certainly sets us all up for a thrilling 2015.”

“On behalf of everyone in the Australian golf industry I send my congratulations to Jason.”

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Golf Queensland announces strong teams for Junior Interstate Series
Golf Queensland has announced the 2015 Queensland Junior Interstate Boys' and Girls' Teams to compete in South Australia in April.

Queensland Head Coach, Tony Meyer said the selected players have displayed solid form over the past year and thoroughly deserve their places on the teams. 

"Being selected in the Queensland teams is recognition for their outstanding performances and I know both teams will be very competitive this year," Meyer said.

"The teams are very fortunate to have fantastic coaches in Virginia Irwin and Grant Field, who have both travelled with national teams in recent months and will provide great support for the players."

"The Interstate Series is an important event in the development of junior players and the team members are looking forward to representing their home State in April."

In 2014, the Queensland Girls' Team was victorious for the fourth consecutive year, while the Boys' Team finished in third place. 

Two male and female development players have also been selected to travel with their respective Junior State Teams to compete in the Australian Junior Amateur Championship.

Boys' State Team: 

Steven Cox (Northlakes)

Louis Dobbelaar (Royal Queensland)

Lawry Flynn (Brisbane)

Douglas Klein (Redcliffe)

Chris Park (Lakelands)

Charles Pilon (Hills)

Boys' Development Players: 
Lochlan Coleborn (Mount Coolum)

Bailey Knoll (Sanctuary Cove)

Boys' Coach: Grant Field 
Boys' Team Manager: Shane Stevenson


Girls' State Team:

Robyn Choi (RACV Royal Pines)

Karis Davidson (Sanctuary Cove)

Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe)

Rebecca Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed)

Kate Law (Maryborough)

Stacey White (Pacific)

Girls' Development Players:

Lisa Edgar (Surfers Paradise)

Darcy Habgood (Toowoomba)

Girls' Coach: Virginia Irwin
Girls' Team Manager: Chris Mayne


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Women's Australian Open field finalised -- and full of talent
New world No.1 Lydia Ko will steal the headlines, but there are plenty of other reasons to be excited about the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open field – about six of the world’s top 12 reasons, to be precise.

Ko became the youngest ever world No.1 – male or female – at the weekend aged just 17 years, nine months and seven days and will, remarkably, play her fifth Australian Open.

Her weekend conqueror in Florida, good mate and Korean star Na Yeon Choi, surged five places on the Rolex World Rankings to No.12. Two more Koreans – crowd favourite and joint 2012 Royal Melbourne runner-up So Yeon Ryu (No.7) and Kyu-Jung Baek (No.11) are among the throng of stars flocking to the Composite Course.

World No.4 Shanshan Feng, of China, has become one of world golf’s most consistent stars and big-time performers.

And then there’s No.9 Karrie Webb, an Australian marvel who has already won five national championships and will defend the Patricia Bridges Bowl she won at Victoria Golf Club.

Tournament director Trevor Herden said there were no fewer than 55 of the top 80 from last year’s LPGA Tour money list on show in Melbourne.

“It’s a real testament to what the Open has come to mean to so many around the world that we can attract such quality and depth,” Herden said.

“We are one of only four national Open championships (US, British and Canadian) on the LPGA Tour’s schedule and it definitely adds to the lustre of the tournament and its significance.

“It really just continues to grow and forge its own place on the national sporting calendar – and that’s a remarkable turnaround considering we didn’t even have the tournament as recently as 2006.

“And who knows where it might sit in the world schedule in years to come?”

For the full field, check http://www.golf.org.au/site/_content/document/00021657-source.pdf

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What a Field
The field for the 2015 RACV Ladies Masters is just about set and what a high calibre field it is shaping up to be, with no less than six LPGA winners and over 25 Ladies European Tour winners ready to fight it out. 

The 26th staging of the event will include representation from a record 28 countries.  The 144 strong field will be gracing the fairways of the RACV Royal Pines Resort from the 12 to 15 February on the Gold Coast.  

LPGA winners include Sophie Gustafson, England’s Laura Davies, Queensland’s Katherine Kirk, Canadian Lorie Kane, South African Lee-Anne Pace and Australian great Rachel Hetherington.

Hetherington is making a return to the ALPG tour since retiring from the LPGA in late 2010.  She has been busy, Hetherington and her husband, Greg Ritchie, added to their family, with the birth of Annie several years ago.  Hetherington also has her own Golf Range and also teaches at Sanctuary Cove.  

The 8-time winner on the LPGA has finished in the top 10 six times in her career with her best finish being runner-up to Karrie Webb in 2001.  Hetherington will certainly be a crowd favourite along with defending Champion Cheyenne Woods and three time winner Davies.  

Tournament Chairman Bob Tuohy said “I’m thrilled with the composure of the new look field this year, and in particular the strong mix of players, and for the first time from the China and Taiwan LPGA Tours.  The participation and calibre of the Asian players will generate extensive media interest in Asia which all goes well for destination Gold Coast and the RACV Royal Pines Resort course.”  

Tickets for the RACV Ladies Masters are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.au with children under 16 free if accompanied by an adult.

Members of RACV, RACQ, NRMA, RAASA, RACWA, RACT, RANT and NZAA will receive free entry plus one guest by presenting their membership card at the entrance gate.

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Aaron Wilkin turns professional

Former Queensland Academy of Sport and Queensland Men’s State Team member Aaron Wilkin has announced that he has moved into the professional ranks, after securing his PGA Tour of Australasia 2015 tour card earlier this month.

“Before I move into the professional ranks this year, I would like to acknowledge and thank Golf Queensland and Golf Australia for giving me the opportunities and support over the past six years. 

I’m honoured and regard it a privilege to represent my state and country. Board members, office staff, team managers, coaches and everyone behind the scenes who have helped and supported me from my first Queensland development team in 2008 to my last open men’s team in 2014, I thank you. 

I would also like to acknowledge all the families that have hosted me in their family homes over the years, as well as the continued support of my family, friends and home club Wynnum. 

I have been involved in Queensland’s Academy of Sport and Golf Queensland’s High Performance Program since 2011. In that time I have have been provided with extensive exposure to high-level development, from 3D analysis, physiotherapy, sport psychologists, fitness trainers, world class coaches and great facilities. I have been extremely lucky to have all these at my disposal over the years. 

Representing Golf Queensland and Golf Australia has not only enhanced me as a golfer but as a person. It has provided me with the opportunity to travel and network with people all around the world. I have learnt how to adapt to different playing conditions and deal with the highs and lows of competition. In the process I have played on some of the world’s best courses and formed lifetime friendships.

Coming from a small country town in Yeoval, NSW and learning to play golf on the local nine hole sand green course I never would have thought that my teenage years would have entailed travelling around the country and the world representing Queensland, Australia and now myself as a professional.  

Over the years I have had many memorable experiences while being with Golf Queensland. Captaining the Queensland Men’s Team in 2014 was obviously a great achievement personally and a great privilege, but being a part of the winning Queensland team at the 2013 Australian Men’s Interstate Series in Tasmania was by far my proudest moment. 

I have endeavored to represent Golf Queensland in the best way I could, and I sincerely wish all the best for everyone involved in Golf Queensland for the future. I say again I feel privileged to have had the opportunities and support of Golf Queensland and will cherish and take those experiences into my new chapter as professional golfer.” 

-Aaron Wilkin

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Best ever fields for Australian Amateur
If you ever had thoughts of winning the Australian Amateur Championship, here’s a word of advice.

You’d better hit the driving range — hard and often.

Extraordinarily talented fields of men and women have gathered in Sydney for this week’s national titles – arguably the deepest fields the time-honoured event has known.

And the increasingly international nature of the event has put an extraordinary pressure on the entry standard required to even reach the qualifying stage.

There are 234 men, none of whom has a handicap higher than 0.8 – a figure down from 1.4 last year.

In the 78-strong women’s field, a quantum leap in qualification standards means a maximum mark of 1.8, down from 4.4 last year.

And if you’re wondering where the tournament stands on the international stage, consider this: golf’s all-conquering Koreans have sent their entire men’s and women’s national squads for the first time to a foreign event.

On the men’s side, the dovetailed Masters of the Amateurs and Lake Macquarie events have also lured four top English players, a handful of Americans, defending champ Tae Koh from New Zealand and two players from Switzerland.

And while the might of the Golf Australia national squad will be tough to budge, our top-ranked player Lucas Herbert rates super impressive Canadian Corey Conners (pictured) as the player to beat.

Conners, who has finished his university studies in Ohio, has one of the most imposing amateur records of any player in the world.

He’ll likely return to the world’s top 10 when his Lake Macquarie victory is factored in later today and was runner-up in the US Amateur last year following his semi-final appearance in 2013.

“He’s got an amazing record in matchplay, so I think he’s the one to beat on form,” Herbert said.

“But this field has got incredible depth. Any one of our national squad could do it – Ryan (Ruffels) is starting to play well, Cory Crawford and Cam Davis is an incredible match player.

“It’s not just the Aussie players, though. There are heap of international players who could do well, too – it’s a great field.”

Herbert and Ruffels were among the exceptional amateur wave who played in the recent Emirates Australian Open at The Australian – the venue for the matchplay component this week. Both the Australian and The Lakes will share Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s qualifying rounds before the knockout starts on Thursday.

“I think everyone watched the Open on TV in November saw how (The Australian) course looked and I think it has helped attract people from around the world,” Herbert said.

“People like coming to play great courses and the Open definitely helped that, too.”

More than 20 of the 25 Astor Cup players from last week’s Commonwealth teams event in Adelaide will tee up in the women’s section.

And Perth’s Hannah Green, still revelling as part of the Australian team’s triumph, said the field’s depth had skyrocketed in her fourth year of competing in the national titles.

Green, 18, rated her Aussie team leader and national squad member Shelly Shin the player to beat, but said she’d taken great confidence from the team’s victory at The Grange.

“I definitely was pleased to play like that  … in that situation,” Green said.

“I was hitting it pretty well and it’s great to be able to build off last week. I’m really looking forward to it.”

The men’s field will be reduced to 64 – and the women’s to 32— by Wednesday afternoon, ready to start matchplay on Thursday.

Both events will have reached field of eight remaning players by Friday evening with the finals on Sunday.

Check golf.org.au throughout the week for updates, and follow it live on @golfaust on Twitter.

-MARK HAYES / www.golf.org.au
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Australia wins its fifth Astor Trophy
Australia has won the Astor Trophy in Adelaide.

The five-woman team of Shelly Shin, Hannah Green, Becky Kay, Jenny Lee and Gennai Goodwin became the fifth Australian unit to win the Commonwealth teams trophy with another resounding victory over South Africa at The Grange Golf Club today.

The Australians were effectively unbeatable when they won both morning foursomes matches, but true to team manager Matt Cutler’s urgings, they maintained focus in the afternoon session and romped home 5-2 to stay unbeaten for the week.

Cutler, who’d also been with the Australian squad that won the World Amateur Teams Championship in Japan last year with recently professional Minjee Lee and Su-hyun Oh, said the new-look squad had “exceeded expectations”.

“We came in this week not really knowing what to expect, especially in a matchplay format against some girls we hadn’t really seen before, and they just really came together well,” said Cutler, also the Golf Australia high performance manager.

“When you think we’ve lost two of the best amateurs we’ve seen in years, it was a fantastic achievement and perhaps the greatest part of it was that it shows the depth of talent we’ve got coming through.”

The only common element between the two Aussie teams was Sydney’s Shin, who was superb again today in pounding South Africa’s top player, Bertine Strauss 5-&-3 in the singles after earlier combining with Lee for a foursomes triumph.

Shin, 16, might be shy with her words, but she’s anything but that on course, winning high praise from Cutler for her leadership.

“The world amateur is obviously bigger, but this win feels just as good,” Shin said.

“It’s a good team … I wasn’t really thinking about leading, just doing my best out there … and I’m happy it has worked out for us.”

Perth’s Green, 18, was again imperious, capping a great week with a 4-&-2 hiding of South African No.2 Michaela Fletcher to seal the day’s victory for the Aussies.

Kay, 15, of the Gold Coast, succumbed to Lora Assad (2-up) and hometown favourite Lee, whose 19th birthday was toasted in the clubhouse afterwards, fell 3-&-2 to Ivanna Samu.

But unsung hero Goodwin, 20, of Brisbane, took out Eleonora Galletti 2-up to round out a promising week for the Texas Tech representative.

In the other match today, New Zealand beat Canada 5-2 to leave the final standings Australia (4 wins), Great Britain and Ireland (2), New Zealand (2), South Africa (2) and Canada (0).
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Aussies put one hand on Astor Trophy
Australia took a gigantic leap towards winning the Astor Trophy today, stopping the Great Britain and Ireland juggernaut in its tracks in Adelaide.

The Aussie quintet put one hand on the Commonwealth teams trophy at The Grange Golf Club with a commanding 5.5-1.5 win over a team that had breezed through its previous two matches in ominous style.

But courtesy of rock-solid efforts by Perth’s Hannah Green and the Gold Coast’s Becky Kay, the Australians were never in danger on day four of the five-day event.

A win, or anything up to a 5-2 loss to South Africa tomorrow will ensure the hosts win the time-honoured trophy for the fifth time in its 56-year history.

South Africa kept alive its hopes with a comfortable 5-2 victory over winless Canada in the day’s other match.

Golf Australia high performance manager Matt Cutler said the Aussie team “wouldn’t discuss the permutations” overnight.

“All we’ve talked about is wanting to stay undefeated – the rest will take care of itself,” he said.

“If we don’t beat South Africa but still win, that will be nice – but we definitely want to end a great week on a high note.”

The Aussies reshuffled their foursomes pairings and came up with their first win in that format for the week when Green and Kay took out Charlotte Thomas and Hayley Davis 1-up.

That win came on the heels of the GB&I team upstaging Shelly Shin and Jenny Lee 2-&-1 to ensure the afternoon singles began with the match level.

Aussie No.1 Shin led most of the way against Bronte Law, who close with a pair of birdies after being one down with two to play. But under fierce pressure, Shin canned her own birdie putt on the last to halve the hole and match.

Green then began her singles against Chloe Williams indifferently until taking complete control from the eighth tee, playing flawless back-nine golf to hammer her opponent 4-&-3.

Kay was equally impressive, leading Connie Jaffrey throughout in a 4-&-2 demolition that continued her outstanding run and belying her relative inexperience at international level.

Hometown hero Jenny Lee was again solid in beating Thomas 2-&-1 to seal victory, then Brisbane’s Gennai Goodwin put the icing on a very sweet cake with a similar scoreline over Davis to have the Aussie team high-fiving for the second time in three days on either side of yesterday’s bye.

It was a disappointing end for the GB&I team that has a bye tomorrow, so bookended its two thumping wins with losses to New Zealand and Australia.

The Kiwis face Canada tomorrow, but all focus will be on the Australia-South Africa match on the West Course’s first tee from 8am Adelaide time.
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GB and Ireland stay on a roll
Australia’s position at the Astor Trophy in Adelaide crystalised today, even though it had the bye.

The hosts must stop a rampant Great Britain and Ireland team tomorrow in a match-up that will almost certainly determine the outcome of the Commonwealth teams competition at The Grange Golf Club.

The GB&I team dominated Canada today for a 5-2 win set up by twin 5-&-4 wins in the morning foursomes matches.

And although Naomi Ko and Grace St-Germain pulled the Canadians back into the contest in the top singles matches, later wins for Connie Jaffrey, Charlotte Thomas and Hayley Davis ended Canada’s title chances.

Those wins also gave GB&I commanding lead in the matches won category, meaning that even though Australia is unbeaten, a slip tomorrow will all but end its hopes, too.

In the day’s other contest, South African and New Zealand fought out a thrilling contest before the Kiwis’ hopes were dashed on the final hole.

South Africa’s win leaves its title hopes alive with matches against Canada tomorrow and Australia on Friday to play.

After the foursomes were split 1-1, South Africa’s top player Bertine Strauss defeated Munchin Keh 4-&-3, but the Kiwis struck back with comprehensive wins to Julianne Alvarez (5-&-3) and Chantelle Cassidy (6-&-4) to take the lead.

But Ivanna Samu kept her nose in front all day in the No.4 match and eventually took out Wenyung Keh 1-up on the 18th to square the contest.

Kiwi Alanna Campbell was 3-down through 11, but hit back with four straight wins on from holes 12-15 to take the lead against Eleonora Galletti.

But the South African stayed cool and when Campbell made bogeys on 16 and 18, the African won 1-up to seal a 4-3 overall win for her country.
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Goodwin keeps nerve, sparks Aussie celebration
It came down to the last putt, but Australia kept alive its unbeaten start to the Astor Cup in Adelaide today.

The hosts needed to square the final singles match to beat New Zealand after mounting another solid afternoon comeback at The Grange Golf Club.

But when Brisbane’s Gennai Goodwin was three down through 13 holes against Alanna Campbell, it looked for all money that the rubber would be halved.

But Goodwin dug deep, winning the 14th, 15th and 17th holes to leave her needing to halve the last on the famous West Course to give Australia overall victory.

And when the Texas Tech student calmly rolled in a par putt that sealed the 4-3 aggregate win, her emotional teammates rejoiced and high-fived around the closing green.

“I was three down playing the 14th and needed to knuckle down,” Goodwin said afterwards.

“I got myself into the right head space, I knew my match had a bearing on the team's result."

Earlier, after trailing 1.5-0.5 through the morning foursomes session, the Aussies again turned to No.1 Shelly Shin to right the ship – and the Sydneysider responded for the second consecutive day, beating

Kiwi ace Munchin Keh 2-&-1.

Hannah Green couldn’t match Julianne Alvarez in the second match going down 2-&-1, but Becky Kay pulled the Aussies back level when she toppled Chantelle Cassidy 3-&-2.

The unsung hero of the day was hometown star Jenny Lee, whose barnstorming 6-&-4 win over Wenyung Keh set up Goodwin’s late rally.

Lee, who also won her singles on the opening day against Canada, even holed out from a bunker when she looked in trouble on one hole and was two under par when her match finished.

In the day’s other match, Great Britain and Ireland bounced back from an opening loss to New Zealand, hammering South Africa 6-1.

The result left Australia alone atop the standings as the only unbeaten team after two of the five days.

The Aussies have the bye tomorrow, then face GB&I on Thursday and South Africa on Friday.
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Women's Leadership Seminar


2015 marks the first Queensland Rugby League Women's Leadership Seminar which will be held on Friday February 13.

This seminar is based on QRL's ambition to elevate the participation of women in positions of leadership within sport. With a focus on female administrators and volunteers from sporting clubs and associations, this seminar works to build confidence, resilience and provide practical tools to heighten the capacity to influence change in a male dominated arena. 

Male administrators and volunteers are also welcome to come along to learn how to maximise the potential of female colleagues and participants in their sports. 

The conference runs from 12noon to 5.30pm and includes afternoon tea and an outstanding group of speakers from a range of sporting and non-sporting backgrounds. 

Cost: $95 (plus $7.18 online admin fee) for guests not affiliated with a QRL club or association. Those affiliated with a QRL club or association may register for a subsidised rate of $40 per guest via www.qrlconference.com.au.

Some guest presenters include:
- Raelene Castle (CEO Canterbury Bulldogs)
- Kylie Blucher (Managing Director Channel Nine Qld)
- Alison Mosely (Paralympic medalist, former captain Women's Wheelchair Basketball)
- Chandra Clements (Australian Business Women's Hall of Fame, 2014 Golf Stevie Australian Woman of the Year)
- Rebecca Frizelle (Chair Gold Coast Times)
- Annabelle Williams (OAM, Paralympic medalist, Swimming and Lawyer)
- Sam Squiers (Sports Reporter Channel Nine Qld and Founder of Sportette)
- Anita Palm (Head of Sport - GOLDOC and Beach Volleyball Olympian)


Registrations close Thursday January 22 or when sold out. Get in early to secure a place.
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Aussie's defy eagle barrage to beat Canada
Australia has hit back superbly on day one of the Astor Trophy to snare a valuable win against Canada.

The visitors had gone to lunch with a 1.5-0.5 lead over Australia at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, thanks in part to a stunning run by Ottawa’s Grace St-Germain.

The Canadian junior girls champion holed out for eagle on the par-four third hole of the West Course, then backed it up with a hole-in-one on the eighth minutes later.

It gave her and Naomi Ko a 1-up victory over highly rated Australian pair Shelly Shin and Hannah Green in the first foursomes match.

And when Becky Kay and Gennai Goodwin halved their match against Jaclyn Lee and Alisha Lau, the match was in the balance.

But both Green and Shin hit back hard in the afternoon singles matches with incredible birdie barrages for resounding wins.

Green was six under when she beat St-Germain 5-&-3, while Shinn was three under when she dispatched Ko 5-&-4 to give the hosts back the upper hand.

Jaclyn Lee beat Kay 3-&-2 to square the match overall for Canada, but hometown favourite Jenny Lee and Goodwin each stood firm on their closing holes to record 1-up victories.

In the other match contested on the opening day of the five-day event, New Zealand recorded an impressive win against the fancied Great Britain and Ireland team.

The Kiwis were one down after the morning foursomes, but Alanna Campbell stood tall on the last hole in the last match to win 2-up and ensure a remarkable 4-3 win for her country.

Only Bronte Law for the GB&I team could muster a full point in the afternoon, dominated by the New Zealanders under threatening skies.

South Africa had the first-round bye, but will begin its campaign against the GB&I team in the morning, while today’s winning teams will do battle to determine the early leader.

Canada has the day two bye.

Image: Golf Australia: Australia and New Zealand have started well at the 2015 Astor Cup

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Astor Trophy kicks off in Adelaide

The time-honoured Astor Trophy has begun in Adelaide.

The tournament, formerly known as the Commonwealth Trophy, is contested once every four years between the best amateur women among Commonwealth nations.

This year’s staging on the magnificent West Course at The Grange Golf Club pits Australian against teams from Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and a combined Great Britain and Ireland squad.

Each team plays each other once with foursomes in the morning and singles in the afternoon with no final and all results calculated on contests won.

Sydney’s Shelly Shin, 16, leads an Australian team into battle today against Canada with Perth’s Hannah Green, Gold Coast’s Becky Kay, Brisbane’s Gennai Goodwin and local prodigy Jenny Lee, 18, also flying the Aussie flag. Queensland Girls' State Coach, Virginia Irwin will be coaching the Australian team.

The field features a host of the world’s top 100 amateur players, including Scotland’s Connie Jaffrey and South African Michaela Fletcher.

Entry to The Grange is free and the tournament runs for five days until Friday.

For the latest information and live scores, check http://www.golf.org.au/newsdisplay/84196

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Kirk looking for Ladies Masters title No.2
Queensland’s Katherine Kirk will be vying for her second RACV Ladies Masters title in February.

The 2009 Ladies Masters Champion has confirmed she will be one of the stars teeing it up at the RACV Royal Pines Resort from the 12 to 15 February on the magnificent Gold Coast.

The two times LPGA winner is coming off another solid season on the LPGA where she played 26 events, made the 21 cuts, posted two top 10 finishes, with her best finish T4 in the Marathon Classic. Kirk finished 60th on the Money List with US$266,743.

Speaking from the USA, Kirk spoke about how much she enjoys the event and what it would mean to win again.

“The Ladies Masters is one of my favourite events because the crowds are always so supportive and it reminds me of my roots and all the people who've helped me in my career. Plus being a past champion means you always have fond memories of the event, the people that make it happen, and the course.

“The best part about playing in the Masters is having my family and friends cheer me on. There's definitely something extra special about playing in my home state of Queensland and knowing the locals are pulling for you.”

“The standard of play has really improved on all women's tours, especially over the last 5 years, so to win a second Ladies Masters would confirm that I'm doing the right things and continuing to improve. It would also validate the hard work and support of my family and team.”

Kirk’s commitment to the ALPG Tour is fantastic as she won’t be arriving onto the Gold Coast until the Wednesday and teeing it up Thursday as she is playing in the LPGA in the Bahamas the week before.

Tournament Chairman Bob Tuohy said “Katherine brings a lot of energy to the Ladies Masters and is a very fierce competitor. It will be great to have her back in search of her second title and the $50,000 bonus on offer for the 2015 champion.”

Kirk joins defending champion Cheyenne Woods and South African Lee-Anne Pace in the field with more high profile players to be confirmed in coming weeks.

Tickets for the RACV Ladies Masters are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.au with children under 16 free if accompanied by an adult.

Members of RACV, RACQ, NRMA, RAASA, RACWA, RACT, RANT and NZAA will receive free entry plus one guest by presenting their membership card at the entrance gate.
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Sinnott's charge leaves burning pro question
Outstanding Melbourne amateur Todd Sinnott has another reason to turn pro after winning his PGA Tour of Australasia card at Q-School today.

But when and where Sinnott will exercise that option remains the burning question.

As his Golf Australia national squad teammates battled it out over the road in the Australian Master of the Amateurs at Royal Melbourne, Sinnott potentially cashed in on his excellent recent form in pro events at Victoria Golf Club.

The Metropolitan member, who captivated a national audience with back-to-back bold showings at the Australian Masters and Emirates Australian Open in November, fired a closing 66 to finish second today.

Only twin birdies by New South Welshman Ed Stedman to close his round won him medal honours and prevented Sinnott from beating home a field of seasoned pros.

Two other amateurs – Aaron Wilkin and Charles Wright – earned the same tour status as Sinnott by finishing sixth and 18th respectively.

The ranking, alongside such revered professionals as Matt Millar, Michael Long and Leigh McKechnie, will likely allow them direct entry into all but bar the tier one events on the Aussie PGA Tour.

But it’s how they go about turning pro and taking up these options that will create much interest – particularly around the power-hitting Sinnott.

“It’s very exciting, it sets me up a little bit now,” Sinnott said.

“Before this week we had plans, but you need to get your card to make those plans happen so it’s good that I have set myself up.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure … I will probably go pro pretty soon, but I’m not sure exactly when. I need to assess all my options.”

In order to take up his place on the PGA Tour of Australasia, Sinnott need just turn professional at any stage throughout the 2015 season.

Wright’s excitement was magnified by a superb hole-in-one on Victoria’s 178m par-three 16th hole.
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Murray becomes youngest Master of Amateurs champion
Wodonga’s Zach Murray is the 2015 Australian Master of the Amateurs champion after a record-breaking effort at Royal Melbourne.

Murray, not 18 until late March, is the youngest champion in the tournament’s 18th editions and his 12-under-par 276 aggregate is the lowest recorded.

And while the Commonwealth GC pennant star’s win will look comfortable after rounds of 69-69-67-71 to beat fellow the Golf Australia national squad member Cory Crawford by two shots, the closing moments were dramatic.

Murray had barely made a false swing all week until he came up short on the par-three 16th tee, then unexpectedly bumped his second through the green and took bogey to slash a shot off what had been a four-shot buffer.

His heart then flew into his mouth when he flared an iron tee shot off the 17th into a bunker so far short and right off the 17th tee that some seasoned onlookers didn’t even know it existed.

Murray didn’t know the sand was there and even hit a provisional ball fearing the worst and his pulse rate only became controlled again when he saw the ball plugged in the face and not in the thick ti-tree immediately behind the pot.

He proceeded to escape with “one of the better bogeys” in his golfing life before making a regulation four up the last hole to seal victory.

“That’s just huge – I played unreal this week, it’s my biggest win yet and it feels great,” beamed Murray, who had been exemplary until his not unexpected dose of nerves.

“My heart was in my mouth when I hit that shot. I had no idea there was even a bunker over there,” he said.

“I wasn’t in a good state at that moment (before I hit a provisional tee shot) because I was walking up there thinking it was in the ti-tree.

“Then the bunker (lie) wasn’t ideal, but the I was able to get a shot on it which was pretty handy.”

For reference, the most likely point of relief for a penalty drop had the ball flown 2m further would likely have been back towards the 12th green, leaving a large score on the cards.

But that wasn’t on Murray’s mind.

“I was half-buried, but hacked a seven-iron out, hit a solid five-iron to 20 feet and just missed the putt.

“From there it didn’t feel too bad.”

Murray paid tribute to playing partner and long-time mate and Yarrawonga golfer Frazer Droop, who had himself blown out of contention only minutes earlier with a wayward double-bogey on the 15th.

The pair, also pennant teammates, had shared many laughs playing together for 36 holes, but no words were more important than those shared up the closing two holes.

“I needed to compose myself for a minute … but I went up to `Droopy’ after that and we walked the whole 17th and 18th together.

“I’ve known Frazer for a long time and it was good to share that experience with him.”

Murray, who paid tribute to Golf Australia course management coach Paul Skinner for his shot selection lessons, said he’d learnt invaluable lessons before and during the tournament.

“I played really well for first 15 holes (today) and had a couple of mishaps on the last couple, but still, that’s how it happens,” said Murray, whose on-course demeanour is exceptional.

“But I kept and just played my game as I’ve been doing all week.

“Even when it was tough I think I still managed to smile – and that’s important to me.”

Murray won the rights to play in a handful of major amateur events in the UK and USA later in the year.

But it’s testament to his level-headed nature that he’s not even sure he’ll take up the opportunities so he can focus on his Year 12 studies at Catholic College in Wodonga.

“We’ll see. I don’t have to make up my mind yet … but it’s a big year and I’ve got to stay on top of the studies first.”

And he was quick to quash any talk of turning professional any time soon.

“It’s not even on my mind at the moment. I’ve gotta finish this year and hope to continue my golf at the VIS next year – we’ll just see how I go from there.

“Right now it just feels great to be on that list of great names (including past champ Jason Day) and when I look back in the future to see my name among them will be a good feeling.”

Crawford (69) reached nine under early in his round, but back-to-back bogeys on the 6th and 7th holes took him out of the picture for much of the afternoon.

It wasn’t until the Queenslander surged again late that Murray was challenged with Droop (76 to be -5) and Jake McLeod (74 for -6) not charging in the final group.

American Bryson DeChambeau (70) and Torquay’s Ben Eccles (72) shared third place at eight under.

Other GA national squad members had mixed afternoons. Cam Davis couldn’t repeat Thursday’s heroics en route to a T12 finish after a 72 left him four under.

Ryan Ruffels (68) and Brett Coletta (68) charged through the field to finish -2 and +1 respectively with both saying they played better as the week unfolded.

Lucas Herbert closed with a 75 to finish one over, while Antonio Murdaca shot even par to finish three over and T44.
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New team at Headland
A new team of professionals, headed by Adam Norlander, has taken the reins at Headland Golf Club on the Sunshine Coast following a stellar 35 years’ service from John Victorsen.

In fact, when Victorsen was appointed head professional at the Buderim-based club late in 1979, Norlander was about to turn five years of age.

But the Victorsen era ended on New Years’ eve and 40-year-old Norlander – nicknamed Buffalo following an on-course event – has taken over with a team which has pledged to deliver a level of service to members of which the club can be proud.

“As a professional golfer I was a reasonable Pro Am player with modest success,” says Norlander who undertook his PGA training at Brisbane club Gailes and St Lucia.

“As a player, I soon realised that my real passion was for teaching the game of golf. I regard myself as a people’s person and I get a genuine thrill from helping others learn, appreciate and enjoy this great game.

“With John having been here 35 years I obviously have big shoes to fill, but I am not afraid of hard work and doing the right thing by our members and guests.”

After finishing his time at St Lucia in 2011, Norlander was appointed head professional at Oxley Golf Club. He was there until appointed to the Headland role towards the end of last year.

Joining him at Headland are two members of his Oxley team, assistant professional Matt Douglass and trainee Josh Butler. Former Headland club champion Ben Wedmaier, who recently completed his traineeship under Victorsen, will remain as an assistant pro.

As well as his playing and coaching career, Norlander has had extensive experience in golf’s retail and wholesale business. From 2005 to 2008 he was Queensland state sales manager for Srixon Golf and for the previous seven years managed the Golf Works store at Woolloongabba.

Born, raised and educated in Brisbane, Norlander’s nickname Buffalo has endured since a round of golf in the Queensland Open of 1994 with former US PGA player, Zoran Zorkic.

“I had hit my ball in the rough and it took me three shots to get it back into play,” he recalls.

“Back then I was a little more rotund than I am today and Zoran said I reminded him of a wild buffalo thrashing around in the bush. For some reason that nickname has stuck.” 


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Pace Confirmed For the RACV Ladies Masters
LPGA winner Lee-Anne Pace will be looking to get her 2015 off to a flying start at the RACV Ladies Masters on the Gold Coast in February.

The 33-year-old is a confirmed starter at RACV Royal Pines Resort from the 12 to 15 February, the 26th staging of the event.

The Rolex Ranked World No. 31 had a fantastic 2014 capturing her first LPGA victory in October at the Blue Bay LPGA in China and finishing 38th on the LPGA Money List with US$467,559.

October turned out to be a month to remember for the talented South African as the week before she won her first LPGA title, she won her first national open, the Cell C Women’s South African Open in a playoff. It was the Pace’s ninth Ladies European Tour.

“To win my national open in front of family and friends was so special. I actually didn’t want to travel straight to China for the Blue Bay LPGA event, but it turned out to be another great week for me, to win my first LPGA title was surreal.” Pace said from South Africa.

Pace, whose best finish at the Ladies Masters was equal fifth back in 2011, will be looking to get 2015 off on the right foot.

“I love the Gold Coast, it reminds me so much of home in South Africa, so it is a great place to start 2015.”

“I am looking forward to seeing the changes at the Royal Pines layout, it will be interesting playing 9 new holes and 9 of the old.”

Tournament Chairman Bob Tuohy said he was thrilled to welcome Lee-Anne back to the RACV Royal Pines Resort as she brings a lot of good golf to the RACV Ladies Masters and no doubt be in the mix on the final day.

Pace joins defending champion, American Cheyenne Woods in the field with more high profile players to be confirmed in coming weeks.

Tickets for the RACV Ladies Masters are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.au with children under 16 free if accompanied by an adult.

Members of RACV, RACQ, NRMA, RAASA, RACWA, RACT, RANT and NZAA will receive free entry plus one guest by presenting their membership card at the entrance gate.
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Burns wins Australia's Richest
After shooting an 8 under par round of 62, Brad Burns has taken out the 2014 Bartons/BMD Wynnum Pro-Am, Australia’s richest one day Pro-Am. 
With the event celebrating its 35th Anniversary, the Bartons/BMD Wynnum Pro-Am is one of the longest running Pro-Ams in the country. It’s $60,000 prize purse also makes it one of the richest event’s in the PGA’s history bringing the likes of Rod Pampling, Steven Bowditch, Marc Leishman, Michael Sim and Rachel Hetherington to the Wynnum layout.   
“We are extremely proud to have so many great players come back to play our event each year, showing that our commitment over a long period of time is appreciated amongst the professional ranks” said co-naming rights sponsor Doug Barton.
“We are very proud to have the likes of Peter Senior, Andre Stolz, Terry Price and Peter McWhinney win our tournament over the years and we can’t help but feel some type of ownership seeing them win around the world after starting from humble beginnings.”
Brad Burns, a prolific winner on the QLD Sunshine Tour with more than 30 victories made birdies on five of his first six holes and with further birdies on his 8th, 10th, 11th and 13th holes, found himself 9 under par through just 13 holes. Two bogies in his closing holes including one at the last, saw him card a 62 and win by 2 shots from Jason Norris.
“No one is more surprised than myself. I have played here dozens of times and never really putted any good though today they dropped, to the point that the hole felt as big as a bucket” said Burns.
“Full credit must go to Mick Power and Doug Barton. Their dedication to professional golf over the last 35 years is unbelievable and myself, and all of the professionals are forever indebted for their commitment.”
For many of the PGA Professionals, Wednesday’s Oxley Pro Am will be their next stop, while others will venture to Noosa Springs for the first stage of PGA Tour of Australasia Qualifying School in an effort to secure playing rights for 2015.              
For all scores from the Bartons/BMD Wynnum Pro-Am please click here 
For all QLD Sunshine Tour events on the Choice Hotels PGA Pro-Am Series please click here  

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Chalmers wins Australian PGA in epic playoff
Greg Chalmers has won the Australian PGA Championship after a seven hole playoff at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.

Starting the day seven shots off the lead Chalmers fired a final round 8-under 64 to end regulation play tied for the lead with Adam Scott and Wade Ormsby on 11-under 277.

"It was an epic day, I honestly didn't think I'd be sitting here at this point today with the quality of the guys leading the tournament and doing well," said Chalmers.

The trio headed down the 18th hole three times before South Australian Ormsby dropped out of the race.

It took another four holes before Chalmers emerged victorious with a par over Scott who made bogey.

"I just wasn't sure Scotty was ever going to hit a loose shot," said Chalmers.

"I was trying to drive it in the fairway; I kept driving it in every bunker."

"I thought if I'm going to lose this, I want to lose to a birdie."

"It's a shame sometimes that that doesn't work out that way, that someone makes birdie and makes something spectacular but I'm very pleased to be the champion again."

The key for Chalmers in the playoff today was not to panic.

"My style of golf is never going to be an Adam Scott style of golf," added Chalmers.

"I hit it off line, I don't panic.  I'm going to hit it off line, I did it all week and I did it sometimes today, but I have a short game that I hold in pretty decent regard."

"I thought just keep making someone win it and today it turns out that a mistake was made and I'm on the trophy."

With his win Chalmers also sealed the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit earning him starts in the World Golf Championship – Cadillac Championship, Nedbank Golf Challenge and The Open Championship, which he was already exempt into.

The timing couldn't be better with Chalmers having only conditional status on the PGA TOUR for 2015.

"I lost my status in the States this year, I don't have full status next year so I think this, winning the Order of Merit in Australia helps me," added Chalmers.

"I'm forever thankful to our Tour here for those kinds of exemptions, it's very important for players and gives us a lot of chances."

"I like to come back because I love Australia and I'm conscious of the idea that every career has a pathway."

"My pathway started right here. So I think it's somewhat, not an obligation but just something, I think it's the right thing to do."

Adam Scott was disappointed to have finished the year without a win on home soil acknowledging his failure to capitalise on his opportunities today.

"I just didn't hit good enough shots in the play-offs and it's frustrating to not win when I hit so many good drives and had so many wedges and only made one birdie," said Scott.

"I'm ready for a break.  I'm certainly going to enjoy this one."

"Unfortunately not exactly how I wanted to end the year, but you know, hopefully onto bigger and better things next year."

The least experienced of the playoff trio, Ormsby looked at the positives in his round including a brilliant chip in birdie on the last regulation hole to earn a place in the playoff.

"It was nice to get in the play-off there.  I didn't think I was going to get in and I got myself in it but yeah, a little bit disappointed," said Ormsby.

The Australian PGA Championship caps off another successful year for the PGA Tour of Australasia which has seen 15 tournaments contested, in four countries for more than AU$7.8million in prize money.

2014 saw 15 individual Professionals from four countries win titles which included eight first time champions.

The PGA Tour of Australasia will next week host more than 180 hopefuls at first stage Qualifying School as they look to earn status for the 2015 season.

For all final results from the Australian PGA Championship please click here.

For the final PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit please click here.
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Pee Wee Pennants win to Coolangatta Tweed
The first Gold Coast Pee Wee Pennants club team matchplay competition has been won by the team from Coolangatta Tweed Golf Club. 

Coolangatta Tweed beat Surfers Paradise 22–14 in the final, which was played over 12 holes at Carrara Gardens on Sunday. Carrara Gardens, a short 12-hole course, was deemed perfect as the venue for the inaugural Gold Coast final. 

According to Golf Queensland’s Participation Development Officer Lee Harrington, Pee Wee Pennants is a fun, friendly junior team matchplay competition designed to engage juniors aged from five to 12 years.

“Pee Wee Pennants is an initiative of Golf Queensland and developed as a pathway program from clubs engaging juniors in the MYGolf program,” she said.

“A version of this concept was trialled last year and at the moment Golf Queensland is steadily tweaking the product and rolling it out slowly to other districts throughout Queensland. Golf Australia is aware of the program and looking at its potential as a national program.

“To date SEQDGA and Gold Coast have been the two pilot districts to run a series, but expansion is planned for 2015.” 

Ms Harrington said the engagement of the entire family was another great benefit of the Pee Wee pennants matches. 

“Spectators at matches are usually parents, friends, siblings and grandparents, and they far outweigh competitor numbers, and this conditioned players to perform under this spectator pressure,” she revealed. 

Clubs involved in the recent Gold Coast series were Royal Pines, Emerald Lakes, Gold Coast Country Club, Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta-Tweed Head and Palm Meadows. 

A five-week program was conducted between the clubs every Sunday afternoon. The budding golfers played on a shortened nine-hole course of 100 metre par 3s, 150m par 4s and 200m par 5s. 

In Pee Wee Pennants teams are awarded one point for winning a hole, half a point for a square and no points if a hole is lost. Each team plays the full nine holes - or 12 in the case of the final - and each hole counts towards the final team score.

Clubs play a team of six juniors under a two-person Ambrose matchplay competition. Both boys and girls are eligible and all of them have a caddy. The caddy is usually a parent or grandparent, although some teams have utilised other juniors to caddy for their mates. 

Photo: Members of the winning Coolangatta Tweed Pee Wee Pennants team were (from the left) William Thorogood, Ben Adams, Kaleb Hughes, Sam Adams, William O'Brian, Billy Muldoon, Sean Hughes and Lachlan Walkom.  

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Spring and Davidson win at Queensland Boys' and Girls' Amateur
The 2014 Queensland Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur Championship wrapped up today, with Queenslander Karis Davidson (Sanctuary Cove) taking out the Girls’ Championship and Kiwi Henry Spring (Whakatane) winning the Boys’.

After violent storms left Indooroopilly Golf Club unplayable, Virginia and Nudgee Golf Clubs played host. More storms threatened over the initial two days of play but with an exceptional pace of play set by the field of under four hours, both rounds were completed. 

The first two rounds saw some great golf with Rebecca Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed) leading the way with an opening three-under 70 at Virginia and Karis Davidson a one-under 71 at Nudgee on day two. 

New Caledonian visitor Hugo Denis returned the best score at Virginia with a two-under 69. The round of the tournament came from Joel Stahlhut (Goondiwindi) with a withering five-under 66, dampened only by his closing two bogeys. Jack Poutney (Coffs Harbour) also played impressively for a 68 at Nudgee. 

The 36 hole cut was made for both championships with 51 boys and 26 girls making it through to the final 2 rounds on Wednesday at Virginia, where they were greeted with clearing skies and no chance of inclement weather. 

In the Girls’ Amateur, the field was bunched after the morning round with Davidson and Stacey White (Pacific) tied on one-under after 54 holes. A shot further back were Rebecca Kay and Jiwon Jeon (Hills). With a blistering five-under on the front nine, Davidson put a five shot gap between herself and the field, as Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe) moved into second with Kay, after making the turn three-under par. 

Dropped shots early on the back nine brought Davidson back a little but with none of her closest rivals making a substantially positive move coupled with a tap in birdie on the 16th, she cruised to a four shot victory. The final round 68 (-5) presented Australia’s top ranked junior with her first Queensland Girls’ Championship. 

The final results saw Jiwon Jeon (Hills) finish second and Stacey White (Pacific) third.  Sanctuary Cove’s Joy Mannix claimed the 14-Years-and-Under title from Darcy Habgood (Toowoomba).

The Boys’ Amateur was also a close affair after 54 holes with Hugo Denis holding a one-shot lead over Kodie Koski (Caloundra) and Riley Taylor (Casino), who were two of eight players to return third round 69’s. The best morning score was Tsukasa Maki (Hills) with 68.

It was a nervous start for all players in the final three groups, with none playing the front nine under par; however Denis still clung to his lead. A mid round charge by New Zealander Henry Spring had him three-under through 13 holes and firmly in contention.

Spring eventually signed for a one-over total 285. As the leaders faulted, Riley Taylor maintained his consistent form to join Spring on 285. 

Spring and Taylor headed to the par 4 17th hole for the playoff and after good drives, both players missed the green to end up in the front right bunker. After Taylor struck his bunker too firmly, he was left with a 35 foot chip which he then left six feet past the hole. Spring played his bunker shot better and had a 12 foot putt for the Championship, which he calmly holed to become the first New Zealand winner of the Queensland Boys’ Amateur.

Finishing in third was Peter Lyon (Southport) on 286 with overnight leader Hugo Denis finishing 4th also on 286. The 14-Years-and-Under winner was Louis Dobbelaar (Royal Queensland) with a 290 total with the runner up being Joshua Wellwood (Lakelands) on 294. 

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Rae Clark wins at Queensland Sport Awards

The 20th Annual Queensland Sport Awards Presentation was held last night, with Rae Clarke being presented with the highly esteemed Service to Sport Award for 2014.

After beginning her career in the golf industry in 1984 behind the bar at McLeod Golf Club, Rae has been involved in all aspects of the industry including being a General Manager of McLeod Golf Club for more than a decade. 

Finishing at McLeod in the mid 90’s, Rae moved into the role of CEO of the Queensland Ladies Golf Union, managing all facets of the coordination of women in the sport throughout the Sunshine State until 2001. 

Following a brief stint at Nudgee Golf Club before taking her current position as CEO of the Greg Norman Golf Foundation, a role occupied for almost 13 years, Rae has been the driving force behind turning ‘Little fish into Sharks’ harbouring some of our state’s superstars such as Adam Scott, Jason Day and Karrie Webb.

Rae has been one of Queensland's most prominent female sports administrators for over 30 years and is a very worthy recipient of the 2014 Queensland Service to Sport Award.

Golf Queensland would like to congratulate Rae on her very deserving award win and thank her for her ongoing dedication to the game of golf.

Congratulations must also go to Virginia Irwin, who was a finalist for the Sport Coach of the Year Award, and the Queensland Girls’ State Team, who were finalists in the Junior Team of the Year Award.

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Spieth victorious at the Emirates Australian Open
American Jordan Spieth has won the 2014 Emirates Australian Open played at The Australian Golf Club.

Spieth fired an impressive course record 8-under 63 in the final round to ensure his name is etched on the Stonehaven Cup with a tournament total of 13-under 271.

“What an incredible honour to put my name on here,” said Spieth who won the title by six shots.

“With these conditions the golf course is very difficult. It’s definitely the best round I have ever played and the best win I have ever had.”

“Being able to spread out from the field was a pretty awesome experience.”

Starting the day tied for the lead with Greg Chalmers and Brett Rumford, Spieth put on a master class to win his second Professional title.

“I didn’t think the round was out there but the putts just kept going in, boy we had a good time out there today,” said Spieth who with this win moves to 11th on the Official World Golf Rankings.

Spieth was excited to have won on international soil and is already looking forward to returning to Sydney next year to defend his title.

“It’s been an incredible week from the moment we got here,” added Spieth.

“I love Australia, the fans were fantastic and the golf course was in top shape.”

“What an experience, one that I will never forget.”

“I am for sure going to be coming back to Australia.”

Rod Pampling finished outright second on 7-under 277, Brett Rumford outright third on 6-under 278 and Greg Chalmers outright fourth on 5-under 279.

Thanks to their finish at the Emirates Australian Open the trio have secured a place at The Open Championship which will be played at St Andrews in 2015.

“It’s fantastic to qualify. I think it’s an awesome venue and obviously it’s the Home of Golf. I love links and I am definitely looking forward to it,” said Pampling.

“It’s been a tremendous week and this is real positive to take out of the week. It’s of huge significance that it’s at St Andrews,” said Rumford.

“I’m really excited for me and my family. I will take everybody over to go to St Andrews. I’m really proud of myself and very pleased to earn this spot in The Open,” said Chalmers.

Adam Scott rounded out the top-5 with a tournament total of 4-under 280 while defending champion and World Number 1 Rory McIlroy finished at 2-over the card, tied 15th.

The PGA Tour of Australasia now heads to Riverside Oaks Golf Resort for the NSW PGA Championship to be played from 4-7 December.

The 2015 Order of Merit will then be decided at the season ending Australian PGA Championship to be played at RACV Royal Pines Resort from 11-14 December.

For the full PGA Tour of Australasia schedule please click here.

For the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit please click here.

Photo credit: Dave Tease
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Cullen now an Australian Masters Champ

South Australian Nick Cullen has won the 2014 BetEasy Masters at Metropolitan Golf Club.

Starting the day two shots off the lead, Cullen fired an impressive 3-under 69 for a tournament total of 9-under 279.

Cullen won the title by just one shot from defending champion Adam Scott, New South Welshman James Nitties and Victorian Josh Younger.

“You always think about winning and you want to win. You envision it but to be sitting here is just unreal,” said Cullen in his winner’s media conference.

“I wanted to play better, to contend a little bit, be close, but to win the event with guys like Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy playing is unreal.”

Walking onto the 18th with a one shot lead, Cullen put his approach shot into the bunker, playing one of the best sand shots of his life he had a short par putt to seal the title.

“I hit a great bunker shot and got lucky; I didn’t have a very long putt on the last,” added Cullen.

“I am glad it wasn’t any longer, I was nervous enough over that.”

“I was trying to concentrate; I knew Adam was one shot back, so I didn’t really want to go into a playoff with him if it came to that.”

A relieved and emotional winner, Cullen has secured the biggest win of his career, collecting a pay cheque of AU$180,000 to go with his gold jacket. 

“Before this week I didn’t have any status locked up on any Tour, so to have a win and make a little bit of money is fantastic,” said Cullen who now has status on the PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of 2014 and the following five years.

“It’s more of a relief than anything; it’s been a bit of a struggle this year to say the least so to have a win is just an amazing feeling."

In 2013, Cullen claimed the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater Golf and Country Club. Thanks to the PGA Tour of Australasia being a part of the International Federation of PGA Tours, Cullen also receives an exemption into the World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational next August.

Adam Scott put up a solid title defence however a first round 1-over 73 proved too much to overcome in his quest for a third consecutive Australian Masters title.

“It’s hard to win a tournament, let alone three years in a row,” said Scott.

“Defending was a big thrill for me, but it is very difficult to show up and win every year, it doesn’t happen very much.”

“Unfortunately I think Thursday was a bit costly for me, I was playing better than that but it is what it is.”

Rounding out the top-5 on the leaderboard on 7-under 281 were Matthew Griffin (VIC), Aron Price (NSW), Adam Bland (SA) and Paul Spargo (SA).

The round of the day belonged to Rhein Gibson who shot a course record equalling round of 7-under 65 to finish tied 9th with Robert Allenby on 6-under 282.

For all final round scores please click here.

The PGA Tour of Australasia now travels to Sydney for the Emirates Australian Open to be played at The Australian Golf Club from 27-30 November.

For the full PGA Tour of Australasia schedule please click here.

Image: SMP images
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Katrina Jones wins Australian Mid Am Championship
By Golf Australia

Golf, as life itself, is all about timing. 

And for newly crowned Australian Mid Amateur champions John McMiles and Katrina Jones, the saying has never been more apt.

The pair came from the clouds to win their respective divisions yesterday as the field battled sweltering heat at Lynwood Country Club in Sydney’s north-west.

McMiles had begun the final round seven shots adrift of runaway leader Paul Bucan, of the Royal Fremantle Golf Club, but stormed home to win his first national title by a stroke.

The Liverpool Golf Club member immediately fired in four birdies to pull level by the time they turned for the final nine when Bucan made a calamitous double-bogey seven up the ninth hole.

McMiles, 38, later admitted to sneaking a peak at the leaderboard at the turn – and that’s when the fun really began.

“I did realise at that point that I was suddenly level with Paul … I hadn’t really expected to be there after where we started and he’d been playing so well,” McMiles said.

“Then we just played an up-and-down sort of back nine and I think we exchanged the lead three times (amid) a few mistakes.”

McMiles made three bogeys and a double on the back nine, but was able to mix in two birdies at the critical junctures.

Bucan, however, after eight birdies in his first 44 holes, couldn’t find one at all on the back nine and a bogey on the par-five 16th meant he relinquished the lead for the last time.

McMiles calmly parred the final hole for a 71 and a one-shot victory over the West Australian on a total score of 218, while Royal Canberra’s Andrew Tharle fired a 74 to finish third on 222.

“We both battled up the 17th, but I was really happy to play a solid 18th and get the win – I’m really happy and excited to have done it.”

A very similar drama unfolded in the women’s event.

Queenslander Jones began the day five shots behind overnight leader Gemma Dooley, but made birdies on the 16th and 17th hole, turning up the pressure on the New South Welshwoman with an equal tournament low 74 to finish at 236 for the three rounds.

And just as Jones, who also won the title in 2011, caught fire, Dooley cooled off – dramatically.

Dooley, made a double-bogey on the par-four 11th hole, and couldn’t recover with three more bogeys in succession immediately afterwards and another on the 16th to lose the outright lead for the first time since round one.
She finished with two pars for an 80 and 237 overall, but it was not enough to reel in Jones, with Lynwood member Catherine Coates (77) a further four shots back in third.

In the state teams event, Queensland (Damien Jordan, Brett Monahan and Katrina Jones) and New South Wales (Jay Wooster, John McMiles and Gemma Dooley) were joint winners.
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Proverbs secures European Tour invite
by Rohan Clarke, Australian Golf Digest & Golf Australia

Australian teenager Blake Proverbs has won an invitation to compete in a European Tour event after capturing the China Amateur Open.

Proverbs held off a spirited challenge from compatriot Kevin Yuan for a one-stroke victory on Sunday in the flagship tournament in China for amateur golfers.

The 18-year-old from Queensland receives a start in the 2015 Volvo China Open, which has been co-sanctioned by the European Tour since 2003.

Proverbs carded a final-round 71 to finish at 2-over-par 290(76-72-71-71) on the tricky Greg Norman course at Mission Hills Golf Club in Dongguan, southeast China.

After finishing third last year, Proverbs was delighted to get his hands on the China Amateur Open trophy. “I’m so excited. I tried to win last year, but I’ve done the job this time. Although I made two bogeys in the beginning, I just played safely because the course is tough.

“Now I’m looking forward to the China Open as I’ve never played on the European Tour.”

In the women’s competition, Elizabeth Elmassian from New South Wales claimed her maiden international title by two shots. She fired three consecutive rounds of 4-over 76 for a 12-over-par tally on the Norman layout.

“To win the China Amateur Open means everything for me. I played very well apart from the 17th hole (where she made a quadruple bogey). I just stuck to my strategy,” said Elmassian, who receives an invitation to play in the 2014 China Women’s Open in December.
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Cheyenne Woods set to defend RACV Ladies Masters title
The effervescent Cheyenne Woods will return to the RACV Royal Pines Resort to defend her RACV Ladies Masters title in February next year.

Woods captured her first major professional victory earlier this year at RACV Royal Pines when she held off Australian teenage sensation Minjee Lee.

Woods said, “I am excited about returning to the Gold Coast. The reception I received from the Australian fans earlier this year is in my memory forever.”

“This will be the first time I return to a tournament as the defending champion, so it will be a totally new experience for me, but I’m looking forward it.”

Tournament Chairman Bob Tuohy confirmed that RACV had stepped up its commitment to women’s golf, assuming the solo naming rights sponsorship for the 2015 RACV Ladies Masters to be played from 12 to 15 February. The event will again be co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf and celebrate its 26th year since inception in 1990.

The 2015 RACV Ladies Masters is proudly supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, J Golf Korea, The City of Gold Coast and Thrifty and will be broadcast nationally by ABC Sport on Saturday 14th February and Sunday 15th February, live to Sky New Zealand and J Golf Korea with a total global household reach of in excess of 145,000,000.

Mr Tuohy paid tribute to all event stakeholders and co-sanction partners and in particular, the ongoing commitment RACV has made to the event and golf in general.

“RACV is once again hosting the PGA Championship of Australia later this year, then hosting and sponsoring the RACV Ladies Masters at what has become the home of championship golf in Queensland.”

“RACV has completed the first-stage of the redeveloped the Royal Pines course and when it is completed in 2015 it will no doubt be acclaimed by the tour players and golf public as a world-class championship venue.”

RACV Managing Director and CEO Colin Jordan said “RACV is delighted to be both sponsoring and hosting this fantastic women’s golf event at RACV Royal Pines. This year, players and spectators at the RACV Ladies Masters will be the first to experience the new front nine layout designed by Graham Marsh, the initial phase of our commitment to provide a world-class championship course and to offer quality facilities for our members and guests.”

“In addition to the developments on course, players, their families and spectators will enjoy a vastly changed RACV Royal Pines Resort with the completion of a major expansion and development of facilities. These include the stunning award-winning One Spa, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and extensive conference and events facilities,” Mr Jordon said.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the city was honoured to host an event with such a long and prestigious history.

“The line-up for the 2015 Ladies Masters shows a seriously competitive field and I really look forward to welcoming the players and seeing some quality golf played next February,” he said.

“This is one of our major sporting events that helps to put the Gold Coast on the world stage, being broadcast to an extensive local and international reach of golf fans from a world class venue.”

Karen Lunn, Executive Director of the ALPG said “It is great news to have the defending champion committed to the RACV Ladies Masters for 2015, Cheyenne has been a great ambassador for the tournament. On behalf of the co-sanction partners ALPG and LET, I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to RACV for their continued commitment to the Ladies Masters and for taking on the title sponsorship of the event in 2015. RACV Royal Pines Resort has over the years established itself as a world class facility and tournament venue, and the recent upgrades to both the resort and the golf course will only add to the prestige of the event moving forward.

Tickets for the RACV Ladies Masters are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.au with children under 16 free if accompanied by an adult.

Members of RACV, RACQ, NRMA, RAASA, RACWA, RACT, RANT and NZAA will receive free entry plus one guest by presenting their membership card at the entrance gate.
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Playgolf WEEK kicks off

It’s no secret that many of Australia’s top athletes and business people rush to the golf course whenever they have a spare moment.

If you’ve ever wondered why, here’s your chance to find out.

Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting, a self-confessed golf nut, has encouraged everyone to get involved in Playgolf WEEK when it tees off today.

“I’m an unashamed golf tragic and reckon everyone should experience the enjoyment of playing golf,” Ponting said.

“Nothing beats getting out in the fresh air on a golf course and trying to improve your game -- a game that you can share with family and friends, a game that you meet so many new people that become friends and above all, it’s a game that absolutely gets you in.
“I hope everyone takes the opportunity to get to a Playgolf WEEK venue and have a hit. It’s going to be fantastic.”

Participating Playgolf WEEK facilities will hold a “Come & Try Day” on Sunday, November 23, to cap a big week.

Activities on this day include the use of a practice range, tips from professionals, clinics, putting competitions, sausage sizzles, and wine tasting -- something for everyone, whether you are a seasoned golfer or someone who has never tried the game.
Facilities are also promoting other offers during the week such as 2-for-1 playing vouchers, discounted memberships and buy one lesson get one free.

There are plenty of prizes on offer for those who can’t get to a Playgolf WEEK centre. One lucky person will drive away in an Audi A1 valued at $36,000, while seven runners up will tee off with a set of Cobra Golf Bio Cell Irons and Puma Formstripe Bag valued at more than $900.

Be in with the chance to win $500 cash when you show your love of golf and upload a photo to social media and #playgolfweek, or win a pair of Oakley Sunglasses valued at $200 instantly if you get the Golden Ball at one the 12 facilities participating in the Golden Ball promotion.

Playgolf WEEK is a Golf Australia initiative presented by Drummond Golf. Golf Queensland is also raising money and awareness for the Cancer Council Queensland this week.

Visit www.playgolf.com.auto find your nearest Playgolf WEEK centre, and for further information about the prizes on offer.
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Isuzu Queensland Open wins at Ipswich Sports Awards
Golf Queensland is pleased to announce that the 2013 Isuzu Queensland Open has won the Sports Event of the Year award, announced at the 2013/14 Annual City of Ipswich Sports Awards, held last Saturday night.

The Ipswich Sports Awards aims to recognise and reward sportspersons, administrators and events for excellence in performance and commitment to sport in Ipswich, with the nominee list showcasing the top sporting talent in the region.

Golf Queensland’s Golf Operations Manager, Luke Bates, said it was an honour for the event to be recognised in this way by the Ipswich City Council.

"Thanks must be given to Isuzu, Brookwater Golf and Country Club, Ipswich City Council and the PGA Tour of Australasia for their support in bringing the event back to the calendar," Mr Bates said.

"The Isuzu Queensland Open also recognises the support of the local community through volunteering, attending the event and being involved in come and try golf activities."

The Isuzu Queensland Open was held at Brookwater Golf and Country Club from 22-25 August 2013.

The Championship was returning to the PGA Tour of Australasia calendar after last being played in 2007. It was the first time Brookwater Golf and Country Club had hosted an event of this calibre and the course proved to be a fitting Championship venue. 

Over 5,100 spectators enjoyed the four-day Championship that not only provided the community with some fantastic entertainment but a sense of pride to be the home of such a historical event. 

More than 1,000 children were involved in activities held throughout the region promoting the game of golf and the Isuzu Queensland Open.

Honour Board:
Sportsperson of the Year: Jarrod Harvey
Junior sportsperson of the Year: Larissa Chambers
Lifetime Achievement: Rita Langer
Sporting Association of the Year: Ipswich Hockey Association
Coach of the Year: Theresa Stolberg
Volunteer of the Year: Wendy Spencer
Sports administrator of the Year: Jodie Elder
Sports official of the Year: Raeline Johnson
Sporting event of the Year: 2013 Isuzu Golf Open
Sports team of the Year: Ipswich Falcons touch under-14 boys
Masters sportsperson of the Year: Brian Cook
Corporate sponsor of the Year: The Coffee Club
Sporting excellence: Ashleigh Barty, Shane Watson, Ali Brigginshaw, Natalie Dwyer, Jordyn Holzberger, Deborah Acason, Keryn McMaster, Ash Walsh
Special presentations: Brendan Bowers for his work with the Ipswich Sports House and regional sport, Queensland Times sports editor David Lems for 30 years dedication to regional sport and Rosemary Potter (Milgate) for donating prized sports memorabilia to the city.

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Puckett Secures Second Women's Senior Title
Queensland’s Robyn Puckett has won the 2014 Australian Women’s Senior Amateur Championship at Riverside Golf Club, Tasmania.

Robyn defeated seven time champion Sylvia Donohue from NSW to secure her second Australian Women’s Senior Amateur title. 

Puckett last won the Championship back in 2010 and since that time has been a semi-finalist on two occasions.

The match remained close throughout the opening nine holes, with Puckett and Donohoe all square as they teed off the 10th hole.

However it was then Puckett made her move winning the next 3 holes to take her to 3 up through 12. 

Donohoe continued to put up a tough fight the however Puckett was too strong, taking the match 3 and 1.

The Championship is not Puckett’s first National title in Tasmania. She won the Australian Junior Championship at Kingston Beach Golf Club in 1964.

Puckett was thrilled with her second Women’s Senior title and cannot believe she has done it again.

“I’m absolutely over-the-top.  When I won in 2010 at Commonwealth it was fantastic but to win this year, I just can’t believe it. As you get older, it gets harder and I didn’t think I could do it again.”

Next year’s event will be played at Gosnells Golf Club in Western Australia on 26 – 30 October 2015.

Championship – Robyn Puckett (Qld) bt Sylvia Donohoe (NSW) 3&1
New Age Veterans Flights – P Jeffery (ACT) bt L Urquhart (Qld) 2up
Veterans Flight – J Harley (Vic) bt T Hoile (WA) 7&6
Super Veterans Flight – L Proud (Tas) bt D Lloyd (WA) 3&2
Super Veterans Plus Flight – S Pappas (Vic) bt M Leary (Tas) 1up
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Smith finishes T5 at CIMB Classic
Kuala Lumpur, November 2: Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, Australian rookie Cameron Smith and Filipino Angelo Que enjoyed commendable top-10 finishes at the US$7 million CIMB Classic on Sunday to join the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit race.

With American David Lipsky and India’s Anirban Lahiri, the current top-two, finishing a lowly 75th and 52nd at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, the leading trio made up ground with some wonderful finishes in the final round.

The talented Smith shot a four-under-par 68 for a 12-under-par 276 total to finish in tied fifth place, five shots behind champion Ryan Moore at the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA TOUR.

The impressive finish, which was his sixth straight top-10 on the Asian Tour, saw him earn US$266,000 and shot him up to fourth position on the Order of Merit with US$427,476, some US$250,000 behind Lipsky.

A tied eighth finish for CIMB Classic debutant Que and Prom gave them a fighting chance as well to challenge for the prestigious Merit crown as they moved up to fifth and third place respectively on the rankings with US$379,855 and US$447,137.

With their top-10 results, they also earned exemptions into next week’s PGA TOUR stop in Mississippi, which the 21-year-old Smith has taken with both hands.

“Beyond expectations for me.  Yeah, I’m pretty happy,” beamed Smith. “I think I’m going to go (to the PGA Tour event next week). It would be a pretty hard offer to turn down.”

IMAGE CREDIT: Stanley Chou / Getty Images
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Special Olympics National Games Golf Competition
On the week beginning Monday 20th October over 1,000 intellectually disabled athletes from every Australian state and territory descended on Melbourne to participate in the 2014 Special Olympic National Games.

Of these aforementioned athletes, 32 participants competed in the 3 day golf competition held at the picturesque Par 72 Albert Park Golf Course from Tuesday 21st October to Thursday 23rd October.  

The competition consisted of three levels of Special Olympic competition i.e. Level 5 – 18 Hole Single Stroke, Level 4 – 9 Hole Single Stroke and Level 2 – 9 Hole Alternate Shot competition.  All levels of competition contained both male and female athletes.  

The Level 5 – 18 Hole Single Stroke event was to be competed over two consecutive days by a total of 7 Males and 1 Female.  The Level 4 – 9 hole Stroke Competition contained 21 athletes across 3 Male Divisions and 1 Female Division.  This Level 4 event was contested over three consecutive days with the best two rounds taken for final results.

The Alternate Shot competition consisted of2 male athletes who were partnered by two fine young men from St Helena High School, Mitchell Hall and Kane Ramsay, the solo female athlete was partnered by representatives from Golf Victoria in Tyson (Day 1) and Jo Charlton (Day 2.  A big thank you all the partners particularly Tyson who filled in for Jo Charlton on day one due to flight delays encountered by Jo out of China.

Day One of the competition provided the athletes with a chance to release their nerves and get down to some fine golf, it obviously didn’t take long with a total 29 Pars and 2 birdies being scored.

Day Two of competition saw the temperatures reach 30+ degrees and this did have some effect on the athletes from posting some solid scores across all divisions.  A total of 10 Pars and 2 birdies were scored on day two.
Day Three consisted of the final round of the Level 4 – 9 hole Stroke Competition while the Level 5 and Level 2 athletes, who finished their main competition, were partnered by various external representatives for a 9 hole Ambrose competition with the cooler weather providing more comfortable weather conditions.  The scores were solid across the day with a remarkable xxx Pars, 5 Birdies and 1 Eagle being shot.

The medals winners across the competition levels were as follows:
Level 5 – 18 Hole Single Stroke – Division 1 – Mixed (Handicaps 0-19) 
Gold Medal – Steve Robson (NSW) – Gross Score 169
Silver Medal – Craig Read (NSW) – Gross Score 170 
Bronze Meday – Kate Wilson (QLD) – Gross Score 187
Level 5 – 18 Hole Single Stroke – Division 2 (Handicaps 20+)
Gold Medal – Matt Curley (QLD) – Gross Score 196 
Silver Medal – Jacob Jones (ACT) _ Gross Score 210
Bronze Medal – Wayne Wright (TAS) – Gross Score 231
4th Place – Matthew Bowen (TAS) – Gross Score 238
5th Place – Brian Clarke (SA) – Gross Scores 248
Level 4 – 9 Hole Single Stroke – Division 1 Male (Handicap 15 – 21) 
Gold Medal – Laim Reynolds (NSW)
Silver Medal – Brendan Borger (QLD)
Bronze Medal – Chad Johnson (QLD)
4th Place – John Griffiths (QLD)
5th Place – Darren Gibson (QLD)
Level 4 – 9 Hole Single Stroke – Division 2 Male (Handicap 22 -30)
Gold Medal – Darren Tait (ACT)
Silver Medal – Jason Russo (NSW)
Bronze Medal – Axel Gould (QLD)
4th Place – Saxon Graham (NSW)
5th Place – Alexander Hayes (NSW)
6th Place – Michael Eadie (NSW)
Level 4 – 9 Hole Single Stroke – Division 3 Male (Handicap 30+)
Gold Medal – Jayden Wright (VIC)
Silver Medal – Antonio Di Crezcenzo  (ACT)
Bronze Medal – Dylan Price (ACT)
4th Place – Matthew Wheeler (NSW)
5th Place – Sebastian McCormick (VIC)
6th Place – Joe Maloney (ACT)
Level 4 – 9 Hole Single Stroke – Division 1 Female (Handicap 22+)
Gold Medal – Amanda Patterson (QLD)
Silver Medal – Tahli Hind (NSW)
Bronze Medal – Morgan Mills (ACT)
4th Place – Gabrielle Clarke (NSW)
Level 2 – 9 Hole Alternate Shot Mixed Division 
Gold Medal – Sherrie Eadie (NSW) – Partner Tyson / Jo Charlton (Golf Vic)
Silver Medal – Adrian Lamb (NSW) – Partner Mitchell Hall (St Helena)
Bronze Medal – Rory Mulligan (NSW) – Partner: Kane Ramsay (St Helena)

Special Olympics would like to than the Albert Park Golf Course personnel of Sam Adams (Corporate Manager), his staff and David Diaz (Professional) for not only presenting the course in such fine condition, but who went out of their way to accommodate the needs of our athletes and support personnel.  The course itself provided sufficient challenges for our athletes and the feedback from them was overwhelming on its playability.  We would highly recommend this course for future competitions.

Special Olympics would also like to thank Golf Australia, Golf Victoria and Bonnie Doon Golf Club for their sponsorship and support of the event.  

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Celebrity Golf Day gets Australia’s Olympic campaign into swing
The PGA of Australia (PGA) joined Golf Queensland and the Queensland Olympic Council (QOC) at Links Hope Island last week for the QOC Celebrity Golf Day.

Offering a unique corporate golf experience, the day saw supreme golfing excellence among the who’s who of business and sport to fundraise for Australia’s Olympic Team bound for Rio in 2016.

Thanks to the Australian PGA Championship, competing teams had the opportunity to experience life as a Tour Professional with the 18th tee transformed to emulate the first hole of the 2014 Australian PGA Championship, which will be contested on the Gold Coast in December.

“We are so excited to see golf introduced as an Olympic sport for Rio in 2016 and as an avid golfer myself, I can't wait to see the first medal awarded,” said five time Olympian and President of the QOC, Natalie Cook.
“Our golfers who are selected for the inaugural team will hold a very special place in our history and we look forward to welcoming them to the Olympic family.”

Against the backdrop of official PGA Championship tee signage what proved even more popular was the opportunity to be photographed holding one of the oldest trophies in Australian golf, the Kirkwood Cup.

Adorned with names like Norman Von Nida, Kel Nagle, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros, Peter Thomson, Greg Norman and Adam Scott, it was a rare opportunity to touch a piece of sporting history.

Joining the sport and business elite was PGA Championship winner Randall Vines who after 42 years was reunited with the trophy he won in 1972 and 1973.

Golf will make its long awaited return to the Olympic program in Rio with the Australian Olympic Golf Team operating under the watchful eye of Team Leader and PGA Life Member, Ian Baker-Finch.

“The Olympics add another platform to showcase golf on the world stage and its inclusion provides significant opportunity,” said Brian Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA.

“With it will come new prospects for growth at both grass roots and elite level.”

The Celebrity Golf Day is run by QOC to support and fundraise for future and rising Olympic stars.

All funds raised by QOC directly supports the preparation, participation and recognition of the Australian Olympic Team.

The QOC acts as the state office of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and provides Queensland athletes with the best opportunity to reach their highest potential and achieve the ultimate goal of representing Australia at the Olympic Games.

The Australian PGA Championship will be played at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast from December 11-14, 2014. Tickets are currently on sale through Ticketek
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Smith in dreamtime mode

When a budding sports person breaks through to reach what is generally conceded the big stage, terminology such as ‘like a dream come true’ and ‘surreal’ is commonplace.

And as much as 21-year-old Queensland golfer Cameron Smith would like to be inventive and not use these well-worn clichés, he is about to live out a dream when he lines up against his childhood heroes during the upcoming Australian golf summer.

Following a spectacular six months on the Asian Tour Smith has automatically qualified for the three big events on the Australia calendar – the Masters, Open and PGA – and will be competing against the likes of Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby and John Senden, players he idolised as a kid.

“Yes it is a dream come true, and it will be surreal being in the same field as those guys and totally unbelievable if I get to play a round of golf with them,” said the youngster who has won $US160,000 in six tournaments since April.

But while he might be pinching himself to make sure he isn’t dreaming, the Wantima Country Club junior won’t be overawed by the presence of golf royalty.

“No, I don’t get starstruck,” he said after playing in the same field as Ernie Eels during the recent Hong Kong Open, where he finished equal ninth.

“I just think it’s cool to see those guys when they are around and it’s good for golf in Australia when they come home. But I’m lucky I suppose that I don’t get nervous or overawed by the big names.”

He does, however, concede that a few nerves did jangle when he met his namesake, Kangaroos and Queensland rugby league captain Cameron Smith. But that was when he was in grade 7.

“The Queensland team held an autograph signing in the Queen Street Mall and I went in to get my jersey signed,” he recalled.

“I told him my name was Cameron Smith and I think he was impressed. He told the players around him and they had a laugh.”

And it might just be Cameron Smith the footballing superstar who seeks out Cameron Smith the golfer during the Australian Masters at Melbourne’s Metropolitan Golf Club from November 20-23. While one is a professional golfer mad-keen on rugby league, the other is a professional rugby league player mad-keen on golf.

But the young golfer - who currently rates his game at 8/10 after a settling-in period in the pro ranks - has a huge appointment this week. By virtue of his high ranking he has won a start in the PGA-sanctioned CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, which tees off on Thursday.

A stellar field competing for the $US7million purse includes Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Billy Horschel, Brandt Snedeker, Jason Dufner, Retief Goosen, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Reed and fellow Australians Senden, Allenby and Mark Leishman.

And although he says his driver is not his best friend at the moment, he takes supreme form into the tournament having been placed in the top 10 in eight of his past nine tournaments, with 12th his worst placing.

“The driver is not horrendous, but if I can hit more fairways it should lead to good scores because the rest of my game at the moment is really good,” he said.

Smith has been home in Brisbane for the past week and spent precious time practising under the eagle eye of his Twin Waters-based coach Grant Field, who will be on his bag in Kuala Lumpur.

Story by Tony Durkin.

Cameron Smith has finished in a share of 5th in the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend. 

The impressive finish, which was his sixth straight top-10 on the Asian Tour, saw him earn US$266,000 and shot him up to fourth position on the Order of Merit. 

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2014 Queensland Men's and Women's Amateur Championship

Queensland Women’s Amateur Championship
State rivalries were revisited in the final of the Queensland Women’s Amateur final on Saturday morning, when Queenslander Samantha Foley took on Shelly Shin from New South Wales.

Both players were rock solid early and nothing could split Foley and Shin through nine holes, with all but one hole halved in pars, however the back nine would be a different story. 

Shin and Foley traded blows from the 10th to 16th holes to leave Shin 1-up. A birdie four on the 18th had Shin heading to lunch with a 2-up margin.

Foley needed a good start to the afternoon but it wasn’t to be, with Shin extending her lead to 3-up after 20 holes and then 4-up through 28.

Foley’s back to back birdies on the 29th and 30th holes reduced the margin to two but a birdie from Shin on the 32nd hole restored her three hole advantage and it was too much for Foley to counter, despite a win on the 33rd hole.  

With a stunning birdie on the 35th hole, Shelly Shin emerged with a 3/1 victory to claim her first Queensland Women’s Amateur Championship.

As the 78th ranked Amateur in the world, Shin started favourite but Foley’s fight and solid display of matchplay over the last week is to be applauded. 

Women's Semi-Finals:
Samantha Foley 4/3 defeated Robyn Choi 
Shelly Shin 2/1 defeated Ali Orchard 

Women's Quarter Finals:
Robyn Choi 2up defeated Hannah Green
Samantha Foley 2/1 defeated Jaimee Dougan 2/1
Shelly Shin 2/1 defeated Kirsty Hodgkins
Ali Orchard 4/2 defeated Anna Stanton

Queensland Men's Amateur Championship:
The Men’s Amateur Final was an all New South Wales affair after the last Queenslander in the draw, Medal Champion Simon Viitakangas, was defeated on the 19th by Keperra Bowl Champion Troy Moses. 

Joining Moses in the final was Medal Runner-Up Travis Smyth, with both looking to claim their maiden Queensland Amateur title.

Moses was on fire early, racing to a three hole lead by the fourth. It would prove to be a false indication of how the match would play out, with Smyth fighting back to level the game and lead by the 12th.
An eagle two from 140m on the 13th from Moses swung the momentum back in his favour and when he birdied the 14th, Moses was back in charge. After Smyth birdied the demanding 17th and had locked up a par on the 18th, it seemed like the men would be all square at the break.
Moses was having none of that and chipped in for his par to halve the hole and head to lunch with a one hole lead.

Following the natural flow of the match, Smyth made a charge and took a two hole lead by the time the players reached the 22nd, only for Moses to reclaim an advantage by the 30th. 

A concession on the 31st and a Smyth birdie on the 32nd had Smyth standing on the picturesque 15th (33rd) tee again holding a one hole lead. 

After trading wins on the 33rd and 34th holes, Smyth was closing in on the Championship. With the penultimate hole halved, Moses need to win the 36th to send the match to extra holes. 

Smyth held his nerve to make par and win the 2014 Queensland Men’s Amateur Championship.

Men's Semi-Finals:
Travis Smyth 1up defeated Cameron Davis 
Troy Moses on the 19th defeated Simon Viitakangas

Men's Quarter Finals:
Cameron Davis on the 19th defeated Jack Sullivan
Travis Smyth 2up defeated Dylan Perry
Troy Moses 1up defeated Andrew Schonewille
Simon Viitakangas  on the 19th defeated Liam Anderson

Arundel Hills Country Club was presented in magnificent condition with players enjoying the challenging layout. Thank you to all the staff and members for their hospitality.

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Tara's winning ways
At just 13 years old, Townsville junior golfer Tara Jenkins took on the Ladies Willows Open in September – and won.  

The youngest in the field of 60 ladies, Tara was able to hold her composure to the end, returning an excellent round of 85 to win the A grade champion title and her first ever ladies open title.

Adding to her growing list of golfing achievements, Tara recently competed in the North Queensland Men’s and Ladies Championship, held at Rowes Bay and Townsville Golf Clubs 4-6 October. 

She was the A Grade Nett winner in round two and overall A Grade Nett winner for the three days. Again, Tara was the youngest competitor in the tournament.

Her handicap is now 12.8, with coach Kelvin Haller suggesting that with more hard work, Tara may be at a single figure handicap before the end of the year.

Tara attended Golf Queensland’s Regional Junior Clinic at Mareeba Golf Club earlier this year and then went on to become a leader at the Charters Towers Mygolf Camp in July. 

Each year, Golf Queensland selects two promising junior golfers to support financially in attending the Adam Scott Junior Classic held at Sanctuary Cove Golf Club. This year Tara was selected as the female golfer and will be travelling to the Gold Coast to compete in the tournament in December.

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Choi wins Queensland Women's Stroke Play Championship
Doey Choi (Concord Golf Club) has won the 2014 Queensland Women’s Stroke Play Championship to record a 292 total and a one shot victory.

Choi opened the Championship with a four over par round of 76, followed by a second round 71.
She was able to cope with the blustery weather after players were hampered by gusty winds in difficult conditions during the final 36 holes. Choi went on to return a third round 68 (-4) assisted by an eagle on the reachable 235 meter par 4 6th hole.

“After the final round I thought I had blown any chance I had at winning the tournament,” Choi said.

Her closing round of five over par (77) was enough to win the Championship by a single shot to local player Ali Orchard (Sanctuary Cove)
Orchard finished the tournament on 293 five over for the 72 hole event.  After an opening even par (72) and a second round of three under par (69),Orchard was in a commanding position heading into the final day.  

However, with a disappointing 11 over par (83) third round, Orchard was able to regain her composure for the afternoon, posting a sub-par round of three under 69.
Shelly Shin (Concord) finished in third on a count back after she fired rounds of 74,70,73 and 76.

The Champion of Champions title was decided over the first 36 holes. With rounds of 72 and 69, Ali Orchard (pictured below) from Sanctuary Cove Golf Club emerged a four-shot victor over Rebecca Kay (Coolangatta Tweed).

The Champion of Champion’s event is open to all players who have won a Club Championship in the previous year.

The top 16 players from the Stroke Play will now progress through to compete in the Queensland Amateur Championship (Matchplay) to be held at Arundel Hills Country Club 23-25 October.

Top 16: Doey Choi, Alexandra Orchard, Shelly Shin, Eunice Kim, Jaimee Dougan, Kirsty Hodgkins, Karis Davidson, Rebecca Kay, Robyn Choi, Anna Stanton, Bianca Ling, Grace Lennon, Samantha Foley, Amy Walsh, Sarah Yamaki, Hannah Green.

Arundel Hills is to be congratulated for the magnificent condition of the course and the hospitality shown to all the players and caddies.
The top 16 players from the stroke play will enjoy a well earned day’s rest before returning to Arundel Hills to compete in the Queensland Women’s Amateur from Thursday to Saturday. 
Full Results
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Viitakangas storms home to take Qld Men's Stroke Play
Simon Viitakangas has won the 2014 Queensland Men’s Stroke Play Championship at Southport Golf Club on the Gold Coast.

A third round course record of seven under par (64) allowed Viitakangas (Palmer Gold Coast) to leapfrog the leading contingent of New South Welshman and head into the final round with a 3 shot lead. A closing even par 71 was enough to claim his first Queensland Stroke Play Championship. Travis Smyth (St Michael’s) shared the best 4th round score of 66 to rocket up the leaderboard and claim second, 2 shots behind Viitakangas.

Joint overnight leaders Daniel Gale (Castle Hill) and Dylan Perry (Long Reef) found it tough on the last day, dropping out of the top 3. Both will be looking to bounce back in the Queensland Amateur Championship at Arundel, starting Thursday. 

Jack Sullivan (Palmer Colonial) has won the Champion of Champions.  Continuing his affinity with the Southport layout, Sullivan fired rounds of 71, 72 and 75 in the tie breaking third round to claim the title over Damien Jordan (Coolangatta).  The Champion of Champion’s event is open to all players who have won a Club or District Championship in the previous year.

Although the players experienced blustery conditions, the Southport layout proved to be a fantastic Championship facility. The course was presented in outstanding condition with full credit going to the superintendant Stuart Moore and his staff.

The top 32 players from the Stroke Play will now progress through to compete in the Queensland Amateur Championship (Matchplay) to be held at Arundel Hills Country Club.

Top 32 – Simon Viitakangas, Travis Smyth, Cameron Davis, Troy Moses, Daniel Gale, Jack Sullivan, Anthony Quayle, Robbie Hogan, Matthew Lisk, Dylan Perry, Douglas Klein, Alexander McCoy, Andrew Schonewille, Shae Wools-Cobb, Heath Riches, Jack Williams, Lucas Higgins, Kodie Koski, Charles Pilon, Tim Hyland, Mitchell Smith, Steven Vail, Myoung Kim, Josh Hayes, Liam Anderson, Hayden Webb, Charlie Dann, Ben Ratcliffe, Yuichi Teruya, Jordan Cooper, James Grierson, Zach Jansen.

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Moses wins 2014 Keperra Bowl Chamionship
Troy Moses (Bonnie Doon Golf Club) has won the 2014 Keperra Bowl at the Keperra Country Golf Club. 

It was Moses' consistency all week which secured this year’s Championship and his first major win on the National Amateur golfing calendar.

Moses opened with a round of three-under par (69).  He followed this up with a six-under par (66) in the second round. A fantastic third round of nine-under par (63) saw him equal the course record and establish an eight shot lead heading into the fourth round. Moses returned a final round score of three under-par (69) for a four round total of 267 (-21) for the Championship.

Last year’s champion Taylor Macdonald (Redcliffe) finished runner up on 274 (-14). Macdonald carded a first round four-under par (68) followed by a pair of three-under par 69’s in the second and third round.  He returned a final round score of 68 to finish seven shots back.

Cory Crawford (Sanctuary Cove) finished in third place after strong scoring all week, he returned rounds of 69,71,69 and 66 in today’s final round to finish 13-under par on 275.

Both Crawford and Macdonald will travel down to Melbourne next week to compete in the Asian-Pacific Amateur Championship held at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

Kooyonga member Heath Riches score was considerably improved today after he managed to have a fantastic Albatross on the Par-5 433 meter 11th hole.

In it's 10th year at Keperra Country Golf Club, players experienced perfect conditions with the layout proving again to be a fantastic Championship facility.  The course was presented in outstanding condition with full credit going to the superintendent and staff. 

The majority of the field will now travel down to the Gold Coast to compete in the 2014 Queensland Men’s Stroke Play Championship at the Southport Golf Club to be held Sunday 19 - Tuesday 21 October.

For complete scores from the 2014 Keperra Bowl, please CLICK HERE

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Aussie junior cards amazing 59
Former Australian squad member and Golf Queensland product Viraat Badhwar is making a splash in his time at Stanford University in the United States.

Badhwar shot a 59 at Stanford, a course record, the same weekend that he met the university’s most famous former student, Tiger Woods. Stanford’s course is a par-70.

The 19-year-old sophomore was playing with teammates, and began his day with an eagle at the par-five first. He carded 29 for the front, 30 for the back, closing with two pars. He made nine birdies and the eagle for the day, according to a report in Golf Week.

By Martin Blake/www.golf.org.au

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Richards, Wharton and Langridge win the 2014 Gertrude McLeod Winners Event
Margaret Richards (City), Kerry Wharton (Warwick) and Elly Langridge (Pine Rivers) have won their respective divisions at the 2014 Gertrude McLeod Winners Event at Wynnum Golf Club

In Division 1 (handicaps 0-22) Margaret Richards fired a brilliant nett round of 72 to beat runner up and local player Bridgette Reedy (Wynnum) by two shots after she returned a nett 74. 

The Division 2 category (handicaps 23-32) was won by Kerry Wharton after she fired four pars and one birdie to return the day’s best nett round 70.  Ann Hardie (Ashgrove) finished runner up after returning a consistent nett round of 74.

Pine Rivers member Elly Langridge won Division 3 (handicap 33-45) by five shots after she fired a nett 72 on the Wynnum layout.  Sandra Kiely (Tewantin Noosa) was runner up in Division 3 after a score of nett 77.

The Wynnum Golf Club Team members of Bridgette Reedy, Jan Hamilton and Ruth Body combined well to win the aggregate nett teams event.
The Gertrude McLeod Winners event is the finale of the Club Level Gertrude McLeod Qualifier Competition, where Club winners are invited to play in their relevant division in a State Final.

For all Gertrude McLeod Scores click here.

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Gale, Taylor and Pilon champions at Gary Player Classic

Daniel Gale, Joshua Taylor and Charles Pilon have won their respective age divisions of the Gary Player Classic at Pacific Golf Club, held from 23-26 September. 

The 15 Years and Under Division was dominated by Charles Pilon (Hills) over the final three rounds. After a shaky opening round of 81, rounds of 73,70 and 75 were enough for a comfortable seven shot victory over Josh Armstrong (Gold Creek).  The 72 hole Nett winner was Johan Arama Pierre (Logan).

The closest division was 16-17 Years, with only one shot separating champion Joshua Taylor (Yarra Yarra) and eventual runner-up Douglas Klein (Redcliffe). Taylor held a one shot lead heading into Friday’s final round but Klein was unable to bridge the gap, with both players making par on the final four holes.  The 72 hole Nett winner was Kevin Seo (Sanctuary Cove).

Also starting the final round with a one shot lead, Daniel Gale (Castle Hill) was able to extend away from the field, with his closest competitors Tim Hyland (Bonville) and Shae Wools-Cobb (Horton Park) returning scores of 78 and 76 respectively. The 72 hole Nett winner was Yuichi Teruya (Sanctuary Cove). 

Each divisional winner and runner-up took home a high-class Adina time piece, proudly donated by long term sponsors Bob Menzies. 

Achieving the rarest of feats during the tournament were Keegan Short (Indooroopilly) and Futa Yamagishi (Hills) who aced the 13th and 17th holes respectively. 

Gary Player is also to be thanked for his 43rd year of continued support, with 40 of those years held at the magnificently presented Pacific Golf Club.

Each year Pacific Head Professionals Paul Hazlett and Mark Victorsen donate a prize for the Most Improved Player and this year’s winner was 10 year old Oxley member Kaito Chiu. In the previous 12 months, Kaito has lowered his handicap from 14 to 4 and cut 28 shots off his 3 round 2013 total to make the 54 hole cut. 

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Kim claims 2014 Katherine Kirk Classic
Eunice Kim (Lakelands) has won the 2014 Katherine Kirk Classic at the Sunshine Coast's Horton Park Golf Club today.

Kim was just too strong after closing out the field will a final round score of 71 (-2) to join her first round score of 71 (-2) and a second round score 75 (+2) to finish 217 for the championship. Kim finished four shots clear of her nearest rival Karis Davidson (Sanctuary Cove). 

Davidson was unable to catch Kim after finishing the championship with 73 even par.  Davidson returned birdies on the 9th, 11th and 12th Holes in the final round, but undid her early good work to carding boggies on the 13th and 15th hole. Davidson finished with rounds of 74 74 and 73 two over for the tournament. 

Coolangatta Tweed member Rebecca Kay was victorious in the 15 years & under division.  Kay opened her tournament with a 75(+2) followed by even par 73 in the second round, she closed her campaign with a 75 to finish 223.
Min Kweon (Sanctuary Cove) was the runner up in the 15 years & under division returning rounds of 78,74 & 74- 226.

In the under 21 years category Anna Stanton (Woodford) managed to edge out Beaudesert member Jaimee Dougan after returning rounds of 73,70,75 for 218.  
Dougan finished the tournament with scores of 79,78 & 71 for 228. 

Now in its sixth year The Katherine Kirk Classic will continue to be a prominent feature on the Golf Queensland calendar.   The 2015 event will travel to the new Maroochy River Golf Club, thank you to Katherine’s continued support.

A special thank you must also go to the course superintendent Pat Pauli and his team for presenting the Horton Park layout in such magnificent condition over the past three days.

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It's a wrap: Isuzu Qld Open

Even on the Monday it felt like a tournament was happening...writes Bernie Pramberg in the Spring edition of Q Golf Online.

There was a buzz about Brookwater. Golf carts whizzing about, signage being erected, flags fluttering, ground staff in khaki all over the course and a sprinkling of players drifting in to register and perhaps play nine holes.

Eventual winner Andrew Dodt was launching drives more than 550m down the runway at Amberley RAAF Base in a promotional and media stunt for the Open. Back on site at Brookwater, staff from the Australasian PGA Tour had arrived and the logistics of running a tournament were rolled out.

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Jordan wins Qld Men's Mid Amateur
Damien Jordan has won the 2014 Queensland Men's Mid-Amateur Championship for a second consecutive year at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.

Jordan commenced the tournament with a three-under par round 69 on the first day, to place himself four shots ahead of his nearest rival. Jordan was the only player to shoot under par on the first day in wet blustery conditions. A one-over par round of 73 on the second day was enough to secure his spot in the final group of four players still holding a four shot lead to nearest rival Dean Dunleavy (Redcliffe).

Commencing the final round and opening with a bogy on the Par 4 1st Hole, Jordan quickly gained his composure as this was to be the only blemish on his card. He birdied the fourth, sixth and eighth holes on the front nine to place him in a commanding position heading into the back nine holes.  Jordan fired a further three birdies in the closing six holes including the 430 meter Par -4 18th.

He returned a brilliant final round of five-under par 67 to finish on 209 (-7) for the Championship.

Dean Dunleavy was thirteen shots back in second place on 222 (+6) after a closing round of four over par-76. This followed his opening round of 76(+4) and a consistent second round of 70 (-2).

Jaime Pitt (Gainsborough Greens) finished on 223 (+7) to secure third place.

As part of Srixon's support of the Championship, each player was invited to receive a dozen Z-Star Golf Balls and compete in a separate nett event. Scott Bretherton from Brisbane shot consistent nett rounds of 70, 70 and a final day nett 70 to take home a year's supply (12 x 12 dozen boxes) of the Srixon Z Star Ball (pictures right). Bretherton was one of 122 players that chose to play the Srixon ball at this year's championship, as did the Championship winner Damien Jordan.

In the Upper Mid-Amateur Division (44-54 years) Brett Baker (Royal Pines) finished on 228 (+12) to edge Coolangatta Tweed Golf Club member Scott Mayo on a count back after he finished runner up on 228.

In the Srixon Teams event section, it was a close battle between Toowoomba Golf Club and Windaroo Lakes. The eventual winners were the team from Toowoomba which comprised of Jason McWilliam, Andrew Munson and Justin Shine. The winning score left them with a six shot win over the team from Windaroo Lakes Golf Club, of Malcolm Huth, Kevin Quinn and Steve Turner.

The Srixon NTP Challenge was held on the Monday afternoon. Each player had one attempt at a 70m pitch shot from the clubhouse to the Golf Queensland Pin. After numerous close shots from competitors, the eventual winner was Stephen Gibson of Wynnum Golf Club, Wayne's great pitch resulted in him winning a Srixon Prize Pack.

The Queensland Men's Mid-Amateur Championship will again be hosted at RACV Royal Pines Resort in 2015 with another capacity field expected.

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Kade claims top amateur title
By Bernie Pramberg

State team member Kade McBride bounced back strongly with a final round 69 to claim leading amateur honours at the Isuzu Queensland Open.

McBride, 19, claimed a top-10 finish with rounds of 66-72-79-69 to be three-under par on the testing Brookwater course. Considering he was close to withdrawing from the tournament with a hip injury, McBride’s performance was especially commendable.

“I was very disappointed with my round on Saturday. My ball-striking wasn’t there and I made some bad decisions around the greens,’’ he said.
“Today I went out to play the way I’d done on the opening two days and made some really good putts under pressure.

“I’m really happy....if my third round had been better who knows what might have happened. It was all a learning experience.’’

McBride, a member at Lakelands on the Gold Coast, said he would have an easy two weeks and then prepare for upcoming amateur events in Queensland.

McBride had a three shot margin over fellow state team member Taylor MacDonald who also closed with a 69. 

Next best amateur was Sunshine Coast pre-qualifier Shae Wools-Cobb who carded a 74 to finished tied 24 at three-over.

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Andrew Dodt stages rousing finish to take Isuzu Queensland Open
By Bernie Pramberg
Andrew Dodt stormed home to finish with successive birdies for a rousing two stroke victory in the $110,000 Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.

Cheered on by a big group of supporters from his home town of Gatton, Dodt fired a closing 67 to overcome a six-shot deficit on an exciting final day.

The 28-year-old professional took the outright lead on the 17th hole with a birdie after previous joint-leaders Tom Bond and Matthew Griffin both made bogey on the 16th hole. He sealed the deal with a 5m birdie putt on the final hole as overnight leader Bond three-putted from the fringe of the green to finish two strokes adrift.

“It’s one of the proudest days of my career,’’ said Dodt. “ To win your state Open is pretty cool...I haven’t won a tournament for four years.
“Earlier in the week I saw all the famous names on the trophy and thought it would be good to add mine to the list.’’

Although he started the final round six shots off the pace, Dodt said he was quietly confident.

“I stuck to a game plan all week with patience the key,’’ he said. “I thought if I could get to within two or three of the lead after the first nine holes I could apply some pressure.

“I hung in when I needed to and holed some putts when I needed to and I’m proud of the way I did that.’’

For the past six years Dodt has lived in Newcastle, the hometown of his wife Ashleigh, but he stayed with his family in Gatton during the Open.

“It’s only 45 minutes from Brookwater and it was nice to get back home and catch up with family and friends,’’ he said. “Although I live in Newcastle these days I’ll always be a Queenslander...”

Dodt, who played a lot of amateur golf at Brookwater as a member of the Queensland Academy of Sport squad, managed the challenging layout beautifully this week.

He still trailed Bond and Matthew Griffin by four shots at the halfway point of the final round but birdies on the 13th and 15th put him in contention.

Dodt gave himself an eagle opportunity on the par-5, 17th hole (483m) when he rifled a 3-wood off the tee then hit a 5-iron from 196m to within 5m of the pin. He narrowly missed the putt for eagle but bagged birdie to ignite a white-hot finish.

Dodt plans to contest the European PGA Tour qualifying school in November before returning to tackle the Australasian Tour summer events. 
South Australian Bond was disappointed with his closing 75 but he fought hard and did not relinquish the lead until the 16th hole. His playing partner Griffin shared the lead at that point but a double-bogey on the 17th hole ended his hopes.

Griffin carded a closing 74 to share third place at three-under with Cameron Smith (70), Michael Long (70), Jake Higginbottom (71) and Anthony Brown (74). 
A stroke back at two-under were leading amateur Kade McBride who closed with a 69 and Brett Drewitt (71).

Queensland amateur Viraat Badhwar set the course alight early when he played his opening nine holes in 30. But he could not sustain the momentum and finished on 69.

He returns to the United States tomorrow to resume his studies at Stanford University and take up his second season in the NCAA Division 1 golf team.

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Dodt wins Queensland Open
Queensland’s Andrew Dodt has won the 2014 Isuzu QLD Open played at Brookwater Golf and Country Club.

Starting the final round six shots off the lead, Dodt fired an impressive 67 today for a tournament total of 7-under 281.

He claimed the title by two shots from South Australian Tom Bond.

Having practiced at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club as an amateur, Dodt was confident from the start of the week that he could take out the title.

“I knew I was playing well and I know the course well. I had a good game plan and I stuck to that all week,” said Dodt.

“Patience was the key. I stayed patient all week, hung in there when I needed to, holed the putts when I needed to and came out on top.”

Dodt played under the radar for most of the final round until four birdies in his closing six holes pushed him into the lead, a birdie on 18 sealing the title for him.

“I knew if I made some birdies early to put some pressure on, then get to the back nine within two or three of the lead that I would be a chance,” added Dodt.

“I was fortunate to do that and I am proud of myself for the way I handled it.”

This is Dodt’s first victory since winning the 2010 Avantha Masters on the European Tour and Asian Tour.

“This is my second win as a Professional so I am pretty pumped right now. To win your State Open means a lot,” added Dodt.

“I have worked hard in the last few months and it has paid off.”

Overnight leader and eventual runner-up Bond needed a birdie on the 18th to force a playoff with Dodt but a bogey put an end to his campaign.

Finishing the day on 3-over the card for a tournament total of 5-under 283, Bond was disappointed not to have closed out the tournament.

“At the moment I am feeling pure disappointment. I hit it well enough today to win comfortably but my putting let me down.”

“But that is why it’s such a tough game because you have to have everything working.”

“It was good being in the last group in a tournament like this and hopefully next time I am in that position I will do better.”

Finishing tied third on 3-under 285 were Matthew Griffin (VIC), Cameron Smith (QLD), Anthony Brown (VIC), Jake Higginbottom (NSW) and Michael Long (NZ).

Queensland’s Kade McBride claimed leading amateur honours finishing tied 8th with New South Wales Professional Brett Drewitt on 2-under 286.

For all the final scores from the Isuzu QLD Open please click here.
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Battle looms for amateur honours at Isuzu Queensland Open
By Bernie Pramberg

Pace-setting Gold Coaster Kade McBride is under pressure for amateur honours going into Sunday’s final round of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.

McBride, 19, shared the lead and grabbed headlines after 36 holes but struggled with a third round 79.

Sunshine Coast pre-qualifier Shae Wools-Cobb joined McBride at one-over par for 54 holes after a consistent third round 74. Originally from Kingaroy, Wools-Cobb, 18, moved to the Sunshine Coast with his family in 2008 in order to concentrate on his golf.

Also at one-over is Victorian Cameron Davis, 19, who carded a 71 on Saturday. Also shooting 71 was Redcliffe’s Taylor MacDonald who starts the final round two shots adrift of his amateur rivals.

The low round on Saturday came from seasoned professional Leigh McKechnie who scrapped into weekend play on the cut mark of six-over. But McKechnie, who has played limited tournament golf this year after the birth of his second child, fired a 66 to finish the day in equal 14th place.

“I’m a bit underdone and this is only the fourth 72-hole event I’ve played this year,’’ he said. “We had an addition to the family so that has kept me at home more.’’

McKechnie, a touring pro since 1998,  is looking for a number of good finishes in coming months to retain his Australasian Tour card.

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Tom Bond chases biggest win of his career at the Isuzu Queensland Open

By Bernie Pramberg

Big-hitting Tom Bond will tackle unchartered territory when he takes a three-shot lead into the final round of the $110,000 Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater on Sunday.

South Australian Bond, a 27-year-old whose biggest win has been the $35,000 Karratha pro-am contested on sand greens in West Australia, will have a posse of experienced players in pursuit.

“I’ve never been in this position and it will be a learning experience,’’ he said. “A win would do great things for me and I’m looking forward to it.’’

Bond recovered from a double-bogey on the 13th hole to shoot a third-round 68 to be at eight-under par after 54 holes. He leads Victorian Matt Griffin (68) by three strokes with a further shot to Anthony Brown who carded a 74.

Bond, in only his second year of professional golf, came within 5cm of earning a $10,000 bonus on the 195m, par-three, 7th hole, when a perfectly struck 5-iron almost achieved an ace.

He was atop the leader board at seven-under after nine holes but stumbled with a double-bogey on the par-five 13th. But he showed admirable composure to recover and finish the round strongly.

Griffin, who this year has won the Victorian Open and Korean PGA Championship, looms as the logical danger but seven players are within striking distance, within six strokes of the lead.

“When I go in anywhere near the lead I’m confident I can go in and play my best golf to give myself a chance,’’ said Griffin. “The biggest thing you gain from having a few wins if knowing you can do the job.

“I’m sure it is going to be a tough fight on the final day...”

Griffin charged into contention when he rifled a 3-wood to within 5m of the pin on the par-five 17th and holed the putt for eagle.

On a golf course as penal as Brookwater a six-shot turnaround would not be extraordinary and at least eight players have genuine winning chances.

On a sparking day at the magnificent Greg Norman-designed course, good-sized galleries followed players as they battled to make an impact during the third round.

Queensland favourite Cameron Smith threatened to be a big mover early when he got to four-under, but a double-bogey on the 17th defined his struggling homeward nine. Smith starts the final round seven shots off the pace after a third round 73. Amateur Kade McBride, who played so well during the opening two rounds, slumped with a 79.

Experienced Victorian David Bransdon (72) is outright fourth, five strokes adrift of Bond, while Kim Felton (72), Jake Higginbottom (75), Andrew Dodt (72) and Max McCardle (73) are a shot back on two-under.

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Bond shoots into the lead at Isuzu Qld Open
South Australian Tom Bond will take a three shot lead into the final round of the Isuzu QLD Open being played at the Brookwater Golf & Country Club.

Experiencing a mixed day on the course, Bond fired a 4-under 68 to top the leaderboard after three rounds with a total of 8-under the card.

After nine holes Bond’s round was blemish free with three birdies on the card but it was on the back nine that things became more interesting.

Posting a double bogey on the par-5 13th, Bond rallied to make three birdies in his closing holes.  

“I like that this course doesn’t let up. You have to hit every shot exactly how you want. You hit one off shot and you’re staring at a double bogey like I was on 13,” said Bond who lead the Isuzu QLD Open after the first round in 2013.

“On 13 I had a little bit of bad luck on top of a bad swing. I had a fly buzzing around my ball but I did the wrong thing in just hitting my shot.”

“I carved it and left myself in a pretty bad spot and ended up walking off with double.”

“But that made me determined to put in a bit more effort and make sure it didn’t happen again.”

While tomorrow Bond will lead a PGA Tour of Australasia tournament into the final round for the first time today he missed an opportunity on the par-3 7th.

Bond’s tee shot pulled up two inches short of the cup; had it rolled in he would have earned $50,000 thanks to Windsor Income Protection Insurance for the hole-in-one.

Victorian Matt Griffin went quietly about his business today to shoot 4-under 68 to be outright second on 5-under the card.

With two victories on the board already this year, Griffin feels confident his game is in shape to take out a win tomorrow.    

“It is one of those course where it is hard to make a number of birdies so 68 gives you a good jump up the board,” said Griffin who started the day tied 12th.

“The biggest thing from having a few wins is knowing you can do it. Going in near the lead tomorrow I am confident that if I play my best golf then I will have a chance.”

“There are a lot of good players here so I am sure it will be a tough fight tomorrow.”

Overnight leader Anthony Brown finished at 2-over the card today to be outright third and four shots off the lead.

A further shot back again is David Bransdon (VIC) while rounding out the top-5 on 2-under the card are Andrew Dodt (QLD), Max McCardle (SA), Kim Felton (WA) and Jake Higginbottom (NSW).

The final round of the Isuzu QLD Open will tee off at 8.45am with the leaders on course at 10.45am.

For all round 3 scores please click here.

For all round 4 tee times please click here.

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Volunteers make the Isuzu Queensland Open tick
By Bernie Pramberg

Gary Ellis just might be the most over-qualified car park attendant in history.

Ellis’ cheery manner greeted players, caddies, officials and the public as they turned up for Saturday’s third round of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.

This was Ellis’ first experience working as a volunteer at a golf tournament and on Saturday he was rostered on the car park. On Friday he had recorded scores on the 18th hole and radioed them to the tournament office.

“Let’s be honest, nobody really wants to be a car park attendant,’’ laughed Ellis.

About 35 volunteers are working at the Queensland Open. They are invaluable...they make the tournament tick.

Ellis, who holds a Masters of Business Administration degree, recently returned to Queensland after two years in charge of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival where he managed 220 staff and oversaw a budget of $15million.

“My budget in Abu Dhabi was more than the combined budget I had for 12 years running the Brisbane International Film Festival,’’ he said.

“Festivals and events have always been my business and it is all about putting on a show...whether it be an international film festival or a golf tournament,’’ he said.

“These events are all about putting on a show, enjoyment and having fun. There are so many events that will only survive if volunteers are involved.’’

Ellis said his volunteering stint at Brookwater was “A quirk of fate’’.

“My partner and I attended a Springfield business leaders meeting at Brookwater not long ago and I met Lindsay Ellis (CEO Golf Queensland). He was talking about the Queensland Open and I thought ‘why not volunteer’.

“Everyone has been very helpful and we’ve been well briefed on our duties,’’ he said.

“I couldn’t be a caddie because I don’t know enough about golf. But I’ve enjoyed the experience, met some nice people and I’d definitely do it again,’’ he said.

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Amateur ties Professional for the lead in Queensland
Queensland amateur Kade McBride and Victorian Professional Anthony Brown are tied for the lead after two rounds of the Isuzu QLD Open being played at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club.

Starting the day with a one shot lead, Brown struggled to negotiate the challenging lay out despite the improved weather conditions.

Shooting a 1-over 73 today to be 6-under after two rounds, Brown watched on as the afternoon field failed to overtake him.

"It is hard to back up after a really good round,'' said Brown.

"You have to start all over again. In reality you don't go out and expect to repeat a similar score."

"You have to remain patient and not start pushing for birdies. I didn't get ahead of myself and was pleased with that.''

Starting on the 10th hole, amateur Kade McBride spent most of his round at 1-over the card but staying patient he found a late birdie, on the par-5 8th to shoot an even par 72.

"I stayed really level headed out there. My ball striking wasn't as good as yesterday but overall I am really happy," said McBride.

"I felt like I was still playing well with my wedges so I was trying to attack but I wasn't holing putts. Judging the pace on the greens was my killer today."

But even par is enough to see him tied for the lead with Brown heading into the weekend where he is aiming to claim the title.

"I am out here playing golf with some of the best players in Australia, its fun and a good experience; I am watching and learning from them," added McBride.

"I want to win just as bad as anyone out here and if I can then I will be pretty happy about that."

If McBride does manage the feat he will be the first amateur to claim the Queensland Open title since Stuart Appleby in 1991.

New South Welshman Jake Higginbottom is in excellent form coming off a runner-up finish at the Fiji International. He fired a 5-under 67 to be outright third.

Rounding out the top-5 on 4-under the card is South Australian Tom Bond and New Zealand's Peter Lee.

The round of the day belonged to South Australian Max McCardle, who needing a birdie on the last to set a new course record, posted his first bogey of the day to finish at 6-under the card and tied sixth.

Michael Wright produced the other highlight of the round acing the 170 metre par-3 16th hole using his 6-iron. For his efforts Wright picks up $10,000 thanks to SBP Australia.

The second round cut was made at 6-over the card with 56 Professionals and nine amateurs making it to the weekend rounds.  

The third round tees off at 9am with the leaders on course at 11am.

For all round 2 scores please click here.

For all round 3 tee times please click here.

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Higginbottom makes charge at Isuzu Queensland Open

In-form Jake Higginbottom fired a second round 67 to charge into contention at the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.

Higginbottom, coming off his second placing at the Fiji International two weeks ago, is one stroke behind joint leaders Anthony Brown (65-73) and amateur Kade McBride (66-72) at the halfway point of the tournament.

The 20-year-old was one of the few players to capitalise on much easier conditions than prevailed during Thursday’s opening round.

“The course played a lot easier today,’’ he said. “The fairways were a little firmer but the greens were still soft and receptive. It was perfect out there.

“But there are a lot of bogeys on this golf course and you have to be careful.’’

Brown, the overnight leader after his opening 65, shot 73 while 19-year-old amateur McBride showed maturity beyond his years to card an even-par 72.

“I went out to play a similar game to Thursday and stayed patient and calm,’’ he said. “I definitely was more conservative today and my ball-striking was a bit scratchy. But it’s nice to be joint-leader after 36 holes.’’

McBride was one of nine amateurs to make the cut.

Lurking two strokes off the lead are South Australian Tom Bond (67-73) and Kiwi Peter Lee (69-71).

Low round of the day was shot by South Australian Max McCardle with a 66 to be tied at three–under with Kim Felton (70-71) and David Bransdon (67-74).

McCardle, 29, is an interesting character. A late starter in pro golf he is a qualified motor mechanic who has a top-10 finish in the Australian Open on his resume.

“I did all that other stuff then decided to give golf a go fulltime,’’ he said.

McCardle, who started on the 10th tee, birdied five of his opening seven holes and had 31 for his first nine holes. He came to the final hole needing a birdie for a new course record but made bogey.

“I got off to a really good start but you have to be really patient at this place,’’ he said.

Defending champion Nick Cullen (71-72) is five shots off the pace.

Story by Bernie Pramberg
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Michael Wright's ace for a $10,000 bonus

Popular Queensland professional Michael Wright scored a $10,000 bonus with a hole-in-one on the 170m, 16th hole, at Brookwater during the second round of the Isuzu Queensland Open.

“It hit about two inches behind the cup and spun back in. I saw it the whole way,’’ said Wright. “Then I turned around and glimpsed a sign that said 10 grand prize for a hole-in-one.’’

Wright, 40, opened with a 77 on Thursday but shot 73 yesterday to scrape into the weekend on the cut mark of six-over.

A professional since 1999, the 40-year-old Wright is a regular on the Queensland Sunshine Tour and played the British Open in 2006 and 2009.

Although conditions at Brookwater were more favourable than in Thursday’s opening round, early scoring was steady rather than spectacular.

First round leader Anthony Brown shot a 73 to following his opening 65 and remained joint leader at the end of the day with amateur Kade McBride (66-72) at six-under.

“It is hard to back up after a really good round,’’ said Brown. “You just have to start all over again...in reality you don’t go out and expect to repeat a similar score.

“You have to remain patient and not start pushing for birdies. I didn’t get ahead of myself and was pleased with that.’’

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Brown fires course record to lead in Queensland
Victorian Anthony Brown has fired a course record equalling round at Brookwater Golf and Country Club to lead the Isuzu Queensland Open.

Brown fired a 7-under 65 for a one shot lead from Queensland amateur Kade McBride after the first round.

Starting on the 1st hole in the afternoon field, Brown’s round started to heat up with four consecutive birdies on holes five through eight.

“I didn't have high expectations. If you make three birdies around here it's good but I made a couple early and that set the tone for the day,” said Brown.

“I did everything right off the tee, gave myself some good chances on the greens and holed some nice putts.”
An eagle on the par-5 13th was the highlight of the round for the Victorian who looked set to break the course record, set by Nick Cullen last year, before finishing his round with a bogey.
"I birdied 12, chipped in for eagle on 13 to go to 7-under and then birdied 17 to go to eight. Unfortunately, a slight hiccup on the 18th but still a very good day,” added Brown who struggled on the course in 2013.

"I've never broken 70 at Brookwater in the past.  It is a tough course even with no wind, it’s so penal.”

Playing in the morning field McBride set the early pace and was impressed with his score in the tough conditions.

“I’ve only played here about five times but have a good understanding of the course,’’ said McBride.
“I feel I played well considering the wind. I drove the ball well and putted pretty good.’’

On greens made receptive by overnight rain, McBride holed a number of long putts to kick start his round.

“I holed a long one on the second and 30-footers on the fifth and sixth holes. Then I holed a long one from off the green on the 15th.’’

At 5-under the card and tied third is Victorian David Bransdon and South Australian Tom Bond who led after the first round last year.

Rounding out the top-5 on 3-under 69 is Victorian Scott Laycock, New South Welshman Adam Stephens and New Zealand Pieter Zwart.

Defending champion Nick Cullen opened his title defence with a 1-under 71 to be tied 10th heading into Friday.

The second round of the Isuzu Queensland Open tees off at 6.30am tomorrow with Anthony Brown on course at 7.10am.

For all round 1 scores please click here.

For all round 2 tee times please click here.

FTP Details:
Access Golf Queensland’s FTP site to access video highlights and photos across the four rounds.
URL: http://www.chillidesign.com.au/golfqld/

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Brown ties course record
Victorian Anthony Brown needed a course record-equalling 65 to lead the opening round of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.

Brown, who has endured a lean streak since finishing runner-up at the 2012 Australian PGA at Coolum, lipped-out for par on the 18th hole which would have meant a course record 64.

The 31-year-old completed his round in fading light to overhaul Queensland amateur Kade McBride who led since completion of the morning rounds with a 66.

“I really had no expectation today,’’ said Brown. “It’s a tough course even without the wind...it is so penal.

“But I did almost everything right. I drove the ball well, gave myself chances on the greens and holed some nice putts.

“If you can make three birdies around here it’s good. But I made a couple early today and that set the tone for the round.

“I birdied 12, chipped-in for eagle on the 13th to go seven-under and then made birdie on the 17th to go to eight-under. Unfortunately, I had a slight hiccup on the last.’’

Brown’s approach to the 18th caught the greenside bunker and his third shot finished 10-feet from the pin. His putt lipped-out to cost him the outright course record.

Brown shot a 64 at Coolum during the 2012 Australian PGA when he was second to Daniel Popovic.

“It was great to have that result two years ago but sometimes it can go the other way and that is what happened to me,’’ he said. “When you don’t perform your confidence drops and that can snowball...”

On a good day for the Victorians, experienced campaigners David Bransdon (67) and Scott Laycock (69) played well while South Australian Tom Bond also fired a 67.

“It’s all about not shooting yourself in the foot on this golf course. You just can’t go out and attack,’’ said Bransdon.

“I didn’t hit driver on the par-five holes which were into the wind and you had to go conservatively.’’

Bransdon’s solitary bogey came on the first hole when he hit the front of the green but fell back into a bunker.

“Overall it was a nice solid round of golf from tee to green,’’ he said.

Laycock bogeyed the 18th hole after a consistent round which he believed could have been significantly lower.

“I had about half a dozen chances I didn’t convert,’’ he said. “But I played nicely. The conditions probably suited me a bit with the wind and I could throw my approach shots up at the pins because the greens were damp.”

Defending champion Nick Cullen was satisfied with his opening 71 but playing partner and last year’s runner-up Peter O’Malley struggled with a 77.

“I felt like I played really well,’’ said Cullen. “I enjoy the course and play it pretty conservatively.’’

Story by Bernie Pramberg

For a full round one wrap up CLICK HERE
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Amateur Kade McBride tames Brookwater

Gold Coast amateur Kade McBride defied tricky conditions to shoot an opening 66 in the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.

The 19-year-old displayed great maturity to weather blustery winds and card eight birdies and two bogeys in his six-under round which was a stroke outside the course record.

McBride, who grew up idolising Adam Scott and Jason Day, was in doubt for the Queensland Open until last weekend because of a hip injury. But he shrugged off the setback with a strong all-round display.

“I’ve only played here about five times but have a good understanding of the course,’’ he said. “I feel I played well considering the wind.

“I drove the ball well and putted pretty good.’’

On greens made receptive by overnight rain, McBride holed a number of long putts to kick start his round.

“I holed a long one on the second and 30-footers on the fifth and sixth holes,’’ he said. “Then I holed a long one from off the green on the 15th.’’

A member of the Queensland men’s team for the first time this year, McBride recently returned from two months in America where he won the Oglethorpe Invitational in Savannah, Georgia, and qualified for the US Amateur.

“I was injured about a week before the US Amateur so didn’t get the result I wanted there. But it was also nice to have a win during the time away.’’

A member at Lakelands, McBride was introduced to the game by his father, Phillip.

“Dad is a good golfer and it took me ages to beat him,’’ he laughed.

McBride completed Year 12 at St Andrew’s Lutheran College on the Gold Coast in 2012.

He led the morning field at Brookwater by one shot from experienced Victorian professional David Bransdon (67) with a further two strokes to former Australian Open runner-up Scott Laycock (69).

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Cullen set to defend title
Defending champion Nick Cullen was off to an early start in the opening round of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater this morning (Thursday).

Left-hander Cullen, who won by a whopping five strokes last year, was scheduled to tee-off at 6.50am with last year’s runner-up Peter O’Malley and Stephen Jeffress who won the Fiji International 10 days ago.

Cullen has been accorded the informal honour of defending champions worldwide...a giant advertising billboard bearing his image on the appropriately named Augusta Parkway, the main thoroughfare leading to Brookwater.

“That brings back a lot of good memories,’’ he said.

After a mixed year on course, punctuated by a bout of appendicitis, Cullen believes his game is at a good standard to defend the T B Hunter Cup this week.

He played well at the Fiji International, carding rounds of 70, 72 and 73 before an 80 on the Sunday in atrocious conditions.

“Technically, my swing feels good. Probably better than at this time last year,’’ he said.

“Hopefully, it will be a fun week.’’

Cullen’s winning aggregate last year of nine-under-par included a course record 65, described this week by fellow player Michel Sim as “scary low” at Brookwater. He expects a similar score of “about 10-under” will be required this week.

“Brookwater can be brutal. You have to keep it in play, be smart, stick to your game plan, make some putts and hopefully, be in contention on Sunday,’’ he said.

The 30-year-old South Australian is a good all-round player capable of working the ball both ways and he has a good short game.

Cullen broke through for his maiden win at the 2012 Indonesian Open. He carried his good form from the 2013 Queensland Open victory into last summer when he shot an opening round 65 at the Australian Masters and ultimately finished fourth behind Adam Scott.

But a bout of appendicitis during the Australian Open put him on the sidelines for an extended period.

“That meant I missed the Japan PGA qualifying school but I went to America mid-year to play some qualifiers,’’ he said.

Picture: Nick Cullen (centre) pictured with Peter O'Malley (left) and Steven Jeffress (right) get ready to tee off in Round 1 

Story: Bernie Pramberg

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Rhein's on target for Brookwater
Rhein Gibson, the golfer recognised as shooting the lowest round in history, is on target for a strong showing at the Isuzu Queensland Open starting Thursday at Brookwater.

Gibson, 29, who last week won a $70,000 pro-am on the Gold Coast, is coming off a successful year in which he finished fourth to Rory McIlroy at the Australian Open and made the cut at the British Open.

He partnered Tiger Woods during the third round of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

“I feel like my game is okay coming into the Queensland Open,’’ he said. “It was good to win on the Gold Coast and I played alright in Fiji the previous week.

“I shared the opening round lead in Fiji and felt I didn’t play that badly for the rest of the event, but the course was brutal. Overall it has been a fair year but I wish I’d played a bit more consistently.”

Gibson will partner young Queenslander Cameron Smith and experienced Victoria David Bransdon in the opening two rounds.

Originally from Lismore, Gibson has been based in Oklahoma City in the United States for a number of years.

“I graduated from college there and my wife is from Oklahoma,’’ he said.

Gibson gained notoriety in 2012 when he shot 16-under 55 at the River Oaks Golf Club in Oklahoma, a feat since recognised by Guinness World Records as the lowest round in history. Starting on the back nine of the 6698-yard, par-71 course, Gibson opened with a routine par before notching two eagles and a birdie on the next three holes.

He continued his birdie blitz with five straight to close a stunning opening nine in 26 shots...10-under par. Forced to wait 15 minutes on the next tee, he carded successive pars but then birdied six of the last seven for an incredible 55.

“I don’t want that round to define my career,’’ he said. “But it is nice to have it in my back pocket.

“As far as helping me, it really hasn’t except for a little bit of notoriety.

“I’m just trying to make a living playing golf and, hopefully, people can see I can play the game.’’

Gibson played a practice nine holes at Brookwater on Monday followed by the pro-am.

“The greens are quite small and it will take good accuracy this week to score well,’’ he said.

Gibson will contest the US PGA Web.Com Tour qualifying school later in the year.
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Michael Sim back on track at the Isuzu Queensland Open
By Bernie Pramberg

Former world top-50 player Michael Sim will use his driver only “three or four times’’ during Thursday’s opening round of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater.

Sim carded an even-par 72 in today’s pro-am and said position off the tee and mid-iron approach shots held the key to successfully negotiating the testing Brookwater layout.

“The approach shots are quite demanding,’’ he said. “You have to hit a lot of 5, 6 and 7-irons and if you miss the green there are places where you have no shot at the pin at all.’’

Sim, 29, has played only eight tournaments this year as he worked on his game with Perth coach David Milne and focused on “getting his mind together’’. He produced his best 2014 result two weeks ago when tied for sixth place at the US$1m Fiji International.

“I played well in Fiji and felt comfortable on a very tough course. I feel my swing has come a long way this year compared to where it was...

“I’m starting to get results and enjoy my time on the golf course. I struggled for a couple of years but I’m starting to enjoy my golf again.’’

At 29, Sim has experienced the roller-coaster of professional golf after a stellar amateur career where he was ranked No 1 in the world. He is a four-time winner on the Nationwide Tour and played three years on the US PGA Tour, achieving a world ranking as high as 34 in 2010.

But intermittent injuries, form slumps and the burden of expectation stalled his career.

“I was over there (United States) when I was 20,’’ he reflected. “I achieved a lot at a young age.’’

Sim has quashed plans to tackle the US PGA qualifying school later this year and will concentrate on campaigning on the Australasian and OneAsia Tours.

“I just want to enjoy the game again,’’ he said.

After his first-hand look at the Greg Norman-designed Brookwater course yesterday, Sim described 2013 champion Nick Cullen’s course record 65 as “really scary low’’.

South Australian left-hander Cullen will defend the title he won by five strokes from peter O’Malley last year.

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Recharged and ready for Open

Viraat Badhwar would like nothing better than to take a Queensland Open title back to the prestigious Stanford University.

Badhwar, a product of Queensland junior golf, is following the footsteps of the game’s luminaries Tiger Woods and Tom Watson as a member of Stanford’s NCAA Division 1 golf team. 

Indian-born Badhwar will celebrate his 19th birthday on Thursday, the opening round of the $110,000 Isuzu Queensland Open at Brookwater. He will return to the United States next Monday to start his second year at Stanford.

“I have been home in Brisbane for the past two months and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to play the Open before resuming university,’’ he said. “I’ve re-charged my batteries and also worked on my game with (coach) Gary Calder.

“He has been my coach since I came to Australia in Year 7 and I talk to him just about every week from America.’’

An outstanding junior who represented Queensland and Australia, Badhwar graduated from Kelvin Grove College school of excellence in 2012. He played his club golf at Indooroopilly. 

Badhwar won a scholarship to Stanford where he is studying Management Science and Engineering and performed well for the golf team in his freshman year.

“I think I did a pretty good job considering I had to adjust to things like the culture, new teammates and different golf courses.

“We finished overall second in the country overall and one of our senior players, Patrick Rodgers, was No 1 in America.’’

Badhwar had a stroke average of 72.61 in NCAA competition with a low round of 67 and three top-25 finishes.

He was a member of the Queensland junior squad from 2011-2013 and the men’s team in 2013.

Story by Bernie Pramberg
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Victorian rookie Ben Ford shot a seven-under-par 65 at Keperra Golf Club to lead pre-qualifiers for the Isuzu Queensland Open which starts on Thursday at Brookwater.

Ford, who finished his PGA traineeship at the end of last year, carded six birdies and an eagle (on the 10th) in his hot round.

He had a two-stroke margin over Goulburn professional Luke Humphries with amateurs Blake Proverbs (pictured) and Terry Ng sharing third spot with 69s. The fifth and final spot at Virginia went to amateur Chae Woolscobb after a playoff.   

Ford has previously made the cut in only one PGA Australasian Tour event, finishing 42nd at the Queensland PGA earlier this year. But he had a strong playing record in his final year as a trainee, leading the national averages for third year players. He also won the NSW and ACT Trainee Championships in 2013.

Proverbs, 16, is a Year 11 student at Moreton Bay Boy’s College and a member of the Queensland and Australian junior squads. 

At the other pre-qualifying venue at Virginia, professionals Brenton Fowler, Quentin Lourens and Rory Bourke shot 67s with Nicholas Russell and amateur Andy Chu taking the final spots after rounds of 70.

A total of 198 players contested the 10 final spots in the Open field.

A withdrawal from the pre-qualifying rounds was 12-year-old Louis Dobbelaar who was forced out with a shoulder injury. 


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Scott Draper lines up for Queensland Open
By Bernie Pramberg

Former tennis ace Scott Draper will take time off from developing Australia’s emerging racquet-wielding talent to contest this week’s Isuzu Queensland Open Golf Championship at Brookwater.

Draper, 40, a rare sportsman who played tennis and golf professionally, was reinstated to amateur golf in 2011 after six years in the pro ranks.

Along the way he won the 2007 NSW PGA Championship and campaigned for almost three years in the United States, pre-qualifying for a number of Nationwide Tour events.

Draper is employed as Tennis Australia’s manager of development and supervises academies around the country. After being based in Melbourne for three years he returned to Brisbane in April and resumed playing golf at Keperra where he is also a member of the club’s pennants team.

“I usually play the Saturday competition with my brother (Mark) who is a scratch marker and my Dad and then pennants with the club on Sundays,’’ said Draper. 

“I love the game and every morning I’m up watching the PGA Tour events on television.

“I’m a Queenslander and it’s good to be back home with my wife and young family.’’

Draper is playing on a sponsor’s invitation at Brookwater this week and is looking forward to the challenge.

“I’ve never played Brookwater under tournament conditions and expect even-par would be a pretty good score. I’ve got the experience for an event like the Queensland Open, but haven’t really got the hard yards under my belt.

“I know I’ll enjoy the week and will be doing my best.’’

A recurring back problem curtailed Draper’s sojourn into pro golf but he harbours thoughts of tackling the Seniors Tour in the future.

“I gave pro golf my best shot but the back injury got me in the end and I called it quits in 2009,’’ he said. “I never had back issues in tennis...not until I played a lot of golf.

“I played alongside people like Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Cameron Percy and others who went on to play at the highest level. They were unbelievable talents but at the time I felt I was there or thereabouts.’’

Draper had his debut as a professional golfer at the 2005 Victorian PGA Championship, the same week he won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open partnering Samantha Stosur.

He was ranked as high as No 42 in the world during his tennis career, making the final 16 at the French Open in 1995 and ’96 and the US Open in 1997.

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Love of the game - Bradley Hughes


Bradley Hughes brings lessons learnt from 25 years as a touring professional to Brookwater next week when he tees-up in the Isuzu Queensland Open.

A rising star of Australian golf in the 1990s, Hughes has contested all four major championships, represented the International team in the 1994 Presidents’ Cup, twice finished runner-up in US PGA Tour events and won two Australian Masters. A journeyman in the truest sense, Hughes was also beset by personal problems at the peak of his career and endured an acrimonious divorce in 1994.

But he steered his career back on track and grafted away in America bouncing between the PGA Tour and secondary Nationwide Tour until the mid-2000s. He went through another divorce, worked as a club pro in South Carolina and didn’t play golf at all for three years from 2009.

Along the way there were plenty of lessons...

A straight-shooter in life and off the tee, Hughes, 47, has a growing reputation as a coach and spends time in Melbourne and South Carolina each year working with all manner of golfers. His clients this year have included seasoned top-liner Robert Allenby and tennis great Pete Sampras.

When Hughes opened an email from Sampras last summer he thought he was the butt of a joke.

“I thought it was someone pulling my leg but Pete Sampras is a golf junkie who saw my website and was interested in my coaching ideas,’’ recalled Hughes. “  

 “We got together when he was in Melbourne during the Australian Open tennis and hit it off pretty well. One day we spent six hours at the range with me coaching and Pete hitting balls.

“Later in the year I spent time in California working with him. Who would have ever thought I’d been coaching Pete Sampras?’’

Hughes’ philosophy is pretty much old-school and he not a fan of the “hi-tech stuff which has flooded the golf business in the last 15 years”.

Until his playing career stumbled, Hughes had given scant thought to the mechanics of the golf swing or the prospect of coaching. Most tournament players are the same.

“A lot of the best players don’t necessarily need to know exactly what they’re doing,’’ he said. “The game came easily to me when I was young, but I didn’t really know what I was doing.

“As a young player I worked my backside off practising, but as an instructor I’ve worked harder than ever to gain a good understanding of the swing. I don’t think you have to be a great player to be a great coach, but it is handy to have played at a pretty good standard and to have a keen eye.’’

Hughes delved into successful players with unconventional swings.

“Players like Lee Trevino, who you could pick four fairways away, Jim Furyk, Chi Chi Rodriguez and even Peter Senior,’’ he said. “All great players with non-copybook swings...”
Although instruction is now Hughes’ main focus, he has rekindled enthusiasm for playing the game.

“I wasn’t enjoying playing in the US with a lot of travel and other things,’’ he said. “That’s one of the reasons I stopped for three years.

“But I enjoy playing Australian-style courses. These days I can’t match the young guys in the air, but I can play along the ground better than most of ‘em.’’

Growing up on Melbourne’s famed sand belt courses made Hughes a master of the bump and run innovative short game. Last year he had top-10 finishes in the Victorian and New South Wales Opens and is looking forward to this week’s challenge at the Greg Norman-designed Brookwater.

“I turn 50 in less than three years and would be mad not to have a crack at the Seniors’ Tours. That makes it important for me to play some tournaments now.’’

The rigours of professional golf can be brutal and Hughes has been through the wringer. Few would be better qualified to offer subtle advice to emerging players chasing their dreams.

“You can give advice, but deep down it is up to the person themselves,’’ he said. “If someone came to me with a lot of questions I’d be happy to answer. There’s a lot of areas you need to try and balance.’’

Hughes will have his first look at the testing Brookwater course on Tuesday.

“I’m told the fairways are quite narrow and it’s long. That should be up my alley because I hit it pretty straight off the tee.

“I’m looking forward to the week. I like a course where par means something.’’

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Get scouted for US College Golf
Ipswich is being treated to some top level sport this month with festivities for the Isuzu Queensland Open kicking off with a visit by Australia's cricketing great Ricky Ponting tomorrow.

The former Australian Cricket Captain and Director of NSR Australia will be at Brookwater Golf and Country Club as the guest scout for the NSR Australia USA College Recruitment event. 
Hosted by Golf Queensland, the event will identify potential USA College Golf prospects that have the ability to play full time golf in the USA. 

Luke Bates, Manager of Golf Operations at Golf Queensland said they were pleased to be working with NSR to assist young golfers with their future study and golf careers.

"It's a bonus to have Ricky Ponting involved in the day. He is a not only a former cricketer but an avid golfer who has lately become more recognised for his golfing ability," Mr Bates said.

NSR Business Manager Keri Clarke said they work directly with all US Colleges and Universities in every division in every state to find places for students.

"These lucky athletes will have the chance to play their trade in the extremely professional American College Golf system whilst potentially on a golf scholarship," Ms Clarke said.

"NSR enters its eighth year as an officially endorsed program across Australia, which we are now proud to bring this opportunity to young golfers here in Queensland. 

"The NSR Program is about preparing and promoting you to College Golf programs in the US. NSR is making a number of places available for first year university and year 9, 10, 11 and 12 student-athletes."

For further information visit www.nsraustralia.com 
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Brookwater 12-year-old to play Isuzu Qld Open
Brookwater schoolboy Louis Dobbelaar will re-write the record books if he pre-qualifies to contest the Isuzu Queensland Open on his home course next week.

Dobbelaar, who recently returned from a successful month playing in the United States, will be aged 12 years 11 months and 25 days when he tees-up in Monday’s pre-qualifying round at Virginia Golf Club. He will celebrate his 13th birthday on August 31 which coincides with the final round of the Open.

If successful, Dobbelaar will be the youngest player to contest the Queensland Open which was first played in 1925. In pre-qualifying at Virginia and Keperra, 220 players will battle for 10 remaining spots in the field.
The youngster, who plays off a two-handicap at Brookwater, is desperate to pre-qualify but is battling to overcome a shoulder injury.

“We’ve only been back from America a short time and Louis fell awkwardly at a friend’s birthday party last weekend,’’ said his mother, Allison. “He’s been able to practise his chipping and putting but not much else. But he is really desperate to try and pre-qualify.’’

A member of Golf Queensland’s junior squad, Dobbelaar was in top form through July in the US where he finished runner-up at the San Diego Junior Masters and the US Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst. He also tied 14th in the Callaway World Junior in San Diego.

He was beaten by a stroke in his age group at the San Diego Junior after shooting 72-69 and lost at Pinehurst by two shots after carding rounds of 69-72-74 on the No 8 Pinehurst layout.

Queensland has produced a number of outstanding young golfers who have competed in open age events in recent years.

A standout was Eagle Chang, who defeated Jason Day in the final of the 2005 Australian Junior Championship when he was aged 14. Chang, who was exactly two years younger than Day, went on to contest that year’s Australian Open as a 15-year-old.

This year’s Isuzu Queensland Open has attracted a top-class field which includes last week’s Fiji Invitational winner Steven Jeffress and runner-up Jake Higginbottom, Michael Sim, Peter O’Malley, Scott Laycock, Bradley Hughes, David McKenzie and defending champion Nick Cullen who shot 9-under to win by five strokes last year.

Sim, a former top amateur who won four times on the US Web.Com Tour and played the US Tour in 2010/11, is coming off a disappointing year. But he played well in difficult conditions in Fiji last week to finish in a tie for sixth.

Queensland’s leading amateurs will be well represented with Jake McLeod, Cory Crawford, Kade McBride, Anthony Quayle, Simon Viitakanga, Jack Sullivan, Taylor MacDonald and Aaron Wilkin in the field.

Story by Bernie Pramberg 
Photos by Tenna Merchent
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2014 Queensland Men's Country Week Championship wraps up

Monday & Tuesday - Stroke
Adam Gemmell (Laidley) has won the stroke event of Queensland Men’s Country at Indooroopilly and Redcliffe Golf Club’s

He fired a one-under-par round 71 at Indooroopilly to hold a three shot lead after the first round.  

Gemmell was unable to continue his good scoring from the first round after returning a second round three over par 75 in blustery conditions at Redcliffe, however this was enough to claim this year’s stroke event.

Gin Gin member Scott Warren finished runner up three shots back after returning rounds of 77,72-149

The Blackwater Team of  Bruce Winn, Lachlan Ferguson, Sean McCarthy & Kurt Kingston won the teams event after having a Nett Aggregate score of 441.

Thursday – Foursomes
Nudgee Golf Club hosted the Foursomes section with 110 players vying for their Divisional Titles. 

Adam Gemmell extended his success in Country Week to claim the Foursomes Championship with fellow Laidley member and good friend, Chris Fraser, by 5 shots from City members Anthony Timms and Jason McWilliam.

Norm Mitchell and Stephen Wright (City) won the Nett section for the second consecutive year with with a great score of 69.5, to narrowly defeat Rockhampton visitors William Gunzler and Robert Lindley by half a shot.

John Smith (Craignish) and Michael Treahy (Blackwater) played fine golf, signing for 89 and a 1 shot victory over Nev Pederson and Dan Darlington (Goombungee).

Nett winners by 2 shots were Barry Thoms (Ipswich) and Chris Bath (Rosewood) with a 68. Moranbah members John Roberts and Kevin Nunn secured second place. 

Friday – Fourball
Under cloudy skies, players headed to Virginia Golf Club for the concluding day of the 2014 Queensland Country Week for the Fourball Championship.

Gayndah pairing Peter Ulcoq and Bevan Young snuck home with a one point victory (46 points) from Country Week regulars Adam Rayner (Bundaberg) and Graeme Kerby (Biggenden).  In third place on count-back were another Gayndah pair - Brent Chambers and Jeremy Zahl.

A huge thank you is extended to all four hosts (Indooroopilly, Redcliffe, Nudgee and Virginia) for the fantastic manner in which their courses were presented and the hospitality extended to the Country participants. Players are already talking about renewing acquaintances in 2015!

A special mention to Gordon Dowling from Biggenden who celebrated his 50th year at the Queensland Men’s Country Week. "Finally I have won something after 50 years," he said after winning the C Grade Stroke event by three shots. It his passion for Country Week which sees the largest contingent of players from Biggenden converge on Brisbane every year (pictured above). 

This week would not be the same without sponsors. City Golf Club Motel Toowoomba are to be congratulated on their continued support of country golf. They do a wonderful job promoting country golf, as well as supporting the annual Queensland Sand Green Championships.

CLICK HERE for full scores.

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Isuzu Queensland Open entries closed
Entries for the 2014 Isuzu Queensland Open have now closed.

The Isuzu Queensland Open has received an enormous amount of attention from both Professional and Amateur entries in 2014 with the final number surpassing the 2013 figures.

In summary:
The list of entries has been finalised, with 328 golfers entering the event. The list of entries comprises of 177 Professionals and 151 Amateurs.

Of the 177 Professionals, 17 are from overseas, 95 are from interstate and 65 are from around Queensland.

Of the 151 Amateurs, 29 are from interstate and 122 are from around Queensland.

To determine the final field of 120 players, over the next couple of weeks the exempt and non-exempt categories will be finalised with the latter being required to compete in the Pre-Qualifying rounds being held on Monday 25th August at Virginia Golf Club and Keperra Country Golf Club. A minimum of 10 positions will be available for these players.

To view the field lists please use the links below: 
Exempt Amateurs
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Nudgee wins Senior Club Teams Challenge
The Nudgee Golf Club have won the 2014 Senior Club Teams Challenge, defeating Coolangatta Tweed Golf Club seven to five on Aggregate in the teams Match Play format.

Coolangatta Tweed got off to a great start defeating Nudgee in the first final last week at Coolangatta Tweed Golf Club, 3.5 to 2.5.

It was all down to the second final held at Nudgee Golf Club.  After some promising match scores after the first nine holes Coolangatta Tweed was out to prove that they were going to capitalise on last week’s home win.  

But it wasn’t to be with the final scores resulting in 4.5 to 1.5 in Nudgee’s favour, handing the 2014 Senior Club Teams Challenge to Nudgee Golf Club winning 7 to 5 on aggregate. 

Congratulations must go to the 2014 Senior Club Teams Champions - Steve Rowley, Steve Toyne, Mario La-Chiusa, John Costello, Grahame MacDonald (c), Peter Raverty, Phil Green, David Fox, Paul Sutton and Neil Watts. 

This is the first time Nudgee Golf Club have won in the events ninth year.

Congratulations must also go to both team captains Grahame McDonald (Nudgee) and David Morrison (Coolangatta Tweed) as well as all the other clubs who participated in this year's Senior Club Teams Challenge Series.

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Sams conquers Carbrook conditions to claim Senior Mens Championship

2007 Champion Brian Sams(Port Macquarie) has added the 2014 Senior title to his collection, outlasting a host of contenders in a testing final round at Carbook. After opening rounds of 69 and 71, a final round 80 was still enough to hold off Indooroopilly's Sam Christie by 1 shot. Christie returned the final day's best round of 3 over in conditions where wind gusts reached over 70km/hr. 

Heading in to the back nine, it was Michael Barltrop from Royal Auckland who felt at home in the wind and had fought through and claimed the lead. Unfortunately his charge faulted late with 3 closing bogeys. 

Barltrop's brother Rodney, combined with Royal Wellington counterparts Jan and Tone Borren and Neale Pitches,  to claim the Teams Championship by 2 shots from Coolangatta-Tweed.

Preventing an international and interstate sweep of the major prizes was Greg Dyer (Wynnum) who claimed the overall Nett from Anthony Irvine (Southport) on countback 214. 

For all age divisions and the full leaderboard please CLICK HERE

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Ipswich Month of Golf
The month of August is set to be a huge time for the game of Golf in Ipswich, culminating in the 2014 Isuzu Queensland Open being held at the Brookwater Golf & Country Club from the 28th – 31st August.

The local golf clubs are also set to be a part of the action, with 3 local golf courses hosting events in the lead up to the Queensland Open.

The major prize for the winner at each event is a place in the 2014 Isuzu Queensland Open Pro Am.

Each of the 3 clubs will be hosting a Sunday Open Medley Single Stableford Competition, giving players of all levels the opportunity to win this fantastic prize

The courses and dates are:

Ipswich Golf Course - (07) 3812 0488 – Sunday 27th July
Sandy Gallop Golf Club - (07) 3281 8544 – Sunday 3rd August
Karana Downs Golf Club - (07) 3201 0833 – Sunday 24th August

Entry Fees to participate at each event are:
Club Members – $20 per player
Non Members – $25 per player
Please contact each club to register

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Mother and son win mixed
Club champion Matthew Samen-Curtis and his mum Christine have become the first mother-and-son combination to win the Headland Golf Club mixed foursomes championship.

The pair teamed together last Saturday to beat a competitive field on the Sunshine Coast course, returning 162 for the 36-hole event and win by two shots from Sue Jones and Darren McLeod. It is their first victory in a major championship and caps off an outstanding past year for the 18-year-old.

The mixed foursomes win alongside his mother adds to the six individual club championships he has secured at Headland (Buderim) and Horton Park (Maroochydore) in the past 12 months. Samen-Curtis has already been crowned senior and junior champion at Horton Park as well as winning the men’s matchplay, and has claimed the same at Headland - the club and junior championships, and the senior matchplay.

“Playing in the mixed was probably not as stressful as some of those other events, but it was very enjoyable,” he said.

“Mum and I had a lot of fun and, after all the support she has given me in my golfing career, sharing a championship win with her was particularly special.” 

Christine, who plays off 11, conceded her son was very much the driving force behind the win but said she had also played well.

“But what gave me most satisfaction was being in such close proximity to the many beautiful golf shots he played,” she said.

The first mixed foursomes event was played at Headland Golf Club in 1965. – TONY DURKIN

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Queensland Women's Senior and Mid Amateur Championships
Josie Ryan (Headland) has taken out the Queensland Senior Women's Amateur Championship at Horton Park Golf Club, winning her final match 1-up over opponent Rosie Glasson (Twin Waters).

Ryan was steady all week and remained undefeated to take out this year's event in stunning fashion. She now has her name on the trophy for a third time, after also winning the 2009 and 2010 event.

Interstate player Jill Blenkey (Newcastle) was victorious in Division 1 of the 55-64 years matchplay final, while Helen Fraser (Headland) took out the Division 2.

Carmel Smith (Horton Park) proved too strong, winning 4&3 in Division 1 of the over 65 age group for a second consecutive year, with Division 2 won by Mount Coolum member Maree Christensen.

On Tuesday, Wantima member Katrina Jones took out the Queensland Women's Mid-Amateur Championship for the third consecutive year. 

Jones fired a final round of 76 (+3) to finish 9-shots clear of Debbie Macaulay (Caloundra), whose three round total of 245 was good enough to take out second place. 

Sanctuary Cove member Jin Lee won the Nett division after three days of great scoring.

Congratulations must go to Horton Park Golf Club for again hosting this year's event in its seventh year at the venue. 

For full results, click here.
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Jones wins Women's Mid Amateur Championship

Wantima member Katrina Jones (pictured) has won the 2014 Queensland Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. 

Jones fired a final round of 76 (+3) to finish 9-shots clear of Caloundra Golf Club member Debbie Macaulay, whose 3 round total of 245 was good enough to take out second place. Robyn Callaghan (Oxley) finished a further six shots back in third place after shed return rounds of 82,84 and 85.

Sanctuary Cove member Jin Lee won the Nett division after three days of great scoring.

Katrina Jones now has her name on the trophy four times after winning in 2010, 2012 & 2013 Championships.

For full results in the Women’s Mid-Amateur, CLICK HERE.

In the Senior Women’s Amateur the top placed qualifier Cheryl Sternberg was knocked out in the first round after eighth placed qualifier Faye Payne, Payne capitalised on some early form to eventually  win 5&4 and progress through to the next round.

The Four players to progress through to the semi-finals of the knockout match play in the Championship flight- Rosie Glasson (Twin Waters), Josie Ryan (Headland), Rosalind Fisher (Gosnells), and Faye Payne (Caloundra) will be vying for a spot in the final tomorrow morning here at the Horton Park Golf Club.

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Hasson victorious at Women’s Sand Greens
Sheree Hasson (Mackay) has won the 2014 Queensland Women’s Sand Green Championship at Winton Golf Club.

Hasson shot a final round score of even par 71 to join her first round score of 70 (-1) and take out the Silver Division by eight shots.   Shae Holmes finished Runner Up returning back to back rounds of 76 (+5). 

In the Bronze I Division Springsure member Trudi Sullivan captured the title after rounds of 89,88-177. Margaret Hayward (Chinchilla) finished a single shot back on 178 after carding rounds of 87,91 to place in outright second in the Bronze I Division.

The Bronze II Division was decided by a play-off after Nyla Mckay (Clermont) and Julie Gibson (Mount Isa) both finished on 205 for the Championship. Gibson faulted after finding the hazard on the 1st Hole with her tee shot and was unable to recover.  This was enough for Mckay to claim this year’s Bronze II division. 

All players were greeted with superb conditions on both days of the championship.

The Winton Golf Club received extremely positive comments from all involved due to the great preparation of their course and kind country hospitality.

For all Championship Results and information, please click here.
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Darcy sets women's course record
Middle Ridge junior golfer Miss Darcy Habgood has fired a 1 under par, 72, on Saturday (21st July, 2014) to set a new women's course record at the club.  Needing to par her last hole to break the previous record held by Leah Hart, Darcy rolled in a 3 meter breaking putt to seal the deal. Earlier this month, Darcy was again in the spotlight when she was advised by Golf Queensland that she had been selected in the State's Junior Squad. What a month she is having!
The 14 year old has been knocking on the door for months and it was only a matter of time before she broke through. After starting on the 10th hole, Darcy birdied her second hole but took bogie on her forth, but immediately bounced back with a brilliant birdie on the par 3, fourteenth. She finished the front nine even with the card after making bogie on the 18th green.

Darcy started the second nine with solid golf for the first four holes and then seizing opportunity, she calmly rolled in a lengthy birdie putt on the 414 meter, double dog-leg par 5, fifth hole. The remainder of the round was steady as the junior dynamo negotiated the challenging 6th, flew the water on the 7th, tamed the 8th and then parred the last when she chipped close and sink the putt for the record.
Darcy has put in the hours of practice and listened intently to her father's instruction in order to achieve this fantastic result. As calm as can be, immediately following her record breaking round, Darcy was back down to the practice fairway honing her skills and warming down. Her new goal is to break 70!

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Three golf aces puts Queensland on top
The Mighty Maroons might not have been able to clinch this year’s State of Origin series to make it nine in a row, and Adam Scott may have been unsuccessful in his attempt to win a major at his first attempt as world No.1, but three Toowoomba golfers have managed to keep the Queensland sporting flag flying high.

In what a club staff member mathematically formulated would be a five million-to-one chance, Stephen Wright, Ian Leech and Daryl Docherty each recently scored a hole in one at City Golf Club in Toowoomba. And they did it on the same hole, and on the same day.

“It is more than a coincidence - it’s freakish,” said City golf co-ordinator Andrew Webb.

“Our records show that it has never been done here before and I suggest will probably never be achieved again.”

The almost-inexplicable occurrence came on Saturday June 7, during the club’s annual Queen’s Birthday Golf Carnival. The event was a single stableford. 

Eight marker Wright, who has previously scored aces at Warwick, Mt Isa and Mackay, was the first to hole out on the par three eighth hole, which on the day measured 122 metres. 

Next was Leech, who plays off 20 and scored five stableford points on the hole, while the final ace came from Docherty, the talented local sportsman whose handicap is eight, despite having played golf for only five years.

Docherty played in the afternoon field and was informed by a mate before teeing off that two guys had aced the eighth hole earlier in the day. He hit nine iron, which landed next to the pin, took a leap forward then spun back into the hole.

“It’s my first hole in one and I had always heard it was apparently a big deal but never thought too much about it. Now I can say with some authority that it is a big deal,” he said.

Docherty says his playing partners ‘whooped it up’ when the ball disappeared in the hole, but they were unaware his was the third ace that day.

“When the ball went in I said: ‘well, that’s the third leg of the trifecta’. But they didn’t believe me,” he quipped.

Leech said he was just happy to see his ball make it over the water hazard in front of the green and was stunned when it rolled into the hole. He was stunned twice more during the morning – once when another golfer on a neighbouring fairway told him someone else had also achieved the feat and again when the club called in the afternoon to inform him of the trifecta, and invite him back for the presentations.

But Wright has the most vivid memory, describing how the shot was heading towards the right side of the pin, hit the green short of the hole, took a leap to the left and rolled about 1½ metres before dropping in.

“It was a magical moment for me, and the club did a great job getting us together and recognising the amazing feat,” he said.

With six balls awarded for nearest the pins on all par threes in club competitions, each player received just two for their aces – plus the traditional bottle of scotch. But because of the significance of the achievement the club also presented each player with a $50 gift certificate. 


Image: Ian Leech, Stephen Wright and Daryl Docherty celebrate their unique feat

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Gaske & Foley win again at Mixed Foursomes
Ryan Gaske (Pacific) and Samantha Foley (Royal Pines) have successfully defended their title and won the 2014 Mixed Foursomes Championship at McLeod Country Golf Club.

Gaske and Foley led by two shots returning a 72 at the conclusion of the morning round,  with the pairing of Stacey White (Pacific) and Blake Proverbs (Pacific) just two shots behind on 74.  Both pairs then fired a 78 in windy conditions. The two shot lead was enough for Gaske and Foley to capture back to back Queensland Mixed Foursome titles.  This would be Foley's third consecutive victory after winning in 2012 with Partner Kevin Marques. 

The Sandy Gallop pairing of Grant Haviland and Tahlia Condon won the 36 Nett Event returning a 36-hole Nett score of 148. Hazel Martin (Virginia) and Zachary Maxwell (Virginia) were three shots behind on 151 nett finishing runner-up. 

2014 Mixed Foursomes Best Dressed went to Kyle Underwood & Eleka Moore.   Jacob Lawson  & Rhianna Lewis managed to wear onesies during the round

Golf Queensland wish to thank the McLeod Country Golf Club for the fantastic condition the course was presented.

For complete gross and nett scores please click here.
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Myles breaks through to capture 2014 Queensland Sand Green Championship

Daryl Myles (Moura)  has won the 2014 Queensland Sand Green Championship after firing successive 2 under rounds of 68 around the testing Hughenden Golf Course.

Trailing overnight leader and fellow Moura member Dillon West by 2 shots, Myles’ consistency saw him hold off the challenge of Roma visitor Alan Barber, who eventually finished second on 3 under.

The B Grade Championship was dominated by Middlemount visitor and Sand Greens stalwart Terry Mayne. An impressive 1 under 69 (Mayne’s first ever round under par) was enough to build a 4 shot cushion over his nearest challenger Ron Maher (Maryborough). A nervy opening 9 holes had Mayne’s lead reduced but having not dropped a shot from the 10th onwards, Mayne stood on the 18th tee with a comfortable lead.  Ben Smith (Richmond) finished runner up, 4 shots behind.

Donal O’Sullivan (Cunnamulla) bettered his opening round 81 by a shot, and as a result took out the C Grade Championship by 3 shots, from overnight leader Paul Allen (Blackall). O’Sullivan enjoyed his best Sand Greens results this weekend, having paired with Michael Gardiner (Cooroy) on Friday to win the Fourball Championship with a stellar 53 points.

With 160 players making their way to Hughenden, it was a successful renewal of the Sand Green Championship. Hughenden Golf Club should feel proud at the way the course and club was presented, with players praising the club for their hospitality.

Golf Queensland would also like to thank City Golf Club for their continued valuable support of the Sand Greens Championships, as well as the Country Week Championships.

Next year the Championships head south to Barcaldine, where a capacity field is expected for the June long weekend (5th – 7th).

For all full results including Nett and Senior categories please click on the link - http://www.golfqueensland.org.au/gq-events/queensland-mens-sand-greens-championship

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Scott cements World No 1 with a win
Australia’s Adam Scott has cemented his position as the World No. 1 player, winning the Crowne Plaza Invitational on the PGA TOUR this morning.

Overcoming fellow Major Champion Jason Dufner in a thrilling three-hole playoff, Scott claimed the Texas title in extra time after finishing tied with the American at 9-under par.

Scott had started the day two behind overnight leaders Hideki Matsuyama, David Toms, Chad Campbell and Chris Stroud, however quickly put himself in contention with his second consecutive round of 4-under 66.

"It's a real honour to win here... It's a beauty," said Scott straight after his round.

"I was determined. I really wanted to win them all here in Texas."

Fellow Australian and 2014 PGA TOUR winner John Senden also finished top ten, the Queenslander finishing in T5 at 7-under par.

With this win...

• Scott is the fifth Australian to win on TOUR this season, joining Jason Day, John Senden, Steven Bowditch, Matt Jones. The other international winners are Seung-yul Noh and Martin Kaymer.
 Making his 221st PGA TOUR start, Adam Scott collects his 11th victory at the age of 33 years, 10 months and 9 days. It is his first win since capturing The Barclays in 2013.
 Adam Scott becomes the first player to win the Texas Grand Slam, having won the 2007 Shell Houston Open, 2008 HP Byron Nelson Championship, 2010 Valero Texas Open and 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
 Scott’s victory on Sunday earned him a plaid jacket to add to his growing collection.
 Scott’s victory is his fourth top 10 of the season. He made his TOUR-leading 34th consecutive cut this week.

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Battling Crawford seals the deal
Ipoh (PERAK): Cory Crawford nursed his overnight advantage to secure a hard fought three-stroke victory over Singapore’s Marc Ong at the 112th Malaysian Amateur Open on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Queenslander overcame a hesitant start to return with a two-over 74 at Royal Perak Golf Club to claim his biggest amateur title yet – keeping the trophy in Australian hands after Kevin Marques’ triumph last year.

Ong proved resilient in the early exchanges, halving Crawford’s overnight lead to just two at the turn but a costly double bogey six on the 11th took the winds out of his sails as the 18-year-old settled for sole second on three-under 285.

China’s Zihao Chen carded the round of the day with a closing four-under 68 to leap into a share of third alongside another Aussie representative Jarryd Felton on 286.

Muhd Wafiyuddin Abdul Manaf, the top-ranked Malaysian in the field, stumbled down the leaderboard with a disappointing four-over 76, on the back of a card of seven bogeys and three birdies while compatriot Low Khai Jei (73) was a further stroke back in tied sixth alongside halfway co-leader Jake McLeod (72) on 290.

Expressing his delight, Crawford admitted that he had trouble adjusting to the fact that it was his first time leading into a final round of a major amateur championship.

“It was definitely a tough day today and I made some tough work out of it but I got it done at the end and I’m happy that I played well enough this week to win the championship,” shared Crawford.

“I was feeling a little nervous, given that I was still adjusting to the experience of leading throughout the tournament and the exertions of the week were beginning to show as well  but I managed to play okay for the rest of the holes.

“I’ve been playing well this year and knew it was just a matter of time before I won but I just had to be patient and I’m delighted to finally win a big one,” noted the Gold Coast native.

Crawford began the final round with a four-shot lead but two bogeys in four opening holes saw Ong start to turn the screw with only two strokes separating the duo through 10 holes. The Singaporean’s costly mistake on the 11th, however, saw the momentum shift back to him.

“Definitely, did not enjoy the best of starts but I was always in front. I thought that Marc’s double [bogey] on the 11th definitely changed the tide in my favour. I felt comfortable from that stage onwards knowing that I just need to par the remaining stretch to stay ahead and it was good enough in the end.”

Full Scores

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Blake Proverbs selected in Australian team for Toyota World Junior
Golf Australia has selected the Australian team for the Toyota World Junior Championship at Chukyo Golf Club near Nagoya, Japan from 24-27 June.

The team members are Brett Coletta (Woodlands GC, VIC), Zach Murray (Commonwealth GC, VIC), Blake Proverbs (Pacific GC, QLD) and Blake Windred (Monash Country Club, NSW).

Coletta won this year’s South Australian Junior Masters and the Tamar Valley Junior Cup and finished third at the Australian Junior Championships in April.

Murray is the current Victorian Amateur champion and recently joined Golf Australia’s National Squad.

Proverbs has finished runner-up at the NSW Junior Championship, Jack Newton Junior International and SA Junior Masters in the last year.

Windred finished runner-up to Ryan Ruffels at this year’s Australian Junior Championship in April.

The Team Captain is Dean Kinney and the coach is Peter Knight.

The Australian team finished second in the 2013 edition.

Golf Australia High Performance Director Brad James said the players would benefit from the international experience.

“We have had some excellent results at this event in recent years and look forward to another strong Australian performance in Japan,” James said.

The championship is 72 holes with the best 3 of 4 individual scores to count each day.
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Hollie Sinclair wins 2014 Qld Women's Country Championship
City and Toowoomba Golf Clubs played host to the 2014 Women’s Country Week Championships from Monday 19 May – Wednesday 21 May.

Almost 350 players from 50 clubs made their way up the range to Toowoomba for a great week of golf, starting with the Foursomes Championship on Monday and concluding with the individual Championships on alternating courses on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Toowoomba hosted the first round of the Silver and Bronze II Championships on Tuesday, with 2013 champion Samantha Foley (RACV Royal Pines) leading the way with a 77 to set up a 2-shot lead over her nearest rival, Hollie Sinclair from Beerwah.

In the Bronze II Championship, Karen Munro (Mount Coolum) set the early pace as she was the only player to break handicap on the demanding Toowoomba layout with 38 points. 

At City Golf Club, Pacific Harbour member Nance Flohr (99) led a large field of 165 players, with local Cheryl Francie (City) only two shots behind.

Perfect conditions greeted the players for the second round, with Silver and Bronze II heading to City and Bronze I players to Toowoomba.

Sinclair placed early pressure on overnight leader Foley and ran away with the Silver Championship with a final round 80 securing an eight shot victory over Paige Large from Gatton and Foley finishing in third place. 

On the demanding City layout, Mount Coolum visitor Sue Douglass returned 26 points to snatch the Bronze II Championship on countback from overnight leader and fellow Mount Coolum member Munro. 

Round two of the Bronze I Championship concluded at Toowoomba, where City members Gail Weedon and Cheryl Francis quinnelled the placings with Weedon a 2 shot victor after rounds of 102 and 96.  In Division 2 of Bronze I, Jenny Jenner (City) finished on a two round total of 209 and claim a three shot win over Lesley Brady (Tamborine Mountain).

Two hole-in-ones were recorded throughout the tournament - Jean Bury-Porter on the 15th at City Golf Club on Wednesday and Cathy Roberts on the 14th at Toowoomba on Tuesday.

Congratulations must go to City and Toowoomba Golf Clubs who hosted a fantastic event, with special mention to both clubs’ ladies committees who put in hours of work to coordinate the smooth running of another successful Women’s Country Week. 

In 2015 the Women’s Country Week heads north to Far North Queensland, with Cairns and Half Moon Bay Golf Clubs looking forward to hosting the tournament.

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Harris and Macaulay win the Women’s Country Foursomes Championship

Annabel Harris (Horton Park) and Debbie Macaulay (Caloundra) have taken out the Foursomes Championship on day one of the 2014 Women’s Country Championships held at City Golf Club, Toowoomba with a score of 85.

Robyn Robinson and Helen Ricciardi from Isis Golf Club had the best score of 99 to take out Division 2 at Toowoomba Golf Club.

This year’s event has been well supported with a field of 340 women taking part in the three day event from 46 clubs. The Women’s Country Championship has a strong tradition of being well supported as it moves across the State each year. The remaining two days of this year’s Championship will be played under a 36-hole stroke format. 

For the Foursomes results CLICK HERE
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Adam Scott is the World's Number 1 golfer
Australian golfer Adam Scott will today become the World Number One on the Official World Golf Rankings.

Having spent 38 weeks at the number two position, Scott officially claimed the top spot ending Tiger Woods’ 60 week reign.

Despite not playing last week Scott topped the Official World Golf Rankings and will tee it up for the first time as the World Number 1 in the Crowne Plaza Invitational this week.

Scott becomes just the second Australian to be the world’s highest ranked golfer following his mentor Greg Norman who held the position for 331 weeks in the 1980s and 1990s.

“This is another outstanding achievement for Adam Scott,” said Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia.

“The Australian golfing community is very proud of Adam and we look forward to watching his progress throughout the year.”

Scott continues Australia’s dominance on the world stage in 2014. Already this year, John Senden, Steven Bowditch and Matt Jones have notched victories on the PGA TOUR, while this week Marcus Both was victorious at the Asian Tour’s Philippine Open.  

“Australia is a proud sporting nation and we are privileged to have so many talented golfers flying the Aussie flag around the world,” added Thorburn.    

Since the Official World Golf Rankings inception just 17 golfers have held the number one position. 

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Promising Jack heads off to the States
Teenage Queensland prodigy Jack Trent is heading off to the United States to further his promising golf career.

Fifteen-year-old Trent and his mum Louise will leave their Buderim home on Tuesday (May 20), while his father John two younger siblings Taylor ( 12) and Harrison (14) will join them next month in Las Vegas, where the family will live near TPC Summerlin. 

And his most immediate task from his new home will be to play a minimum of 20 rounds of golf before June 4, which is required for him to secure a US handicap so he can play in the US Junior Amateur. He currently plays off plus one at Headland Golf Club.

Young Jack has had a memorable past 12 months and made a huge impression playing against the best junior golfers in the world. He won the Future Champions World Golf Championships in California last year and was runner-up at the San Diego Junior Masters and placed third at the Callaway Junior World Golf Championship.

Among his other recent achievements was selected as a development player in the Queensland Junior State squad earlier this year and a second placing in the Sunshine Coast Amateur championships at his home course over Easter. 

Although disappointed to be leaving Queensland behind, Jack is determined to follow his dream and hopefully take up a US college scholarship when he finishes school. But for the next three years he will be home schooled which will enable him to train and play for six hours a day. 

"It is a big move for the family but I want to try and take my game to the next level," he said.

"My aim is to become a professional golfer and play on the USPGA Tour, become a top 10 player and follow in the footsteps of Adam Scott. Winning those tournaments in the US last year helped me believe that I really can do this.” 

Trent was keen to thank those who had helped him get his golf to where it is today, in particular his coaches Peter Heiniger and John Victorsen, as well as Golf Queensland. 


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Victoria and Western Australia win Australian Interstate Series
Click Here to view Final Results
Australian Men's Interstate Teams Matches - Federal Golf Club, Canberra
The Victorian men's team has won the Australian Men's Interstate Teams Matches for the first time since 2009 in a narrow win 4.5 - 3.5 win over the New South Wales side at Federal Golf Club.
Under cloud, temperatures hovered between 5 and 10 degrees on a cold morning for the finals. 
Todd Sinnott, Zach Murray, Geoff Drakeford and Andrew Schonewille all won their final matches for the Victorian side to give them the edge and the  points over New South Wales in a tight contest.
The Victorians did not lose a contest for the week en route to victory.
With New South Wales in second place, Queensland won the first consolation final and secured third place with a 5.5 - 2.5 win over South Australia.
Tasmania finished fifth after triumphing in the second consolation final against Western Australia.
Kiran Day (WA) was the only player to finish the championship undefeated. 
Australian Women's Interstate Teams Matches - Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club, Canberra
Western Australia won the Gladys Hay Memorial Cup for the third time in four years with a convincing 5-1 victory over New South Wales in the final of the Australian Women's Interstate Teams Matches at Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club.
In replay of yesterday's fifth round against New South Wales, World Number 1 Minjee Lee defeated Shelly Shin 5&3 and Hannah Green and Hayley Bettencourt also recorded strong wins for the champions in icy winds north of the city.
For Lee and Bettencourt, it was the third time they had been members of a winning team.
With New South Wales finishing second, Queensland recorded a narrow win over Victoria to seal third place. The Queenslanders, led by wins for Jaimee Dougan, Gennai Goodwin and Amy Walsh prevailed 3.5 - 2.5 in the first consolation final.
South Australia defeated Tasmania  in the second consolation final to make sure of fifth place.
World Number 5 amateur Su-Hyun Oh (VIC) was the only player to finish the championship undefeated.

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Day 3: Australian Interstate Series
Click Here to view Men's and Women's Results
Australian Men's Interstate Teams Matches - Federal Golf Club, Canberra
Victoria will play New South Wales in tomorrow's final of the Australian Men's Interstate Teams Matches at Federal Golf Club in Canberra.
The Victorians are hunting their first win in the championship since 2009 while New South Wales last won in 2012.
In sunny morning conditions, Victoria had a battle on their hands but sealed a 4-3 win over Tasmania to maintain their perfect record of winning every contest so far.
Geoff Drakeford (VIC) held on for a 1up win over Mark Schulze (TAS) to help the Victorians to victory. Zach Murray, Todd Sinnott and Lucas Herbert also recorded victories for the Victorians.
Despite a 5-2 loss to Western Australia, the New South Wales team booked their spot in the final after South Australia could only halve their contest with Queensland. A South Australian victory would have seen them leapfrog New South Wales into the championship contest.
Queensland and South Australia will play off in the first consolation final for third place while Western Australia and Tasmania will compete in the second consolation final.
Championship Final: Victoria v New South Wales
1st Consolation Final: South Australia v Queensland
2nd Consolation Final: Western Australia v Tasmania
The final takes place on Friday morning from 8.30am.
Australian Women's Interstate Teams Matches - Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club, Canberra
In a nail-biting finish, Western Australia booked a spot in the final of the Australian Women's Interstate Teams Matches where they'll play New South Wales for the Gladys Hay Memorial Cup.
It will be a replay of this morning's fifth round match where the Western Australians won 3.5 - 0.5
Western Australia finished the five rounds level on contests but just half a match clear of Queensland who finished third. World Number 1 amateur Minjee Lee, Hayley Bettencourt and Alyssa Keir all won for Western Australia.
New South Wales will be hunting their first win in the championship since 2009 while the Western Australian team won in 2012 with a team that included four of the players competing in 2014.
Queensland will play Victoria in the first consolation final after the Queenslanders beat South Australia 5-0 this morning.
Victoria defeated Tasmania 4.5 - 0.5 to finish fourth.
South Australia will play Tasmania in the second consolation final.
Championship Final: New South Wales v Western Australia
1st Consolation Final: Queensland v Victoria
2nd Consolation Final: South Australia v Tasmania
The final takes place on Friday morning at 8.30am.

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Day 2: Australian Interstate Series
Click Here to view Men's and Women's Results
Australian Men's Interstate Teams Matches - Federal Golf Club, Canberra
The Victorian team have continued their good form in winning their third and fourth round matches to maintain their lead at the Australian Men's Interstate Teams Matches in Canberra.
The Victorians, who have won each of their contests so far, defeated Western Australia in the morning and South Australia this afternoon.
In excellent conditions at Federal Golf Club, Lucas Herbert and Ryan Ruffels won both of their matches for the Victorian side.
New South Wales moved into second place after a narrow win over Queensland and victory over Tasmania.
South Australia held their position in the top three after a 6-1 win over Tasmania this morning.
Queensland is in fourth place, level on contests and just two matches behind South Australia.
Western Australia is in fifth place and Tasmania are sixth.
The fifth round is on Thursday morning. The final takes place on Friday morning.
Australian Women's Interstate Teams Matches - Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club, Canberra
After an excellent Wednesday performance, the New South Wales women's team moved into the lead at the Australian Women's Interstate Teams Matches for the Gladys Hay Memorial Cup. 
The NSW team defeated Tasmania and Queensland 5-0 during the day to move one and a half contests clear of the field.
Doey Choi and Celina Yuan both recorded strong victories in the morning round for NSW against Tasmania.
Co-overnight leaders, the Western Australian team are now in second place after securing a halved contest against Queensland this afternoon. 
Just two matches separate WA from the Queensland team who are in third  place.
After a challenging opening day, the Victorian team bounced back to win both of their contests on Wednesday and move into fourth place on the leaderboard.
South Australia recorded their first victory in a contest against Tasmania this morning. The SA team are in fifth place ahead of Tasmania in sixth.
The fifth round is on Thursday morning. The final takes place on Friday morning.

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Day 1: Australian Interstate Series
Click Here to view Men's and Women's Results
Australian Men's Interstate Teams Matches - Federal Golf Club, Canberra
The Victorian team produced consecutive impressive performances to build a solid lead after the opening day of play at Federal Golf Club.
After a brief weather delay for early fog, the Victorians booked top spot on the leaderboard as the only team to win both contests today - having won 11 of their 14 matches.
Tom Power-Horan and Ben Eccles won both of their matches en route to the Victorians taking the lead.
South Australia are in second place after defeating Western Australia and a narrow loss to New South Wales this afternoon.
The Western Australian team are in third place while New South Wales and Queensland are tied in fourth place.
Tasmania is in sixth.
The third and fourth rounds are played on Wednesday.
Australian Women's Interstate Teams Matches - Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club, Canberra
Queensland and Western Australia are tied for the lead after the opening two rounds of the Australian Women's Interstate Teams Matches in cool conditions at Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club.
Both sides defeated Tasmania 5-0 during the course of the day while Western Australia overcame South Australia 3-2 and Queensland defeated Victoria by the same scoreline.
World Number 1 amateur Minjee Lee won both her matches comfortably for the Western Australian team.
The New South Wales team are in third place after 4-1 win over South Australia this afternoon. 
Victoria is in fourth place after losses to New South Wales and Queensland on the opening day.
South Australia and Tasmania round out the leaderboard.
The third and fourth rounds are played on Wednesday. 

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Second for young Queenslander
Rookie Queensland professional Cameron Smith stumbled at the start of his final round but still managed an equal second in the Indonesian Masters in Jakarta at the weekend.

The 20 year-old, playing in just his second professional event on the Asian Tour, finished with an impressive 16 under score of 272 to be one stroke behind winner Anirban Lahiri of India.

But it was the character he displayed on the final-day back nine that most impressed his coach, Grant Field of Twin Waters.

“Things could have gone really badly for him after that average start,” said Field, referring to Smith’s three-over 39 front nine, which included two bogeys, a double and a birdie.

“But he did really well, displayed a lot of character and looked comfortable in that pressure-cooker situation to come home with five birdies on an unblemished back nine.”

Smith took a one-stroke lead into the final day at Royale Jakarta Golf Club but fell back early after his double bogey at the par five second. Lahiri, conversely, fired three successive birdies from the second hole. And he clinched the title with a spectacular eagle putt on the last.

Playing without a caddy and in oppressive weather conditions, the young Queenslander made giant strides during the tournament and shot rounds of 68, 67, 67 and 70. Smith, who last year was Australian amateur champion, collected $65,000 for his equal second finish.

“There is still a lot of improvement in Cameron, and he will be much better for the experience in Indonesia,” said Field. – TONY DURKIN 

Photo courtesty: Asian Tour

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Winners crowned in Australian Foursomes
Australian Men’s Foursomes Championships – Federal Golf Club, Canberra
Click Here for Full Results

Queenslanders Aaron Wilkin and Taylor MacDonald became the first pair in the history of the championship to successfully defend their Australian Men’s Foursomes title.

The pair, who won at Riversdale Golf Club in Melbourne in 2013, did so again in emphatic style with a seven stroke win in Canberra.
Wilkin and MacDonald lit up the course in the morning round with an 8-under par 64. They followed up with a 5-under par afternoon score for their 131 total.
Victorians Ben Eccles and Todd Sinnott and Lucas Herbert and Geoff Drakeford were tied in second place on 138.
South Australian pair Anthony Murdaca and Justin Crowder finished fourth.
The Australian Men’s Interstate Teams Matches begin on Tuesday at Federal Golf Club.

Australian Women’s Foursomes Championships – Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club, Canberra
Click Here for Full Results
The spoils were shared for the fourth time in eight years with Western Australian pair Hannah Green and her partner,
World Number 1 amateur Minjee Lee sharing the title with New South Wales pair Doey Choi and Shelly Shin.
Lee and Green finished with rounds of 74 and 73 for their 147 total while Choi and Shin fired the best round of the day in the afternoon, a 2-under par 71 to go with their morning 76 for their 147.
New South Wales pair Olivia Wilson and Aliza Huff finished three strokes back in a tie for third with Queensland pair Ali Orchard and Anna Stanton.
The Australian Women’s Interstate Teams Matches begins on Tuesday at Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club.

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Australia's best amateur golfers hit Canberra for Interstate Series
World Number 1 amateur Minjee Lee headlines a list of Australia’s best amateur golfers who will tee off in Canberra next week at the Australian Men’s and Women’s Interstate Team Matches to be played from 29 April – 2 May 2014 at Federal Golf Club and Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club.
At the Australian Women’s Interstate Teams Matches for the Gladys Hay Memorial Cup at Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club, defending champions Victoria boast World Number 5 amateur Su-Hyun Oh who has recently made the cut in her first Major, the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills in California.
She will be joined by 2014 Riversdale Cup runner up Bianca Ling and 14 year-oldd Soo-Bin Park who won the 2014 Tasmanian Junior Masters.
Joining Minjee Lee in the Western Australian team is Hayley Bettencourt who has had a number of recent wins in Australian Women’s Amateur Ranking Events including the 2014 Rene Erichsen in South Australia and the 2014 Western Australian Amateur.
Queensland will also be in the mix, with 2014 Australian Amateur runner up Karis Davidson joining the team along with Ali Orchard who finished runner up in both the 2013 Queensland Amateur and 2014 NSW Amateur.
New South Wales features Shelly Shin who was selected in the Australian Team for the 2014 Queen Sirikit Cup in Malaysia, along with Elizabeth Elmassian, winner of the 2014 Tasmanian Women’s Stroke Play and Celina Yuan the 2013 Victorian Junior Champion.
The South Australian team sees 2014 Australian Amateur semi-finalist and 2014 SA Amateur Champion Jenny Lee joining the team along with a number of youngsters backing up from the Girls’ Interstate Series including Cassidy Evreniadis and Kristalle Blum.
The Tasmanian team will again feature Sarah Johnstone, a long-time member of team as well as with some young faces in including Zahara Lemon and Georgia Milbourne who have performed well in the Tasmanian Junior ranks.
The Australian Men’s Interstate Teams Matches at Federal Golf Club will showcase the most talented players in the men’s amateur ranks.
Favourites for the men’s event are defending champions Queensland who have won the Championship three times in the last five years in 2013, 2011 and 2010.
The team is headlined by National Squad Member and 2013 Keperra Bowl winner Taylor Macdonald along with Simon Viitakangas who has had a great start to the year with wins in the 2014 Australian Master of the Amateurs and 2014 SA Classic.
The Western Australian team is also a top contender featuring 2014 Australian Amateur runner up Curtis Luck who currently sits on top of the Australian Boys’ Amateur Rankings with wins in the 2014 NSW Medal and 2014 WA Amateur. He is joined by Jarryd Felton, winner of the 2013 Mandurah Open, 2013 Queensland Medal and 2014 Tasmanian Open.
Newly-crowned Australian Junior Champion Ryan Ruffels joins Todd Sinnott who is currently ranked number one on the Australian Men’s Amateur Rankings and 2013 Victorian Amateur champion Zach Murray in a strong Victorian team.
Winners of the 2012 Interstate Teams Matches New South Wales will feature National Squad Member Cameron Davis who was a quarter finalist in the 2014 Australian Amateur and runner up in the 2014 Western Australian Amateur, along with Jordan Zunic who has had a number of top 5 finishes this year in Australian Men’s Amateur Ranking events including the Lake Macquarie Amateur and Australian Master of the Amateurs.
2013 Australian Junior Champion and 2014 Australian Amateur Semi Finalist Anthony Murdaca will headline the South Australian Team along 2014 SA Amateur Champion Jack Williams. Justin Crowder also joins the team after finishing well in the 2014 Australian Amateur qualifying.
The Tasmanian Team will feature veteran Mark Schulze who was the winner of the 2013 Tasmanian Amateur along with some fresh faces including Jack Tregaskisjago who finished 4th the 2014 Tamar Valley Cup.
This year will also see the Australian Foursomes Championships contested at the respective courses for men and women on Sunday 27 April.
The Championships are Australia’s premier teams championships, with the men’s event having been played since 1894, the women’s since 1897.
Entry is free for spectators.

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Former pro wins Sunshine Coast Open

David Grenfell lived up to the ‘oldie but a goodie’ adage when he overcame a late challenge from two of the state’s most talented juniors to win his fifth Sunshine Coast men’s open amateur championship over Easter.

Grenfell, who is 41, set up his stunning win with a flawless six under 66 on Easter Saturday to open up a commanding three-shot lead over the field of 200, which included 48 players with a handicap of one or better. The two-day event was held at Headland Golf Club and was sponsored by Tate Professional Engineers.

And although he struggled with his game on Easter Sunday with four bogeys in his one-over 73, Grenfell was able to withstand the challenge of Sunshine Coast youngsters Jack Trent (Headland) and Shae Wools-Cobb (Horton Park). Fifteen-year-old Trent (72, 70) finished second on a countback from Wools-Cobb (18), who shot 69/73.

Grenfell, who had six years on the Australian pro circuit from 1996 to 2001, said he was pleased with his win which had brought back fond memories from his days as a junior. Now a member at Horton Park, he spent his junior years at Headland and won the first two of his five Sunshine Coast amateur titles while a member there.

“The course is undergoing some renovations at the moment but it was in very good condition. The greens were superb,” he said.

“I played really well on Saturday but not as good on Sunday, mixing four bogeys with three birdies. I don’t play many events these days so for an oldie it was a very satisfying win.”

Former Headland champion David Rattray won the open nett event with 140, while Trent took out the junior championship and another former Headland land champion, Brian Kesby, was crowned best senior (147).

Division Two was won by James Haining of Windaroo Lakes (153), on a countback from Barry Howe (Headland), while Gus Peni (Headland) won Division Two net (145). Division Three winner was Horton Park’s Will Sutherland (170) with Burgess Stephenson (Headland) returning the best nett score of 138.

Story by Tony Durkin.

Picture: David Grenfell (left) receives his trophy from Justin Walsh of Tate Professional Engineers
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Victoria wins Junior Boys Interstate Teams Matches
The Victorian Boys' Team has won the Australian Boys' Interstate Teams Matches title for the first time since 2008 after victory over New South Wales in this morning's final round in the Yarra Valley.
With the title resting on this morning's contest, the Victorians won 4-1 to clinch victory.
In an incredible team performance, the Victorians won 32 of a possible 35 individual matches over the four days, making it 10 victories in the championship since it began in 1958.
Zach Murray and Blake Collyer were undefeated for the champions.
New South Wales finished in second place, one and a half contests clear of Queensland who finished third.
Western Australia were fourth followed by South Australia in fifth.
The ACT, Tasmania and Northern Territory rounded out the leaderboard.
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Qld Girls record fourth consecutive win at Australian Interstate
Queensland has won the 2014 Australian Girls' Interstate Teams Matches for the Burtta Cheney Cup at Yering Meadows Golf Club in Victoria today.
This is the fourth straight year the Queensland Girls Team have had victory in the National Championship.

Queensland went into the final day of play locked at the top of the leader board with New South Wales and defeated them 3-2 in the final round to seal victory.
Queensland Team Coach, Virginia Irwin, was thrilled with the win and said she was proud of how the team performed.
"The girls played with full commitment throughout the tournament," Irwin said. “They committed to each match and had trust in their abilities which saw them through to the end.” 

“They supported and encouraged each other and showed sportsmanship towards the other teams.
"Their hard work and determination paid off and they thoroughly deserve the win."
New South Wales finished in second place followed by Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia.

Queensland Team:
Rebecca Kay 
Stacey White 
Samantha Foley 
Kate Law 
Kirsty Hodgkins
Karis Davidson
Virginia Irwin (Coach)
Jessica Jenkins (Manager) 

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MYGolf Camp a great success in Blackall

The first MYGolf Junior camp kicked off for 2014 in the Central West at Blackall Golf Club in April. 

The concept of Golf Queensland travelling to a regional district and supporting a three day junior camp began last year in the Central West at Tambo Golf Club and has gained momentum throughout Golf Queensland’s development. This year we are running MYGolf camps in the June/July holidays at Yeppoon (Capricorn Golf Resort), Charters Towers Golf Club, Emerald Golf Club and in the September holidays at Miles Golf Club. 

The camps are targeting juniors aged 5-14 years at the beginner to 3, 6, or 9 hole ability with a passion to learn and play golf. Equipment is also supplied if required.

The Blackall camp saw 37 Junior’s from the Central West Queensland district including juniors from Tambo, Ilfracome, Barcaldine, Muttaburra and of course Blackall attend the camp.

Golf Queensland’s Development Officer and PGA and ALPG golf professional Lee Harrington along with husband Peter, also a PGA golf professional, delivered a structured three day program consisting of warm up games and activities, skills sessions on full swing, chipping and putting, rules session and on course play. 

There was once again great local sponsorship by Tambo Teddies, Choyce’s Livestock transport, Coolibah Motel and Shane Robinson Construction as well as support from Balckall-Tambo regional council. The support of Junior Coordinators Bill Rogers and Shane Robinson was instrumental in the camp being such as success for the second year. 

Local Junior Coordinator Shane Robinson said the camp was a huge success. “The organisation, fun and expertise that these camps provide for our juniors here is tremendous benefit for our juniors and for our district clubs, also the parents and junior coordinators and volunteers also learn a few things on the latest MYGolf coaching practices and also for our own golf games,” Mr Robinson said.

Golf Queensland’s Lee Harrington supported Robinson's comments. “It’s great to spend three days with local coaches and parents to educate them on the latest games and skill delivery techniques that will keep them assisting the juniors when we are gone. 

This practical involvement is highly valuable for their motivation to keep them involved with the juniors. More local members need to come and see how easy and fun junior coaching can be now, with the fun games and equipment that we use,” Mrs Harrington said.

Thank you also to Blackall Golf Club for the use of their facilities and to all the parents and volunteers who assisted throughout the camp. 

Once again Hills International Golf College is supporting junior golf in regional areas by sponsoring two juniors to attend their September golf camp from every MYGolf camp we are running in 2014. This provides a great opportunity for juniors from regional areas to keep working on their golf, mixing with juniors from the city and an opportunity to play on grass greens. We thank Hills International College for this support in working together on the development of the game.

Next year we are planning the Central West camp to be held at Muttaburra Golf Club.

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Windsor Income Protection supports Isuzu Queensland Open
The 2014 Isuzu Queensland Open has gained more support with Windsor Income Protection signing up for the next two years.
After a successful inaugural partnership in 2013, Windsor Income Protection has not only increased its sponsorship commitment for the next two years but also added a hole-in-one prize with a total value of $70,000 over the four-day tournament.
In addition to the hole-in-one prize for the Professionals, activities will also be present on the 7th hole for fans to have the chance to win an array of prizes.
Golf Queensland Chair Peter Castrisos said he was thrilled Windsor Income Protection was back on board.
"It was a big step for corporates to back the event in 2013 and I am excited to see so much support for this year and beyond," Mr Castrisos said.
"Add such an exciting hole-in-one opportunity to the mix and the interest in the Championship by spectators and players is expected to grow.
"Now it's over to the Professionals to make that elusive hole-in-one and reap the rewards."
Windsor Income Protection Manager Director Jeff Roser said they looked forward to increasing their partnership with this iconic Queensland golfing event.
"It's imperative that these Australian tournaments with great traditions get re-established to further bolster the next breed of golfers to take on the world stage," Mr Roser said.
"Windsor Income Protection is proud to be part of this growth strategy and we look forward to seeing the Professionals attack the pin over the course of the tournament."
Pre-qualifying rounds will take place on Monday, 25 August 2014 with further detail to be provided shortly.

Click here for more information.

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Junior Interstate Teams Matches - Day 2

Australian Girls' Interstate Teams Matches - Yering Meadows Golf Club - Rounds 3&4

Click Here to view Day 2 Results

The New South Wales and Queensland girls' teams are locked in a head-to-head battle which will decide which state claims the Burtta Cheney Cup on Tuesday.

Both teams are level on matches and contests after the second day of play and share top spot on the leaderboard going into tomorrow's final day at the Australian Girls' Interstate Teams Matches in Victoria's Yarra Valley.

The teams will square off tomorrow morning in pursuit of victory.

Victoria is in third place and will need to secure victory over Western Australia to maintain their hold on third place.

The South Australian team is in fifth place.

The final round is played on Tuesday morning.

Australian Boys' Interstate Teams Matches - The Heritage Golf and Country Club - Rounds 3&4

Click Here to view Day 2 Results

The Victorian Boys' team has continued to produce dominant displays which sees them lead the Australian Boys' Interstate Teams Matches into the penultimate day, having not lost a match to date.

After the second day of competition, the Victorians hold a 20-0 win/loss record in the individual matches.

Newly-crowned Australian Junior champion Ryan Ruffels, Zach Murray, Brett Coletta, Frazer Droop, Blake Collyer and David Micheluzzi are responsible for the Victorian dominance.

New South Wales sit in second place, a full 5.5 matches behind Victoria after victory over Western Australia this afternoon.

Western Australia is in third position ahead of Queensland in fourth place.

South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory round out the table.

Rounds 5 and 6 are played on Tuesday.
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Watson clinches second Masters win
American Bubba Watson cruised to a three shot victory and claimed his second Masters title on Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club.

The 2012 champion finished at 8-under par after rounds of 69-68-74-69 and added a second Green Jacket to his locker at the club with three birdies late on the front nine. He played the infamous back nine in even par to secure the title.

Australia's John Senden fired a final round 1-over par 73 to finish in a tie for 8th which confirms his place in the 2015 Masters field (the top 12 players and ties from the previous year earn invitations).

Defending champion Adam Scott holed a snaking downhill putt on the 18th green to finish with a final round even par 72 at 1-over par in a tie for 14th place.

Jason Day fought back from difficult early rounds to finish in a tie 21st. Steven Bowditch finished in a tie for 26th.

Amateur Oliver Goss won the low amateur honours after shooting 76-75 on the weekend to finish in 49th place.

20 year-old Masters rookie Jordan Spieth started the day as a co-leader with Watson and finished with an even par 72 to tie with Sweden's Jonas Blixt, also a Masters debutant, at 5-under par.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, a 50-year-old Spaniard who jumped into contention Saturday with a six-under 66, finished fourth at four-under 284 after a 71. The only other golfers to finish under par were Americans Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar at 2-under and England's Lee Westwood at 1-under.

"The first one for me, it’s almost like I lucked into it. After giving it away last year, I wanted it back. I told Adam we could just swap it back and forth every year. This one was a lot of hard work and dedication," Watson said.

Watson earned $1.62 million for the victory, his eighth as a pro and sixth on the PGA Tour. The Masters paid out a record $9 million in prize money.

Spieth was trying to become the youngest Masters champion, and the first player since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 to win in his first start at Augusta National.

Conditions were excellent again, with mostly sunny skies and temps in the low 80s.
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Ruffels and Matsumoto win Junior Titles
Australian Boys' Amateur Championship - The Heritage Golf and Country Club - Final Round
Click Here to view Leaderboard
Victorian Ryan Ruffels capped his performance with a 72nd hole birdie to win the Australian Boys' Amateur Championship by three strokes on the St.John Course at The Heritage Golf and Country Club.

Ruffels fired rounds of 70-69-68-70 to finish at 11-under par on a rain-soaked course, three clear of New South Welshman Blake Windred who closed with a 4-under par 68. Victorian Brett Coletta finished third, three strokes further back.

"Blake and Brett are both really good players and better than that, they're really good guys. We had a lot of fun out there today," Ruffels said.

"For me the first two rounds, I just kept the ball in front of me. The fairways are nice and wide so you've just got to be able to hit the fairways and with the greens this soft, you're able to get aggressive with the second shot. I was able to hit it close enough to take a bit of stress off the putting and ended up playing pretty stress-free golf for most the four rounds which was great."

Ruffels continued on his recent good form which included victory at the recent Riversdale Cup in Melbourne.

"I think there were four or five guys that came in this week as pretty strong favourites and there are a lot guys in state squads that are really good. To be able to beat those guys this week - I knew I had the ability to win it - but it's just about doing it and I'm very relieved," Ruffels added.

The 15 year-old's exemption into the Emirates Australian Open in November will be his second consecutive appearance.

"I had so much fun playing at the Aussie Open last year, got to play with some really cool guys and obviously having a good tournament as well. It's good to have secured that spot," Ruffels said.

The Boys’ Interstate Teams Matches will be played from 13-16 April will all Australian states and territories represented.

Australian Girls' Amateur Championship - Yering Meadows Golf Club - Final Round
Click Here to view Leaderboard

Victorian junior Konomi Matsumoto held on to win the Australian Girls' Amateur Championship in steady rain by one stroke at Yering Meadows Golf Club in Victoria's Yarra Valley today.

Matsumoto, a member of Victoria Golf Club, finished with rounds of 71-76-76-77 (+8) to defeat Queenslander and Australian Amateur runner up Karis Davidson by one.

The 14 year-old, who was born in Japan, was thrilled with the win.

"It's great - I was really nervous in the morning (third) round and again this afternoon," Matsumoto said.

"I've been practising so hard for this - I was hoping for at least a top 3 finish and after my first round, it gave me a lot of confidence."

Matsumoto competed at this year's ISPS HANDA Women's Australian Open at Victoria Golf Club via an invitation and, through today's win, gains an exemption into the 2015 championship.

"It means so much. I only found out yesterday that there was exemption. I learnt so much in February - mainly you have to keep playing your game. You can have one bad hole but you can't give up," Matsumoto added.

Queensland's Rebecca Kay finished in third place at 11-over par.

The Girls’ Interstate Teams’ Matches will be played from 13-15 April at the same venue with New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria contesting the event.
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Australian Junior Championships: Round 2
Australian Girls' Amateur Championship - Yering Meadows Golf Club - Round 2
Click Here to view Leaderboard
Victorian junior Kono Matsumoto holds a solid three stroke lead heading into tomorrow's final two rounds of the Australian Girls' Amateur Championship in Victoria's Yarra Valley.
With persistent rain continuing across Melbourne, Matsumoto slipped to a second round 3-over par 76 but her opening round 71 on Wednesday leaves her at 1-over par, three clear of Queensland's Rebecca Kay. Kay fired the joint round of the day - an even par 73 - matched by Kiwi Celyn Khoo.
Australian Amateur runner-up, Queenslander Karis Davidson is in third place, four strokes behind Matsumoto. Kiwi Khoo is in fourth place, a further stroke back.
The third and final rounds are played on Friday. In addition to the trophy, the champion earns an exemption into the 2015 ISPS HANDA Women's Australian Open.
Australian Boys' Amateur Championship - The Heritage Golf and Country Club - Round 2
Click Here to view Leaderboard
Victorian Ryan Ruffels and New South Welshman Blake Windred have maintained their grip on the lead at the halfway mark of the Australian Boys' Amateur Championship on the St.John Course at The Heritage.
Ruffels backed up his first round 70 with a second round 3-under par 69 to be tied with Windred who shot identical rounds over the first two days.
The pair leads at 5-under par, two strokes clear of Victorian pair Zach Murray and Blake Collyer. Collyer produced the round of the day in tough conditions, finishing with a 4-under par 68 while Murray had 70.
Kiwi Charlie Hillier is in fifth place at 2-under par with Queenslander Charles Pilon and New South Welshman Isaac Noh tied in sixth.
The third and final rounds are played on Friday. The champion earns a place at this year's Emirates Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club in November. 
Following the conclusion of the Junior Amateurs, state teams will remain in Victoria for the Interstate Teams Matches to be played at the respective clubs.
The Girls’ Interstate Teams’ Matches will be played from 13-15 April with New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria contesting the event, whilst the Boys’ Interstate Teams Matches will be played from 13-16 April will all Australian states and territories represented.
Entry is free and all spectators are welcome.
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Dad joins a select family golf group
Sunshine Coast accountant Michael Thomas didn’t mind the fact his sons Blake and Christopher were better golfers than him. In fact as any father would be, he was rightly proud of their success. 

But when his wife Sharon recently joined a growing band of Headland Golf Club women whose handicaps are lower than that of their spouses, he reckoned it was about time he started working hard at an alternate numbers game. And the added practise, plus a change in on-course demeanour, has done the trick because now all four members of the Thomas family are playing off single figures at the Sunshine Coast course.

“I’m not sure how unique it is to have four members of the one family, who are not professionals, playing off single figures. But I have never seen it in my 40-odd years in the game,” said Headland professional John Victorsen.

“It is a marvellous achievement, and much deserved by a terrific family. Michael and Sharon, particularly, have worked hard to lower their handicaps in recent months.”

Blake and Christopher both play off five, and mum and dad are down to eight, although Sharon is technically lower on 7.9, to Michael’s 8.2.

And while Michael did not turn to Victorsen for lessons, it was another skill of the Headland pro that Sharon says indirectly paved the way for his handicap reduction.

“In his inimitable and jocular way, John had been unmercifully harassing Michael about being the only family member not on single figures,” she said.

When the Thomas family moved from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast a decade ago Michael was playing off seven, but while establishing a new business and educating the boys, golf was not a priority. And towards the end of last year his handicap had drifted out to 15.

“That’s when John, and a few others including both my sons, started giving him heaps,” Sharon revealed.

“It was bad enough that his boys had moved well past him on the handicap front, but when his wife did it too he made a decision to get his game back on track.”

And it wasn’t as though he had to go far to iron out his golfing glitches. Five years ago on their hinterland acreage at Chevallum Michael built a mini golf course – a 120 metre range, a putting and chipping green and a bunker.

During the Christmas holiday period he worked hard on his game and the practise paid off as he scored a phenomenal 46 points on opening day at Headland and has returned scores of 41 and 38 points twice in the intervening period.

But that does not mean the pressure has eased on Michael to maintain his form, and his handicap. The four Thomas family members play together at Headland most Saturdays and while the competition is always friendly, it is also fierce. – TONY DURKIN

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Australian Junior Championships: Round 1

Australian Girls' Amateur Championship - Yering Meadows Golf Club - Round 1

Click Here to view Leaderboard

Victorian junior Kono Matsumoto leads the Australian Girls' Amateur Championship by four strokes after the opening day of play in Victoria's Yarra Valley.

On a day of steady rain, Matsumoto finished with a 2-under par 71 to lead South Australian Cassidy Evreniadis who finished with a 2-over par 75 in the challenging conditions.

Five players are tied in third place at 3-over par including Australian Amateur runner-up, Queenslander Karis Davidson and New South Wales pair Dooey Choi and Celina Yuan.

The second round begins on Thursday.

Australian Boys' Amateur Championship - The Heritage Golf and Country Club - Round 1

Click Here to view Leaderboard

Three players are tied for the lead with the opening round to be completed tomorrow morning at the Australian Boys' Amateur Championship due to poor light on Wednesday afternoon.

Victorian Ryan Ruffels, New South Welshman Blake Windred and Kiwi Nick Coxon all posted 2-under par 70s to hold the clubhouse lead.

New National Squad member, Victorian Zach Murray and New South Welshman Isaac Noh are tied in fourth place after 1-under par 71s.

The second round begins on Thursday.

Following the conclusion of the Junior Amateurs, state teams will remain in Victoria for the Interstate Teams Matches to be played at the respective clubs.

The Girls’ Interstate Teams’ Matches will be played from 13-15 April with New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria contesting the event, whilst the Boys’ Interstate Teams Matches will be played from 13-16 April will all Australian states and territories represented.

Entry is free and all spectators are welcome.
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All set for Australian Junior Championships
While all eyes are on Augusta National this week, the local stage is set for Australia's best junior golfers to tee off in this year’s Australian Boys’ and Girls’ Junior Championships, which begin tomorrow in Victoria’s Yarra Valley and run from 9-11 April.

The Australian Girls’ Amateur will be played at Yering Meadows Golf Club, Croydon with the 5,544 metre lengthened layout sure to test the field over the 72-holes stroke play.

Shelly Shin (NSW) will be a top contender after a number of top finishes including winning the recent 2014 Riversdale Cup and reaching the quarter-finals of the 2014 Australian Amateur in January.

2014 Australian Amateur runner-up Karis Davidson (Qld - pictured) will also be looking for her first National title along with Julienne Soo (Vic) who has had a number of top 10 finishes in Australian Girls’ Amateur Ranking events over the past 6 months including runner-up in the 2014 SA Masters and Semi Finalist in the 2013 Victorian Amateur.

The Australian Boys’ Amateur will be played at Heritage Golf and Country Club, the site of various PGA Tour of Australasia events. The event is wide open this year with last year’s winner Anthony Murdaca (SA) having left the junior ranks.

Curtis Luck (WA) who currently sits on top of the Australian Boys’ Amateur Rankings will be a favorite after a great start to the year including finishing runner-up in the 2014 Australian Amateur and wins the 2014 NSW Medal and 2014 Victorian Junior Masters.

Victorian Ryan Ruffels will also be a top contender after his recent win in the 2014 Riversdale Cup along with fellow Victorian Zach Murray who has performed well over the past 6 months with wins in the 2013 Aaron Baddeley International Championship Australian Final and the 2013 Victorian Amateur.

With both champions gaining an exemption into the respective Australian Opens, the events are sure to bring out the best in Australia’s junior golfers.

Following the conclusion of the Junior Amateurs, state teams will remain in Victoria for the Interstate Teams Matches to be played at the respective clubs.

The Girls’ Interstate Teams’ Matches will be played from 13-15 April with New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria contesting the event, whilst the Boys’ Interstate Teams Matches will be played from 13-16 April will all Australian states and territories represented.

Entry is free and all spectators are welcome.
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Viitikangas wins Golf SA Classic with a course record 64

Simon Viitakangas from Palmer Gold Coast in Queensland has fired a Glenelg course record 7-under-par 64 to take out the Golf SA Amateur Classic by 1 stroke ahead of fellow Queenslander Aaron Wilkin.

Heading into the final round 2-over, four strokes behind leader Jarryd Felton from WA and two behind Tory Moses, Aaron Wilkin and Jordan Zunic, Viitakangas stormed out of the blocks with 4 birdies and an eagle on the opening nine holes, to move to 3-under-par for the tournament.

At the turn, Viitakangas trailed Wilkin by 1, who himself started with four biridies on the front nine while Felton had dropped back after four bogeys to make the turn at 4-over.

“I played tactical golf coming home, trying to just keep the ball in play” Viitakangas said.

With an eagle on the par 5 12th a hole he had previously birdied in each of the opening 3 rounds, Wilkin moved to 5-under-par, 2 ahead.

Viitakangas then strung together 3 consecutive birdies through 13 to 15, to claim the lead by 1 for the first time in the tournament.

In the group ahead of Wilkin, Viitakangas bogeyed the 17th after finding the hazard from the tee and then made par on the last to be clubhouse leader at 5-under.

Viitakangas expected Wilkin to force a playoff, but Wilkin too found trouble on the 17th dropping a shot after hitting his tee shot to behind trees and then finding the greenside bunker with his approach.

Heading down the par 5 last, Wilkin needed to birdie, but his approach fell short, requiring him to sink a 30 footer to force the playoff. He almost rolled his putt in, but had to settle for par and a runner up finish.

“I had the mindset of having to post a good number today, whatever was going to be, was going to be and it just happened.” Viitakangas said.

“I put this down to course management. I played quite smart golf around this layout and it was just enough to get by.” Viitakangas added.

“This is no easy golf course and I’m just happy with the win and the way I was able to hold it together coming down the closing stages. You never know sometimes and today it fell my way.”

“It’s nice to win my second event this season after winning the Master of the Amateurs. I’m really learning how to keep my composure”.

Jordan Zunic (NSW) finished in 3rd position at 2-under, while Todd Sinnott (VIC) finished fourth at 1-under with a closing round of 66.

Overnight leader Jarryd Felton closed with a disappointing 74 to finish in 6th position, with South Australia Anthony Murdaca finishing 7th.

Cory Crawford, Scott Ready and Benjamin Stone rounded out the top-10.
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Qld Men's and Women's Foursomes champions crowned
Men's Foursomes Championship
The Keperra pairing of Matt Dowling and Gavin Chapman have outlasted their rivals to be crowned Men’s Foursomes Champions at Wynnum Golf Club today. 
After an opening round of 71 had them three shots behind leaders Matt Toomey and Alex Wall (Virginia), their steady play over the final 18 holes was enough to claim victory by twoshots over perennial place getters Chris Fraser and Adam Gemmell (Laidley). 
City Golf Club visitors Anthony Timms and Nigel Weldon were third on count-back. 
Nett Winners were Damien Boylan (Woodburn-Evans Head) and William Walsh (Keperra), finishing with a 142 total.

Women's Foursomes Championship
The Women’s Championship was no less engaging, with Maddie Trew and Sheridan Gorton (Murwillumbah) firing the low round of the day (74) to close a five shot first round gap over defending champions Ali Orchard (Sanctuary Cove) and Sheree Hasson (Mackay) and win by the narrowest margin.
Rowena Docherty (Mt Warren Park) and Janette Ferguson (Wantima) were the Division 2 winners, with Virginia pair Isabelle Simpson and Ash McCourt named the Overall Nett Winners. 

Highlight of the day went to Jason Webb who aced the 6th hole with a perfectly struck 9 iron!
Wynnum Golf Club was presented in fantastic condition with Superintendent Jason Adams 
to be congratulated on his work. Appreciation is also extended to Scott Taylor and his staff for the effort they put in to make the day a success.

For full results, please CLICK HERE
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Australian PGA Championship set to end the season
The PGA of Australia today confirmed the Australian PGA Championship will be played at RACV Royal Pines Resort from the 11 – 14 December 2014.

Returning to its traditional season ending position on the PGA Tour of Australasia schedule the Australian PGA Championship will be a fitting conclusion to the summer of golf.

“As the last tournament of 2014 the Australian PGA Championship caps off what will again be another exciting year of Australian golf,” said Brian Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of Australia.

“Famous for fun, the Gold Coast will be the perfect location to close out the PGA Tour of Australasia season, providing players and their families an array of opportunities to celebrate a successful year.”

Following a thriving inaugural staging of the Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Thorburn says the PGA Tour of Australasia is looking forward to returning. 

“Both the players and the crowds really embraced the Championship at its new home in 2013 and we’re already looking at ways to build on this success in 2014,” added Thorburn.

“With the course exceeding expectations, the quality of golf on display from champion Adam Scott, American young gun Rickie Fowler and our own rising stars the likes of Jack Wilson was exceptional."

The Championship’s return to its traditional end of season position will also provide additional time for Graham Marsh to complete the first stage of the $10million upgrade to the RACV Royal Pines Resort layout.

“RACV has invested a significant amount of money to upgrade their championship course so this date will allow suitable time for the work on the front nine to be completed,” added Thorburn. 

“While the 14-under par winning total last year demonstrated the course was more than capable of standing up to the Professionals the re-development will provide new challenges with green sizes being reduced by about 40 per cent.”

The Australian PGA Championship will be played at RACV Royal Pines Resort from Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th December.

The tournament is proudly supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, RACV, Gold Coast City Council, Gold Coast Tourism, Emirates, Coca-Cola Amatil, Hahn Premium Light, Amadio Wine and Srixon.

The Championship is managed by the PGA with the assistance of TRP Sports.

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Inclusive Golf Championships a big hit at Emerald Lakes
Golf Queensland’s Inclusive Golf Championship was played at the Emerald Lakes Golf Club on Friday 21 March, with the participants unable to get the smiles off their faces.

Laughter and friendly banter could be heard around the course, driving range and putt-putt course from the 60 participants who relished the opportunity to learn more about the game of golf in a fun and welcoming environment.

The Championships catered for all levels of golfers from organisations including the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association, Special Olympics Queensland, Gold Coast Recreation and Sport, Life Stream Australia and the Queensland Amputee Golf Association. 

The pinnacle event was the 18 hole Single Stableford Championship which was won by Craig Read with a scorching 34 points.  

While the 18 hole event was underway, participants for the 9 hole event got themselves ready for a fun day with their nominated partners. Remaining participants who did not compete in either of the events lined up for a masterclass on the range with Golf Queensland’s Participation Development Officer, Lee Harrington and local PGA Professionals Adrian Lawson and Indong Kim. 

The professionals demonstrated to the group how anyone, no matter their ability or physical restrictions, can play the game. Further, they helped participants learn new skills on the range and putting green through demonstrations and skill based activities.

2014 Golf Queensland Inclusive Golf Championships Results:

18 Hole Single Stableford Championship:
Winner: Craig Read – 34 points
R Up: Matt Curley – 32 points

9 Hole 4 Person Ambrose:
Tom Merryweather, Mike Merryweather, Chad Johnson and Ryan Paton – 35 
Tristan Carsberry, Dennis Carsberry, Darren Gibson and James Stewart – 38 c/b

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Soft hands save Steve Bowditch
The amazing short game that Steven Bowditch possessed as a teenager has delivered Queensland its third USPGA tour winner for 2014.

Bowditch, a member of both the Queensland junior and senior State teams in 2000 and 2001, saluted in the Valero Texas Open on Monday morning (Queensland time) for his first USPGA victory, and joins fellow Queenslanders Jason Day (World Golf Match Play Championship) and John Senden (Valspar Championship) as winners this year. 

Despite a four-over final-round 76, Bowditch finished at 8-under the card to win by a shot from Americans Daniel Summerhays and Will Mackenzie, with Matt Kuchar a shot further back.

Shane Healey, the teaching professional at Tewantin-Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, says that since he first started coaching Bowditch as a 14-year-old his pitching and chipping game was phenomenal.

“Steve has always been a major talent – he was playing off scratch at 14,” Healey said.

“He hits it a mile and we all saw over the weekend how good his short game is, but he can be cavalier and overly-aggressive at times and that is probably why he hasn’t won on the US tour previously.

“But despite a shaky final round he put it together in his now-home state of Texas and he can no doubt thank that amazing short game of his for the win.”

Time and time again over the four days his pitching saved Bowditch, with his scrambling around the greens on the final day 100% from within three metres. He carded eight under during the tournament despite hitting only 51% of fairways and 60% of greens in regulation.

His win not only won him $US1.116 million in prizemoney, but an exemption into all majors for the next two years and a place in the field at the 2014 US Masters, starting at Augusta on Thursday week (April 10).

And in an incredible twist of fate, Healey will be at the Masters to watch his former pupil tee it up for the first time. He is attending as part of a Callaway-sponsored incentive prize.

Four Queenslanders – Bowditch, Day, Senden and defending champion Adam Scott – will play in the Masters.

The four-over final-round score by Bowditch on Monday was the highest by a winner since Vijay Singh at the 2004 PGA Championship, but the field averaged 73.8 on a windy final day at TPC San Antonio. Bowditch had shot 69, 67 and 68 before the final-round 76. – TONY DURKIN

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Srixon confirms support for Isuzu Queensland Open
Golf Queensland today announced Srixon will return as a sponsor of the 2014 Isuzu Queensland Open.

The State-based championship will be played from 28 to 31 August 2014 and hosted at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club.

Golf Queensland chair Peter Castrisos said it was pleasing to welcome Srixon back as a sponsor of the Isuzu Queensland Open.

"Golf Queensland has a long standing partnership with Srixon and we are thrilled to have them on board for this Championship," Mr Castrisos said.

In 2013, Golf Queensland successfully reinstated the Championship to the PGA Tour of Australasia calendar with PGA Professional Nick Cullen adding his name to the list of high profile winners. 

"With the support of our sponsors such as Srixon we hope to build on the success of 2013 ensuring for the long-term stability of the Isuzu Queensland Open." 

Manager Director for Srixon, Martin Wright said the company was pleased to partner with Golf Queensland and support the State-based Championship.

"The Isuzu Queensland Open is an important Championship for not only Professional golfers but also Amateurs," Mr Wright said.

"Srixon is proud to align its brand with an event that helped leverage the careers of golfers like Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch and Peter Senior to international prominence."
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Queenslanders making headlines

Monday morning wrap up with Martin Blake from www.golf.org.au.

Webb wins again, chases No. 1

Karrie Webb is making her own run for a No. 1 world ranking after another astonishing win in America today. Read More.

Scott fails to close, but Augusta beckons

Adam Scott has a problem, if being No. 2 in the world and the defending Masters champion can be considered a problem. Read More.

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Talent recognised at Qld Golf Industry Awards
The Queensland golf industry capped off a stellar year last night at the 2013 QGI Awards on the Gold Coast. 

With 28 awards presented and over 450 attendees, it was a strong representation of the positive direction of the Queensland golf industry.

Golf Queensland presented five awards, including Beerwah Golf Club’s Joan Harvey for Club Super Volunteer of the Year, Jack Sullivan for Junior Male Amateur Golfer of the Year, Amy Walsh for Junior Female Amateur Golfer of the Year, Taylor Macdonald for Male Amateur Golfer of the Year and Ashley Ona for Female Amateur Golfer of the Year.

Other notable winners include Golf Queensland’s Women’s State Team Coach, Richard Woodhouse, winning the coveted PGA Teaching Professional of the Year and Nudgee Golf Club, winning GMAQ Club of the Year. Carbrook Golf Club’s Scott Wagstaff took home the GMAQ Manager of the Year, while Redland Bay Golf Club picked up the Junior Program of the Year Award.

Greg Norman Golf Foundation CEO Rae Clarke was a very deserving winner of the Service to Sport Award.

Winners Background:

Joan Harvey - Club Super Volunteer of the Year
Joan Harvey has been an amazing volunteer for the Beerwah District Memorial Golf Club for over 40 years and has holding the position of Junior Coordinator for over 30 years. 

Joan’s passion is her juniors; she has been instrumental in guiding young golfers through the mechanics and etiquette of golf and also making extra time to meet up with them after school. During 2013 while she was undergoing cancer treatment, 83-year-old Joan displayed her true dedication as a volunteer; not missing one junior clinic, senior’s golf day or management meeting.

Jack Sullivan - Junior Male Amateur Golfer of the Year
Jack Sullivan excelled in 2013, finishing the year ranked second on the Junior Boys Australian Amateur Rankings.

Jack won the NSW Junior Amateur and Greg Norman Junior Masters and was a member of the champion Queensland Boys’ Interstate Team in 2013. Due to his positive results in 2013, Jack was announced to be joining the elite Queensland Academy of Sport Squad for 2014.

Amy Walsh - Junior Female Amateur Golfer of the Year
Amy Walsh enjoyed a very successful 2013, finishing as the eighth ranked player on the Australian Girls Ranking System. As a result of her dedication to the game, Amy won the NSW Junior Amateur and the South Australian Girls Junior Masters in January. 

As captain of the Queensland Girls Junior Team she helped the State be crowned champions in the Australian Girls’ Interstate Team Matches. Amy competed in the Australian Youth Olympics golf team, and was selected as the flag bearer at the opening ceremony. Due to her strong results in 2013, Amy will be joining the elite Queensland Academy of Sport Squad for 2014.

Taylor Macdonald - Male Amateur Golfer of the Year
Taylor Macdonald had an exceptional 2013, consistently finishing with top results. Taylor represented Australia at a number of events including the Nomura Cup in Thailand, winning both the team and individual events. 

He is current Keperra Bowl champion and Australian Men’s Foursomes champion. Taylor is a member of the Australian National Squad, the Queensland Academy of Sport Program and the champion Queensland Men’s State Team.

Ashley Ona - Female Amateur Golfer of the Year
Ashley Ona showed her talent with positive results in 2013, winning a number of high profile tournaments. She is currently the Queensland Women’s Amateur champion, South Pacific Ladies Open Classic champion and Australian Foursomes champion.

Ashley was a member of the Queensland Women’s State Team and Queensland Academy of Sport Squad in 2013. After winning the Queensland Amateur in October, Ashley made the step up into the professional ranks.

We caught up with Jack Sullivan and Amy Walsh after accepting their awards:
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Senden claims second PGA Tour victory

Golf Queensland congratulates John Senden on winning the Valspar Championship on the PGA TOUR this morning.

Starting the final round two off the lead, Senden entered the famed snake pitt, the final three holes at Innisbrook Resort, tied in the lead with Americans Kevin Na and Scott Langley.

With a brilliant chip in birdie on the 16th hole and a long birdie putt on the 17th, Senden tamed the snake pitt and sealed his second PGA TOUR victory.

Making it safely in the clubhouse at 7-under, Senden watched on as Kevin Na failed to birdie the last to force a playoff ensuring his one shot win.  

Senden last won on the PGA TOUR in 2006 at the John Deere Classic, the same year he won the Australian Open on his home Tour.

Aside from the US$1,026,000 winner’s cheque, with this win Senden has sealed an invitation to The Masters in April. He finished T35 at Augusta in 2013 which was his best performance on the famed layout.

He also earns starts in the WGC - Bridgestone Invitational, US PGA Championship and the 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Senden becomes the second Australian to win on the PGA TOUR in 2014 after Jason Day won the WGC – Accenture Match Play Championship in February.

Australia is the only country outside of the United States to have a winner on the PGA TOUR in the 2013/2014 wrap around season.

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Toogoolawah locals enjoy come and try event

By Neville Austin

On Saturday the 8th of March I travelled to Toogoolawah Golf Club, 86km’s West of Brisbane to help develop a junior program.

With the help from the local school and the businesses we had a great roll up of 13 students ranging from 5 years of age to 13. With two hours of drills games and a whole lot of fun, we started with large oversized plastic clubs with oversized foam balls, this gave the children a chance to get some of the basic correct. Catching games and hitting to targets mixed with throwing the ball at the targets to get a feel of distance control, we then moved onto the children having a little fun by trying to hit the ball through some cones at 20 metres.

This was to allow them to hit the ball harder yet with control, once we all had a practice run we split the teams into Boys v Girls, with the girls coming up with the win 3/0 in the challenging AFL scoring game. 

After a short break, giving me a chance to catch my breath as the children were so energetic and willing to try anything, I didn’t get much of a chance to stop over the first hour and a half. 

We then set up the smaller soft balls and junior teaching clubs with metal heads and graphite shafts which allowed the children to get a feel of the longer heavier clubs. During this next hour we quickly progressed into another competition with the boys wanting revenge on their recent loss. Boys came up trumps with a score of 2/1, having shown great improvements they had the opportunity to hit real balls for the last quarter of an hour with great excitement.

It is my belief that the day was a great success with the club captain Judy having 8 juniors wishing to come back to the club on a weekly basis, it is my plan to visit the club on a monthly term to ensure these juniors are encouraged to use correct techniques and have an enjoyable time while at the club with a chance of them becoming the future of our regional clubs. 

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Queensland Men's and Women's State Teams announced
Golf Queensland has named its representative teams to compete in the Australian Men's and Women's Interstate Teams Matches from 29 April - 2 May 2014.

The Australian Capital Territory will host this year's event, with the Men's event to be held at the Federal Golf Club and the Women's at Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club.

Golf Queensland's Head Coach, Tony Meyer said this year's team selections were incredibly competitive with many players performing well over the past year.

"The selected players have had fantastic results over the past few months and thoroughly deserve their places on the teams," Mr Meyer said.

"With the outstanding talent on show, both teams have an excellent opportunity to win the Championships for their State."

The Queensland Men's Team will be looking to defend their 2013 title, while the Women's Team look to improve on last year's third placing.

Men's State Team:
Cory Crawford (Sanctuary Cove) 
Taylor Macdonald (Redcliffe) 
Kade McBride (Lakelands) 
Jake McLeod (Royal Queensland) 
Anthony Quayle (Hills International) 
Jack Sullivan (Palmer Gold Coast) 
Simon Viitakangas (Palmer Gold Coast) 
Aaron Wilkin (Wynnum)

Men's Coach - Tony Meyer 
Men's Team Manager - Matthew Toomey

Women's State Team:
Karis Davidson (Palmer Gold Coast) 
Jaimee Dougan (Beaudesert) 
Gennai Goodwin (Indooroopilly) 
Ali Orchard (Surfers Paradise) 
Anna Stanton (Woodford) 
Amy Walsh (Palmer Gold Coast)

Women's Coach - Richard Woodhouse 
Women's Team Manager - Jillian Johnson

The Australian Men's and Women's Interstate Teams Matches are Australia's pinnacle Amateur Team Golf Championships. The Women play for the Gladys Hay Memorial Trophy. Each State plays each other State over singles match play in a round robin format, concluding with a Final. 
For more information, see www.golf.org.au.

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Isuzu QLD Open back this August
Golf Queensland today announced the Isuzu Queensland Open would return to the Brookwater Golf and Country Club from 28 - 31 August 2014.

Chair of Golf Queensland, Peter Castrisos, said the Championship was successfully reinstated onto the PGA Tour of Australasia in 2013.

"We are now looking forward to capitalise on this success and grow the championship further on and off the course," Mr Castrisos said.

"The Championship attracted higher than anticipated entries with 320 golfers vying for a spot in the field of only 120.

"We are proud of the results in 2013 which included working with the PGA, Brookwater Golf and Country Club and over 50 volunteers to deliver the Championship that attracted over 5,000 spectators."

Mr Castrisos said the event proved it could gain significant media exposure for not only golf but for the Ipswich region.

"A key priority was working with children in the local region to introduce them to golf. We achieved this by engaging with 1,000 children through schools and other activities and intend to grow this further in 2014," he said.

The 2014 Isuzu Queensland Open forms part of the PGA Tour of Australasia and will carry Official World Golf Ranking points.

The Isuzu Queensland Open is open to amateur golfers and PGA professionals to play in a 72 hole championship event.

Golfers including Norman Von Nida, Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch, Peter Senior and Stuart Appleby, who was an amateur when he won in 1991, have their names etched on the TB Hunter Cup.

To view highlights of the 2013 Isuzu Queensland Open click here.

To view the 2013 Isuzu Queensland Open results click here.
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Golf Queensland announces 2014 QAS Squad
Four new faces will join the elite Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) Golf Program in 2014, joining five players from last year.

Jack Sullivan (Palmer Gold Coast), Cory Crawford (Sanctuary Cove), Blake Proverbs (Royal Queensland) and Amy Walsh (Emerald Lakes) will join Taylor Macdonald (Redcliffe), Aaron Wilkin (Wynnum), Jake McLeod (Royal Queensland), Jaimee Dougan (Beaudesert) and Gennai Goodwin (Indooroopilly - pictured) to make up this year's squad.

The squad is selected by using a selection criteria that includes national and international tournament performances as well as commitment to training and fitness.

Golf Queensland Head Coach Tony Meyer said the QAS Squad forms the pinnacle of the Golf Queensland High Performance Program.

"There is no doubt that all players selected this year for QAS have earned their spots on the squad," Mr Meyer said.

"They will have the opportunity to work with some of the best golf specific service providers in the country which will enable them to reach their full potential."

Three members of the squad have represented Australia in tournaments during the past year. Aaron Wilkin and Taylor Macdonald were successful at the recent Nomura Cup in Thailand and Amy Walsh competed in the Callaway World Junior Championships.

After his exceptional year, Taylor Macdonald was also named as a member of the 2014 Golf Australia National Squad. 

Jack Sullivan won the NSW Junior Boys Amateur and the Greg Norman Junior Masters and Blake Proverbs was ranked number one on the Golf Australia Boys' rankings in 2013.

The 2014 QAS Squad is proudly supported by Srixon and Fayde Apparel. 

The Queensland Academy of Sport Golf Program is conducted with the assistance of the Queensland Government and forms the pinnacle of the Golf Queensland High Performance Program. 

The QAS Golf Program, which commenced in July 2001, is designed to assist Queensland's most talented amateur players in reaching their full potential within the amateur golf ranks. 

QAS scholarship holders have access to world-class coaching and support services including sport science, strength and conditioning, medical, career and education in addition to financial support for competition and training costs, depending on the level of their scholarship.
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2012 Qld Stroke Play Champion impresses with NZ Open win
New South Welsham Dimi Papadatos has claimed an emphatic victory at the New Zealand Open Championship played at The Hills and Millbrook Resort in Queenstown.

Starting the day with a one shot lead the 22-year-old looked solid throughout the round firing a 6-under 66 to finish with a tournament total of 18-under 270.

Having turned Professional at the end of 2012, Papadatos held of many challengers including the experienced Kiwi Mark Brown to claim his maiden victory.

Brown eventually finished the leading Kiwi, four shots behind the young Aussie disappointed that he wasn’t able to end the 12 year Kiwi drought at the National Open.

A further shot back was David Klein (NZ), while Ash Hall (VIC) and Richard Lee (NZ) rounded out the top-5 on 12-under the card.

But this day was all about a coming-of-age performance from Papadatos who admitted etching his name into the Brodie Breeze Trophy hadn’t sunken in yet.

He said the final few holes were all a bit of a blur as he tried to close out the victory.

“I just wanted to concentrate and not get too overwhelmed with what was happening,” said Papadatos about the final hole.

When he hit the green in two and comfortably made the two-putt for par he could finally relax. He was swamped by a swagger of young Aussie Pros who showered him with champagne. 

“It’s awesome, great bunch of guys and they’re very supportive. We all try and beat each other but at the end of the week, but there’s no hard feelings.” 

Before today’s win Papadatos’ best result on the PGA Tour of Australasia was a third place finish at the ISPS Handa Perth International last October.

The champion wasn’t too sure how he handled the pressure all day.

“I kept believing in myself and telling myself I could do it, the whole way round. But there’s always that thing, deep down wondering if you really can.”

Papadatos said it was “unreal” to follow in the footsteps of some great Aussie players – the likes of Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, Peter O’Malley and Craig Parry – who had won the New Zealand Open.

He also followed the lead of his good mate Jake Higginbottom who won as an amateur at Clearwater in 2012. 

“I didn’t really think at the start of the week I would have had my name on the trophy behind him, but as the week started to progress, I thought there was a good chance so I’m pretty happy.”

Papadatos believed the win, where he earned 16 World Rankings Points, status on the PGA Tour of Australasia until 2016 and three starts on the Japan Tour would be massive for his career going forward. 

“Obviously some great players have won this event, it’s a massive honour. I wouldn’t have told you at the start of the week I was capable of this. I’m really happy.”

Not feeling as upbeat was Mark Brown.  He said there was little comfort in finishing second and the leading Kiwi for the second New Zealand Open in succession.

“It was just frustrating that I didn't have the A-game today like I played a couple of the other days,” said the 39-year-old.

“The chances I did give myself I didn’t convert and it was only really towards the end that I made a couple of birdies so Dimi played great. He holed the putts when he needed to.
“It's all about winning and particularly this tournament, so I take no solace in finishing second at all. It wasn't what I wanted so it's just really disappointing.”

He was not surprised to see such a young inexperienced player handle the pressure of leading throughout the final round with so much composure. It was a sign of the times.
"The young guys now have got no fear. They all putt great, their short games are great so when they do make a mistake off tee to green they'll save it and not only that, they'll hole putts.”

New Zealand amateur Jordan Bakermans finished as the leading amateur to claim the Bledisloe Cup when Southland No.1 Vaughan McCall was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.

“It is a huge honour to win this trophy,” said the 20-year-old from the Christchurch Golf Club.

“It was my goal at the start of the week and while I would have loved to make the cut this is a pretty cool honour to take home from this tournament.”

Meanwhile in the New Zealand Pro-Am Championship Australian Brody Ninyette and amateur Sam Hamilton claimed the title in the best-ball format despite Ninyette shooting a 13-over 85 in the final round. 

They won the first NZ Pro-Am to be staged at the NZ Open by two shots from Nick Gillespie and John Bowring on a 39-under par total.  
For all final scores please click here.

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Day wins WGC MatchPlay, climbs to world no.4
By Martin Blake/www.golf.org.au

Every Australian golf lover is anticipating the imminent return of Adam Scott and his defence of the Masters at Augusta National in April, plus his tilt at unseating Tiger Woods as No. 1 in the world. But Scott has at least one other problem and his name is Jason Day.

Day's momentous victory in the World Golf Championship Accenture Matchplay title in the Arizona desert is the biggest of his career. He has won in America before, back in 2010, and he won the individual section of the World Cup at Royal Melbourne in December, which does not count in his list of 'official' tour wins. But this is his first WGC title, and they have come to sit immediately beneath the four majors for men.

The big knock on 26-year-old day used to be that he could not find a way to win. He often played himself into contention but did not close the deal, and he has six top-10s in majors to show for that. But it's not true anymore. The boy from Queensland is maturing, fulfilling the promise he first showed when he won the world junior championship in 2004.

He will wake tomorrow as the world's No. 4 player, his career-high ranking and just three spots from assuming the mantle he set himself to reach a long time ago. With Scott (No. 2) and Day, Australian golf suddenly looks remarkably strong, not to mention that Karrie Webb is still in the top 10 on the women's side and that the likes of Minjee Lee, the amateur who won the Victorian Open on the weekend, is coming through.

Day had a remarkable week. He took 22 holes to win his first match against Billy Horschel, but then cruised through to the semi-final, teeing off not long after dawn today at Dove Mountain against Ricky Fowler. Nearly 11 hours on, he was still trying to finish off a conjurer of a Frenchman in Victor Dubuisson, the world No. 30 and a man whose name is now etched into the psyche of golf-lovers.

It was one of the greatest matches ever seen, an epic and a classic.

Day was by far the dominant player through nine holes, three up. Even at the 12th hole he was three up and his putt for birdie lipped out; had it gone in, he was four up. Then Dubuisson, a former European amateur champion, rallied strongly. Day was still two up with two to play, and at the 17th, Dubuisson drove into a fairway trap. Producing an astonishing six iron shot from 165 metres, the Frenchman somehow got up and down for birdie to extend the match.

Still, Day only needed a half at the 18th to win the match, and his approach found the back of the green while Dubuisson was bunkered. This time the Frenchman got up and down and Day's birdie putt for the win glided three metres past the cup. Another putt to win it all, and it stopped short in the jaws. The Frenchman had survived, winning the hole and extending the match.

The drama was only beginning. Dubuisson made two consecutive recovery pars that will go into the annals, arguably among the best ever seen. The first came from halfway up a cactus bush at the 19th hole, hit with an almost carefree attitude but to inside two metres from the hole. Certainly there was a big element of luck, but the Frenchman is renowned for short game. It deserves to go into the archives among the great shots of tournament golf.

The second, from underneath a bush in the desert area beside the next hole, brought a wry smile from Day. Of course, it stopped close to the cup and Dubuisson made his par.

Apparently bulletproof as he waited to putt, the momentum kept turning back. Day had another putt to win at that hole but missed. His plight was becoming distinctly Normanesque and his body language grew worse; he was frustrated, and nervous.

At the 22nd, his luck changed. The 23-year-old Dubuisson had a five-metre downhill putt to win the match but missed, reprieving the Australian. Then at the 23rd, with darkness falling, Day hit a lovely, spinning chip from beside the 15th green, a short, driveable par-four, and Dubuisson, from a similar spot, went long. The Frenchman's long putt for birdie did not fall, leaving Day a metre for the title.

He buried it with his new mallet-style putter, an impliment with the word 'Dash' stamped on the bottom after his young son, Dash, who was on the green to celebrate along with his American wife Ellie. "We did it,'' said Col Swattan, Day's mentor, caddie, coach and father-figure.

"I think the biggest thing was just 'how much do I want it?','' said Day. "How much do I want to win. I was visualising myself with the trophy last night, and I'm just glad I could finish it off. But it was a close one.''

Meanwhile Adam Scott resumes playing this week in the Honda Classic in Florida after a six-week break. Jason Day has spent nine years as the Next Big Thing, producing good results but a lack of entries in the 'W' column that was noted. Now, he has corrected that weakness, and graduated to WGC level. Majors are next on the wish list.

All you can say is ... bring it on.
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Webb holds on for fabulous fifth Open title
Melbourne, 16 February 2014: Australia’s Karrie Webb has held on to clinch a fifth ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open title with a one stroke victory at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne.

The 39 year-old Queenslander finished at 12-under par with a final round 4-under par 68 to beat Korean Chella Choi who carded a 2-over par 74.

“I feel very fortunate to have won today. But I liked my chances at the start of the day because of the wind picking up.  If we had another day like we had the first three days, I probably was a little too far back to have a chance, so I was thankful for the weather changing and I played as good as I have in a very long time,” Webb said.

“I was hitting some quality shots early on and I realised that I'd gotten into that mindset and so I stayed on top of myself to make sure that that's what I did and never tried to hit a shot.  I just played the shot that the conditions dictated,” Webb added.

It was a full scale turnaround from the events of last week.

“It's amazing what happens, what a difference a week makes.  Obviously this time last week I wouldn't be expecting to be sitting here, so I'm glad things changed around quickly for me,” Webb said.

The victory is Webb’s 52nd professional title and comes with a US$180,000 winner’s cheque.

For overnight co-leader Choi, a drive out-of-bounds on the second hole caused trouble early in the round. 

“I went out of bounds on the right hand side and that was a really big problem for me. It was a hard game today. I didn’t like that part but Karrie played so good today,” Choi said.

On her first trip to Australia, American Paula Creamer posted a final round 4-under par 68 to share third place with Kiwi Lydia Ko and France’s Karine Icher at 10-under par. 

American trio Morgan Pressel, Amelia Lewis and Stacy Lewis and Korean Jenny Shin finished in a tie for sixth at 9-under par.

Australian Amateur champion Minjee Lee finished in a tie for 11th place as the leading amateur after slipping to a final round 78 in the windy conditions but Webb heaped praise on the 17-year old from Perth.

“She's got more talent in her little finger than I ever did at 17.  She should hold her head up high.  She's played very well the last two weeks, probably the best out of anyone consistently the last two weeks.  She should be really proud of herself.  You'll definitely see a lot more of her,” Webb said.

The championship is sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, the Ladies European Tour and the ALPG Tour.

Click Here for Final Scores

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Summers claims maiden victory at QLD PGA
New South Welshman Anthony Summers has won the 2014 Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship at the City Golf Club in Toowoomba.

Shooting 24-under 256 this is Summers’ first victory since turning Professional in 1991.

“I’m ecstatic, relieved, elated, I’m just feeling a whole mix of emotions at the moment,” said Summers.

“I’ve had a lot of chances to win in the past so to have a three shot buffer on the last was fantastic.”

“I was still as nervous as a kitten on the 18th hole, my heart was beating a million miles a minute.”

Providing an exciting final round, New Zealander Ryan Fox went head to head with Summers eventually finishing runner-up on 21-under the card.

“Ryan’s length is prodigious, if he hits it straight there won’t be too many who can compete with him,” added Summers.

Summers sealed the victory with a miracle eagle on the par-5 16th hole.

“I hardly missed a fairway all week and I hit the worst tee shot of the week, it was a big spear cut right with my three wood,” added Summers.

“I was under the trees with a little gap then I had to go over the trees further down.”

“My last words as I put my club down were, ‘be nice.’ I thought this could go anywhere.”

“It clipped a little bit on the way up and down, next thing I heard was a massive roar and I was just in shock.”

“It was ridiculous but I am going to take it with both hands and run.”

After struggling with a back injury in the final two rounds, Summers was relieved to finally have his name engraved on the Charles Bonham Trophy.

“I have a long history of back issues and it felt very close to going this morning,” added Summers.

“I was very concerned, I didn’t go to the range at all this morning, I spent a lot of time with the physio.”

“I have had a good history at the Queensland PGA, I finished second here in 1996 and had a couple of thirds including last year. It’s nice to get my first win at a tournament I have played well in the past.”

Victorian David Bransdon made a Sunday charge for the title shooting an 8-under 62 to finish outright third on 19-under the card.

A further shot back was defending champion Brad Kennedy and West Australian Stephen Dartnall.

Queensland State Team and QAS member, Taylor Macdonald, fired a final round of 5-under to finish 11-under as leading amateur of the tournament.

For all final scores please click here.

The PGA Tour of Australasia now heads south for the Oates Victorian Open to be played at 13th Beach Golf Links. 

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Ipswich Sports Conference and Expo
If you haven’t already heard about it Ipswich Sports House is hosting it’s 2nd Ipswich Sports Conference and Expo to be held on Saturday, 22 February 2014 from 8.30am.

The conference and expo will provide a great opportunity for Sport and Recreation administrators, coaches and teachers across the city to gain first-hand knowledge from industry experts.


Chris Rawlinson – Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist (Athletics) and now performance specialist with a vast array of skills as an international coach and sports specific marketing. 

Catherine Clark – Experienced CEO and Senior Executive with posts in national and international sports organisations and senior policy roles within Government. Catherine is a former CEO of Gymnastics Australia and current Board member of Hockey Queensland.

Gordon Young – Performance Pathway Manager with Squash Australia working closely with the AIS Squash Program, the National Head Coach and the Performance Pathway.  
Rodney Coxsedge - Regional Coordinator at Australian Sports Commission. Rodney is keen to get kids physically active after school and into club sport.

Click Here for all the details

Following on from the conference, the ISH Expo is the perfect time to speak with local partners and suppliers to explore opportunities for you organisation.
Just some of the suppliers (outlined below) will have offers at the Expo relevant to both schools & sporting clubs in the Ipswich region.
Coca Cola Amatil – who provide a range of food and drink products and will be launching their rewards program in Ipswich
Peters Ice Cream – Its current status as the number one ice cream manufacturer and much loved national food has made the Peters brand iconic within the Australian landscape.
Multi-Sport Concepts & Play Hard Sports – Sports Equipment and Sports Surface specialists providing sustainable solutions to your club or school facility.
Magical Memorabilia & Custom Framing, Limelight Cinemas Ipswich & Ipswich Tickets – these organisations will have some unique opportunities for your clubs annual fundraising efforts.
Plus many more with special offers only for Ipswich region sporting clubs and schools!
RSVP:    You can book your place for both the Conference and Expo now by following this link http://ipswichtickets.com.au/event?id=393

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Woods Wins Ladies Masters

American Cheyenne Woods secured her first major professional tournament when she held off a strong challenge from Australian amateur Minjee Lee to win the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters on the Gold Coast.

The 23-year-old shot a final round of four-under-par 69 on the RACV Royal Pines layout to finish the tournament at 16-under-par, two shots ahead of 17-year-old Lee who also posted a 69 to finish on 14-under-par. South African Stacy Lee Bregman (72) and Swede Camilla Lennarth (70) finished in a tie for third position at 12-under-par.

Another Swede Caroline Hedwall (66) soared up the leaderboard to finish in a share of fifth position with South Korean amateur So Young Lee and fellow compatriot Minsun Kim.

It's the best result in Woods' two-year professional career, with the interest in the niece of superstar Tiger Woods resulting in the American Golf Channel taking the final two hours of the broadcast live into the United States.
Woods was absolutely elated with her win, “This is a huge accomplishment for me.”

“The Ladies European Tour has been great to be able to play this last year, I’ve been able to see all of these great players, play with Solheim Cup members, so I’ve learned so much from all of these girls and to be able to come out here and actually compete with them and come out on top was huge for me.” Encouraging words from her coach before she left for Australia have certainly came true.

“All off season I was just getting ready with my coach back home and he told me he thinks that this is my year, my time to finally get a win and to have it this early in the season is exciting, especially with European Tour and then here in Australia. I’m just really proud with how I played this week and followed through all four days and finished strong.”

The win didn’t come as a huge shock even though she missed the cut last week, “Not necessarily a shock but I missed the cut last week by two shots in New Zealand, 77, 71 so I didn’t play well last week but I came into this week with a new mindset, I worked on a few things and everything just kind of clicked. It worked out really well, after the first round I knew I could win, so from then on that was the goal.”

Woods started the final round with a one shot lead, she immediately picked up a shot with a birdie on the par-4 1st.

A bogey on the par-4 4th and a hat-trick of birdies on the par-4 6th, 7th and 8th by the reigning Australian amateur champion brought the pair together. However, Woods took the outright lead again with a birdie on the par 5 9th.

The world No.363 didn't relinquish that advantage, adding birdies on the par-5 12th and 15th before a triumphant birdie on the par-5 18th completed a five-birdie, one-bogey final round.

For Lee, she was thrill with her efforts, “Yeah, I haven’t really been in this situation before so I am happy with how I played today and hopefully there are many more to come.”
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Karrie Webb chats with Queensland Juniors
Eight-time Ladies Masters winner, Karrie Webb took time out of her day today to talk with four Queensland Junior State Team members about life on tour, the transition to the professional ranks, her practice routines and more.

Amy Walsh, Rebecca Kay, Hyunsik Kong and Chris Park had the opportunity to ask questions and receive invaluable advice from the seven-time major champion.

When asked what her best piece of advice would be for an elite amateur looking to take the next step, Webb said it was a hard time to determine whether playing professionally is the right thing to do.

“Goal setting is often an overlooked part of golf. Make sure you set goals and stay on top of them and create a process to achieve them," she said

“You have to love the game. I still put in the hard work and have been putting in the work since I was about 11 years old.

“I know that if I don’t put in the hard work and practice, that I’m not going to be good enough to keep competing.

Webb is currently on the Gold Coast in preparation for the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters tournament, which starts at RACV Royal Pines Resort tomorrow. 

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Smith joins Rookie Professional Squad
Golf Australia has announced the members of the Golf Australia Rookie Professional Squad for 2014.

The squad members are: Rebecca Artis, Jake Higginbottom, Nathan Holman, Stacey Keating, Bryden Macpherson, Cameron Smith, Matt Stieger, Brady Watt and Jack Wilson.

The program comprises nine players this year.

The Golf Australia Rookie Program offers a way of assisting professional golfers as they enter the most exciting yet challenging time of their professional careers; finding and establishing themselves on an international Tour and understanding the demands of travelling to different parts of the world whilst at the same time trying to compete against the best players in the world.

Successful applicants each receive a rookie scholarship that is offered for a period of one year with a review after six months. The scholarship holder can be part of the program until their fifth year of professional golf.

There are two streams of funding within the scholarship.

The Training and Preparation funding offers support to access to coaching, strength and conditioning, biomechanics, sports psychology, physiotherapy and advice from nutritionists.

The Competition and Travel Funding helps cover a range of player expenses including airfares, accommodation, entry fees and caddy fees.

Golf Australia High Performance Director Brad James said this year’s squad includes a number of new professionals in addition to several players who have Tour experience.

“It’s a challenging environment out there on Tour when players have to coordinate all of their travel, budgeting and various other matters – in addition to playing professional golf at a competitive level and improving their games,” James said.

“The purpose of this program is to ensure these players do not have any of their development compromised by challenges that arise. We work to make that transition to professional golf and Tour life as smooth as possible. It is based on a culture of success and it is important that these athletes continue to track towards top 100 world ranking status in order to be considered again for the program in the future,” James said.
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Golf Queensland selects top juniors for Interstate Series
Golf Queensland has announced the 2014 Queensland Junior Interstate Boys' and Girls' Teams to compete in Victoria in April.

Golf Queensland's Head Coach, Tony Meyer said the selected players thoroughly deserve their places on the teams. 

"All players have shown solid form in recent months and are looking forward to representing their home state," Mr Meyer said.

"It will be exciting for many of the new members of the teams who will be playing in their first Interstate Teams Championship. It is an important event in our players' development."

In 2013, both the Queensland Boys' and Girls' Teams were victorious, with the Girls' Team remaining undefeated for the past three years.

Three male and two female development players have also been selected to travel with their respective Junior State Teams to compete in the Australian Junior Amateur Championship.

Boys' State Team: 
Liam Anderson (Coolangatta-Tweed)
Hyunsik Kong (Emerald Lakes)
Kodie Koski (Caloundra)
James Macklin (Nudgee)
Chris Park (Lakelands)
Blake Proverbs (Pacific)  

Boys' Development Players: 
Lawry Flynn (Brisbane)
Connor Reeves (Hervey Bay)
Jack Trent (Headland)

Boys' Coach: Grant Field 
Boys' Team Manager: Shane Stevenson

Girls' State Team: 
Karis Davidson (Palmer Gold Coast)
Samantha Foley (Royal Pines)
Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe)
Rebecca Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed)
Kate Law (Maryborough)
Stacey White (Pacific)

Girls' Development Players: 
Robyn Choi (Royal Pines)
Tyla Smith (Coolangatta-Tweed)

Girls' Coach: Virginia Irwin
Girls' Team Manager: Jessica Jenkins 

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Walsh wins Junior Masters

Amy Walsh has taken out the Volvik/RACV Junior Masters today earning a spot in the senior event which kicks off this Thursday.

Held on the same championship course at RACV Royal Pines, Walsh shot a Gross 72 to win the title and receive her invitation to this week’s professional tournament.

The Emerald Lakes amateur will now tee up against some of the world’s best female golfers including fellow Queenslanders Karrie Webb and Katherine Kirk.

Rhianna Lewis took at the Nett prize finishing with a 74 on a count back from Stacey White and Amy Walsh.

The Volvik RACV Ladies Masters runs from Thursday 6 February to 9 February at RACV Royal Pines Resort. Read more.
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Community activities kicks off Ladies Masters week
The Volvik RACV Ladies Masters will be held at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast 6-9 February, with Golf Queensland kicking off the week with a host of community engagement activities planned. 

Over 500 juniors will participate in a number of golf activities around the area during the week, with ALPG, LET and PGA professional golfers also engaging with the juniors. Players already confirmed include former World No.12 Lindsey Wright, LET winner, England's Felicity Johnson and Women's NSW Open winner Joanna Klatten. 

Golf Queensland will begin activities on Monday, visiting Gold Coast Recreation and Sport to assist special needs athletes in having a getting involved with golf.

Tuesday and Wednesday will see local schools William Duncan State and Merrimac State learning basic golf skills and being introduced to new and fun golf activities. 

The 'Behind the Ropes Experience' will take place on Thursday and Friday, with Kelvin Grove State College and Robina State High School getting all-access passes at the Ladies Masters. The school students will tour the media centre, have an opportunity to talk with the stars, attend a clinic, learn about career pathways in golf and watch the players in action on-course.

A junior golf activity centre will be set up on the grassed area in front of the clubhouse over the weekend, open from 10am - 2pm Saturday and Sunday. There will be chipping targets, putting practice and other fun activities available, using the latest MYGolf and SNAG equipment. 

Adrian Hewat, Golf Queensland's Participation Development Manager who has coordinated the week's activities alongside Lee Harrington, said he was looking forward to getting involved with the Gold Coast community.

"Working with the community is a rewarding experience and teaching basic golf skills is one way we can give back," Mr Hewat said.

"Golf is a terrific sport for children to stay active while learning some core life skills and we are excited to be further promoting the sport within the Gold Coast community.

"The week isn't just about watching golf; it's also about getting out there and giving it a go."

Tickets for the tournament can be purchased here.
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Qld amateurs to tee it up at Women's NSW Open
The 2014 NSW Open is set to be played from 24-26 January at Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney, with a number of Queenslander's vying for the title.

Ellen Davies-Graham, who stepped up into the professional ranks earlier this week, will be playing in her first tournament as a professional, while previous Queensland QAS Squad members, Ashley Ona and Courtney Massey will also be competing.

Among the Professionals, 25 amateurs will contend for the title including current QAS Squad member Gennai Goodwin and State Team member Amy Walsh. 

"It is pleasing to see players who have been part of Golf Queensland's programs transition into the professional ranks and compete on home soil in professional tournaments," said Luke Bates, Manager of Golf Operations at Golf Queensland.

"For our elite amateurs, the opportunity to compete in professional events will hopefully assist in this transition and provide them with additional confidence and experience which will no doubt be very useful to them in the coming years."

Players from 17 countries will be competing in the first ALPG major tournament of the season, with nine Ladies European Tour winners in the field. 

Player Information:

Amy Walsh is a member at Emerald Lakes Golf Club on the Gold Coast. Walsh has seen very positive results within the last year. Her successes include winning the South Australian Junior Masters and NSW Junior Girls Championship. Walsh also finished as runner up in the Srixon International Junior Classic and was the Australian representative at the Callaway World Junior in the United States. She was part of the victorious Queensland Girls' Interstate Team and is currently ranked 8th on the Australian Girls' Amateur Rankings.

Indooroopilly member Gennai Goodwin, is a member of the Queensland Women's State Team and Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) scholarship holder. Goodwin is no stranger to professional tournaments, competing in the Victorian Women's Open in 2013.   

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Karis Davidson shows shining talent
When Karis Davidson was beaten by defending champion Minjee Lee in the final of the Australian Amateur Championship at the Grange Golf Club in Adelaide recently, the greens were running at tour speed 12. 

That, says her father Graeme, is a far cry from the putting speed of the carpet in the family home back in Innerleithen Scotland, where the young Gold Coaster first displayed her championship-winning golf talent.

“It was Christmas night, and I had scored a new putter from Santa,” recounts the 15-year-old’s dad.

“Karis was five I think, and she and I had a putting competition on the carpet. As soon as she swung the putter that night I could tell she was a natural.” 

A decade later that innate ability has, according to her coach Ian Triggs, taken Karis to the edge of a budding professional golfing career.

“To put the Australian Amateur final in perspective it was akin to Tiger Woods playing a rookie pro,” he said.

“Not only is Minjee Lee two years older than Karis, which is a huge difference at this age, she is the No.5 amateur in the world, has now won this championship twice, is a former Australian Junior title winner and has the US Girls' Junior championship among a host of other victories.

“To get to the final against the best girls in the country was an outstanding achievement for Karis. And to compete so well against Minjee, winning as many holes as she did, has done wonders for her confidence and for her game.

“Karis is a wonderful talent, works very hard at her game and no doubt has a big future. But she needs to become bigger and stronger and tick a few more other boxes before she is ready to take that next big step.”

In the final at The Grange Lee led the 2up at the 18-hole mark after she and the young Queenslander carded a birdie blitz in the morning. Davidson birdied three of her first five holes and took the challenge to the defending champion before Lee rolled off four straight birdies on holes 5-8 in the afternoon round to surge clear. Lee eventually won 6 and 5.

The Davidson family – dad Graeme, mum Faye and younger brother Zach - moved to the Gold Coast from Scotland in February 2008, ostensibly so Karis could develop the golfing ability first spotted in the carpet putting episode.

“We had relatives living at Varsity Lakes and visited them in 2005 with the idea of emigrating,” said mum Faye.

“Obviously the weather here is much more conducive to outdoor sport, and as her results have shown Karis has blossomed. And AnK Golf, with whom she trains at Sanctuary Cove, has been a big influence.

“When Karis first joined her coach there, Chris Lee, she was playing off 15. Her handicap is now plus two. 

“But not only are the coaching techniques first class, but the coaches and team members are all very friendly and helpful.”

Her runner-up in the national title was a fitting culmination to a break-out year for Karis. Among her other achievements was second in the Greg Norman Junior Masters Open, but first in the under 15 division;  runner up in the Queensland Amateur;  best finish for Team Australia in China playing in the Aaron Baddeley International Junior Championship;  won the Aaron Baddeley Australian National 36 hole title: second in the South Pacific Ladies Classic (54 holes);  won (72 holes) for the second year running;  and was second in the Katherine Hull Classic (54 holes).

Her next big event is the New Zealand Open at the end of the month (January) to which she received a special invitation. - TONY DURKIN

Photo Credit: The Invincibles Tour.

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Lee and Koh crowned Australian Amateur Champions
Australian Men's Amateur Championship presented by Audi - Final 
New Zealand 19 year-old Tae Koh clinched the first major win of his amateur career on his first trip to Australia with a resounding 6&5 win over Western Australian Curtis Luck at The Australian Amateur Championship presented by Audi at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide.
The Manukau Golf Club member and World Number 275 led 4up after the first 18 holes and said he was overwhelmed to clinch victory.
"It feels great obviously. Winning 6&5 was a pretty good effort I thought. I thought it was going to be a pretty tough match. You play pretty good players. To do it in that fashion is awesome," Koh said.
In doing so, Koh becomes the first New Zealand man to win the title since former U.S Open champion Michael Campbell did in 1992. Koh also earns an exemption into the Emirates Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney later this year.
"That’s big – Michael Campbell won a major and was a great player. Hopefully I can follow in his footsteps. The Australian Open – wow. Big crowds, I’ll have to get used to that. Hopefully I get to play with some good pros and see what they do," Koh said. 
Born in Korea, Koh moved to New Zealand at the age of six and began playing golf when he was seven after caddying for this father. He stopped playing golf for four years in his early teens to pursue cricket and soccer before returning to the golf course four and half years ago.
For Luck, from Cottesloe Golf Club,  it was the end of a solid week and continues his good form in 2014 following his win at the Boys' Victorian Junior Masters earlier in January. 
Final - Tae Koh (NZ) defeated Curtis Luck (WA) 6&5
Click Here for Hole-by-Hole Scores

Australian Women's Amateur Championship presented by Audi - Final
Western Australian Minjee Lee has successfully defended her Australian Amateur Championship crown after defeating 15 year-old Queenslander Karis Davidson 6&5 in today's final at The Grange Golf Club.
World Number 5 and 17 year-old Lee led 2up after the first 18 holes with the pair putting on a birdie blitz in the morning. Davidson birdied three of her first five holes and took the challenge up to Lee before the Royal Fremantle member rolled off four straight birdies on holes 5-8 in the afternoon round to surge clear.
"It feels good. It's always a long week at the Australian Amateur and it's good to get the win and start the year off on a high," Lee said.
"I was just steady today. Whenever Karis made mistakes, I just took advantage of that. After that I holed a couple of putts early on the front nine in the second round and I got to 6 or 7up," said Lee who earns a place at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open next month.
Lee, who graduated from school in 2013, has now won two Australian Amateur titles, the Australian Junior title and the US Girls' Junior title among a host of other victories.
"I don't have school this year so I'm going to play all of the Aussie professional circuit events and then go to China for the World Ladies Championship. After that I think I'll head to the United States for the U.S Women's Amateur and play a couple of other big events over there," Lee said.
Fellow National Squad member Ryan Ruffels caddied for Lee for the semi final and final. The pair teamed up for Lee's Australian Amateur victory in 2013 in Melbourne.
"He's good company, we had fun out there and it was pretty cruisey," Lee added. 
Final - Minjee Lee (WA) defeated Karis Davidson (QLD) 6&5
Click Here for Hole-by-Hole Scores

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Quarter Finalists set at Australian Amateur
Australian Men's Amateur Championship Round 2&3 Match Play
The final eight players to compete for the Australian Men's Amateur Championship have been decided.
Two Victorians, two New Zealanders, two Americans, a Western Australian, a South Australian and a New South Welshman have all booked their places in the quarter finals.
Zach Murray overcame  Ryan Ruffels 3&2 in an all-Victorian third round match while Cameron Davis (NSW) defeated Taylor MacDonald (QLD) 2&1 to progress to the quarters.
Curtis Luck (WA) beat last year's runner-up Geoff Drakeford (VIC) 1up while Americans Max Buckley and Daniel Snyder accounted for Grant Booth (NSW) and Blair Riordan (NZL) respectively. 
Local favourite and Grange Golf Club member Anthony Murdaca (SA) flew the home town flag into the quarter finals while Victorian Todd Sinnott and New Zealander Tae Koh also won through to the final eight.
Zach Murray (VIC) v Todd Sinnott (VIC)
David Snyder (USA) v Curtis Luck (WA)
Max Buckley (USA) v Tae Koh (NZL)
Cameron Davis (NSW) v Anthony Murdaca (SA)
The quarter finals and semi finals are held on Saturday before the 36 hole final which takes place on Sunday. 
RESULTS AND DRAW - Australian Men's Amateur Championship
Australian Women's Amateur Championship Round 2 Match Play
Defending champion Minjee Lee (WA) stormed into the quarter finals with another dominant performance, defeating Hannah Green (WA) 5&4. 
Lee will now face fellow Western Australian and Oklahoma State college player Jayde Panos who defeated Celina Yuan (NSW) 3&2 to book her quarter finals spot.
Spain's Luna Sobron, who was runner-up at the Women's British Amateur in 2013, continued her impressive form with a 3&2 win over Ellen-Davies Graham (QLD). Sobron will now play Shelly Shin (NSW) who defeated Cassidy Evreniadis (SA) 1up.
Victorian Su-Hyun Oh and 2013 runner-up Jenny Lee (SA) will face off in the other quarter final while Chantelle Cassidy (NZL) will play Karis Davidson (QLD). Davidson beat Alyssa Keir (WA) 3&2 in the second round.
Chantelle Cassidy (NZL) v Karis Davidson (QLD) 
Su-Hyun Oh (VIC) v Jenny Lee (SA)
Minjee Lee (WA) v Jayde Panos (WA)
Luna Sobron (ESP) v Shelly Shin (NSW)
RESULTS AND DRAW - Australian Women's Amateur Championship
Entry is free for spectators. The 36 hole men's and women's finals take place on Sunday 19 January.
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Top qualifiers fall at Australian Amateur
Australian Men's Amateur Championship Round 1 Match Play
English top qualifier Ryan Evans fell at the first hurdle after he was handed one of the tougher assignments against 64th qualifier Ryan Ruffels (VIC) who won 3&2 in hot conditions at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide.
Both the men's and women's fields began on a shotgun start at 7.00am to avoid the predicted afternoon temperature of 46 degrees celsius.
Ruffels was one of 32 men to progress including 2013 runner-up Geoff Drakeford (VIC), Grange member and 2013 Australian Junior Champion Anthony Murdaca (SA) and National Squad member Taylor MacDonald (QLD) who beat fellow National Squad member Lucas Herbert (VIC) 3&2.
A total of eight international players made it through to the next round including Americans David Snyder and Max Buckley. 
The top 32 players will play on Friday morning before the top 16 go head-to-head in the afternoon.
The quarter finals and semi finals are held on Saturday before the 36 hole final which takes place on Sunday. 
RESULTS: Australian Men's Amateur - Round 1 Match Play
Australian Women's Amateur Championship Round 1 Match Play
16 year-old Korean and top qualifier So-Young Lee's campaign ended on the opening day, losing to Chantelle Cassidy (NZL) 2&1 as Australia's leading players progressed.
Australia's World Number 2 and 3 amateurs Minjee Lee (WA) and Su-Hyun Oh (VIC) cruised to comfortable victories, winning 7&6 and 6&5 respectively over Sue Wooster (VIC) and Samathan Foley (QLD).
Jayde Panos (WA) also recorded a resounding 7&6 victory to move into the round of 16 on Friday afternoon.
Women's British Amateur runner up Luna Sobron (ESP) won 5&4 to maintain her progress while 2013 runner-up Jenny Lee (SA) won 1up.
The top 16 women will play in the second round of Match Play on Friday afternoon
RESULTS: Australian Women's Amateur - Round 1 Match Play
Entry is free for spectators. The 36 hole men's and women's finals take place on Sunday 19 January.

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Evans and Lee top qualifying at Australian Amateur
Despite three suspensions of play over the opening two days, England's Ryan Evans and Korean So-Young Lee emerged as medalists following 36-hole qualifying at the 2014 Australian Amateur Championships presented by Audi at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide.
Play was suspended for 75 minutes on Wednesday afternoon as the apparent temperature at Adelaide Airport (the closest recording station) rose beyond 39 degrees. A wind change shortly after allowed play to recommence as the temperature dropped.
Australian Men's Amateur Championship Qualifying:
Evans, from Wellingborough Golf Club near Kettering, finished with rounds of 68 and 67 to finish at 9-under par, three clear of Victorian Lucas Herbert (70, 68) and Japan's Kazuki Higa (68, 70) who finished at 6-under par.
American and University of Kentucky sophomore David Snyder fired the round of the day with a 6-under par 66 to finish fourth at 4-under par.
Victorian Geoff Drakeford finished in fifth place with Queensland's Damien Jordan sixth. Grange member Anthony Murdaca was the best of the locals, in a seven-way tie at 3-under par.
The top 64 men will now contest elimination Match Play with the first round taking place at 7.00am on Thursday with a shotgun start.
Australian Women's Amateur Championship Qualifying:
16 year-old Korean So-Young Lee carded a second consecutive 69 to finish at 3-under par and finish the top qualifier by four strokes.
From 88 Country Club, south east of Seoul, Lee finished ahead of defending champion and Western Australian Minjee Lee who rebounded from her opening round 73 to finish with a 3-under par 69.
Victorian Su-Hyun Oh finished in a tie for third at 1-under par with Women's British Amateur runner-up Luna Sobron from Spain.
Western Australian Jayde Panos closed in a tie for fifth place with South Australian and 2013 runner-up Jenny Lee and New South Wales's Shelly Shin at 2-over par.
The top 32 women will now contest elimination Match Play with the first round taking place at 7.00am on Thursday with a shotgun start.
The Amateur Championships are Australia’s oldest golfing events, dating back to 1894. Past winners include Michael Clayton, Michael Campbell, Mathew Goggin, Brett Rumford, Kristie Smith, and Nikki Campbell, and with both champions receiving exemptions into the respective Australian Opens, they are the most prized titles in Australian amateur golf.
Entry is free for spectators. The 36 hole men's and women's finals take place on Sunday 19 January.
Final Qualifying Scores - Australian Men's Amateur Championship
Final Qualifying Scores - Australian Women's Amateur Championship

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Play suspended at Australian Amateur Championships
It was a day of extraordinary weather at the 2014 Australian Amateur Championships presented by Audi as play was suspended late in the afternoon with a number of players still to finish their first qualifying rounds at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide.
On a day where the mercury topped 40 degrees, play was first suspended for 40 minutes mid-afternoon as heavy storm clouds and lightning moved into the area. With the storm front clearing, players returned to their positions at 4.25pm local time. Play was suspended for the day at 5.45pm local time as a second storm front approached the courses.
In the completed opening rounds of the men's championship, Kazuki Higa (JPN) is in a tie for the lead with Geoff Drakeford (VIC) and Dale Brandt-Richards (NSW) with the trio shooting 4-under par 68s. 
Todd Sinnott (VIC) and Denzel Ieremia (NZL) are further shot back after 3-under par 69s.
In the completed opening rounds of the women's championship, So-Young Lee (KOR) leads following her 3-under par 69. World Number 2 amateur Su-Hyun Oh (VIC) finished with a 2-under par 70 to be in second place. Grange Golf Club member Cassidy Evreniadis (SA) finished with an even par 72.
The incomplete first rounds will recommence on Wednesday morning at 6.30am.
The Amateur Championships are Australia’s oldest golfing events, dating back to 1894. Past winners include Michael Clayton, Michael Campbell, Mathew Goggin, Brett Rumford, Kristie Smith, and Nikki Campbell, and with both champions receiving exemptions into the respective Australian Opens, they are the most prized titles in Australian amateur golf.
Entry is free for spectators. The 36 hole men's and women's finals take place on Sunday 19 January.
Scores - Australian Men's Amateur Championship
Scores - Australian Women's Amateur Championship

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Tseng returns to Ladies Masters
In a major coup, former Rolex World No.1 Yani Tseng, is returning to Gold Coast for the 2014 Volvik RACV Ladies Masters. 

Tseng, who first started playing in the event as a 16-year-old amateur, has a superb record at RACV Royal Pines Resort.  In seven appearances she has won once (2011) and posted another three top 5 finishes. 

Tseng has been a superstar of women’s professional golf since 2010.  In 2011, the Taiwanese player was dominating the women’s game, she started the year off perfectly with back-to-back wins in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and Volvik RACV Ladies Masters.  Following the two wins in Australia, she fulfilled one of her dreams, to become No.1 in the World.  She was unstoppable for the majority of the year, capturing 11 titles worldwide in total.  By the middle of the year, she became the youngest player, male or female, to win five majors. 

During the 2012 and 2013 seasons Tseng suffered a series of nagging injuries which yielded only ten top ten finishes.  With USD $9,376,000 in official Korean prizemoney to her credit Tseng has now regained her fitness and ready for a big season in 2014 commencing at one of her favorite tour stops at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, February 6-9.

Tournament Chairman Bob Tuohy said “We have known Yani for so many years, we have been a great supporter of her during her amateur career and she has been during her professional career, it is fantastic news that she is returning once again in 2014.”

Tseng joins defending champion Karrie Webb, Americans Jessica Korda and Cheyenne Woods, Swede Caroline Hedwall and England’s Charley Hull as players confirmed. 

The event will once again be played under the co-sanction status with the Ladies European Tour and the Australian Ladies Professional Golf. 

The Volvik RACV Ladies Masters is supported by Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events throughout the State. 

The Volvik RACV Ladies Masters will be broadcast from the Gold Coast by ABC Sport, live throughout Australia, on Saturday 8 February between 2:00pm to 6:00pm and Sunday 9 February between 2:00pm to 6:00pm.

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Large Queensland representation at Australian Amateur
Queensland will be well represented at the upcoming Australian Amateur Championship, to be held at The Grange Golf Club in South Australia from 14-19 January.

Over 40 Queenslander’s will travel to Adelaide to compete for the titles of 2014 Australian Men’s and Women’s Amateur champions.

Last year, the Australian Men’s Amateur title was won by Queensland’s Cameron Smith (pictured) who pulled off an extraordinary come from behind victory. Smith has since moved into the professional ranks.

This year will prove to be another good contest, with a total field of 288 players. Not only will there be a strong Queensland and Australian contingent, but also a strong international field including over 50 international players from nine countries.

“It is exciting to see so many Queenslander's competing in the biggest amateur golf tournament in Australia,” said Golf Queensland Golf Operations Manager Luke Bates.

“Golf Queensland is supporting a squad of 15 players through the QAS Golf Program to attend the Australian Amateur Championship.

“Assistant QAS Coach David Nable will travel to Adelaide with the players to assist them throughout the week.

“A number of Queenslander's have won national ranking events recently and we are hopeful of a similar result this week.”

One Queenslander to watch is Redcliffe’s Taylor Macdonald, who has been a scholarship holder in the Queensland Academy of Sport since June. In that time, Macdonald has seen fantastic results including a win at the Nomura Cup, Keperra Bowl and selection in the Golf Australia National Squad. In 2013 he also won the Victorian Amateur Championship and finished the season ranked second on the Australian Men’s Rankings System.

Another one to watch is 16-year-old Samantha Foley (Royal Pines), who had a remarkable year as a junior. Foley won the Queensland Mixed Foursomes and the Queensland Girls Amateur Championship in December. She was also a member of the victorious Queensland Girls Interstate Team.
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Simon masters Royal Melbourne
Steady golf has won the day…and the Green Jacket for 21 year old Queenslander Simon Viitakangas, who’s taken out the 2014 Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship at Royal Melbourne Golf Club. 

The event matched over 50 elite amateur golfers from 10 countries and they were severely tested by the elements across the four rounds. Today was the hottest, in the low 30’s and the new champion said the strength of the wind made it the most challenging. 

After rounds of two under in each of the first three days, he was on track for another 70 today before dropping shots on the 17th and 18th.… he still won the championship by two shots.

Simon has been playing the game since he was 12 when he was inspired by his Finnish father and New Zealand born mother to pick up the clubs. In 2012 he took out the Port Phillip Amateur and was runner up in the Gary Player Classic, but today’s is his biggest win and he paid tribute to the high standard of this event. He is very excited about the exemptions that comes with today’s win including The British Amateur, the Porter Cup, Players Amateur, Dogwood Invitational and the Canadian Men’s Amateur. Viitakangas plans to play as many amateur events as he can this year and hopes to enter the Australian PGA tour school at the end of the year.     

Melbourne golfer Todd Sinnott who had a share of the overnight lead with Viitakangas, has finished in second place. Four bogeys on his front nine today, when the conditions were at their toughest, made the 21 year old’s task that much more difficult.  The wind was a major factor in today’s higher scores; the round of the day, two under, belonged to another local Lucas Herbert, and he finished in third place.

American Cameron Wilson returned the best score of the internationals in this field: a three over today his worst for the tournament. He finished one shot ahead of fellow American Max Buckley and three other Australians Cory Crawford, Daniel Hoeve and Taylor MacDonald.

It has been a good day for the Australians who have taken out the World Cup run in conjunction with this event. 

Eight countries entered teams: New Zealand, England and the US shared second place followed by Mexico, China, Japan and Chinese Taipei

Simon Viitakangas will be presented with the Green Jacket during a presentation dinner at the RACV Club in Melbourne tonight. 

The Australian Master of the Amateurs is the highest ranked Amateur Championship in Australia ranked in the top 20 in the world by the R and A

For all scores and further information on the 2014 Australian Master of the Amateurs, please visit www.masterof theamatuers.com.au  

Story courtesy of Jim Conway, Master of the Amateurs
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Viitakangas in share of the lead going into final of Master of the Amateurs
The temperature was up, but the scores were well down for round three of the 2014 Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship being played at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

There was barely a flutter in the flags as the temperature moved into the 30’s and the birdies were plentiful among this international field of elite amateurs.

But still leading the pack, this championship’s ‘Mr Consistency’, Simon Viitakangas who has defied the weather extremes. His third successive 2-under round, sees the 21 year old Queenslander with a share of the lead going into tomorrow’s final round.

Teeing off with him tomorrow, Melbourne golfer Todd Sinnott whose game gets better the longer this tournament progresses. Six birdies left him five under for the day, six under overall and sharing the lead.

The leading international is American, Cameron Wilson. The 21 year old from Connecticut is currently ranked 27 in the world. His second sub-par round leaves him just two shots behind the leading pair. A further shot back is Gold Coast amateur Corey Crawford followed by American Max Buckley and 19 year old New Zealander Tyler Hodge.

The round of the day belonged to another Queenslander, 20 year old Aaron Wilkin. His six under 66 sees him with a share of fifth place. He had an eagle on the second hole (par 5), but a bogey on the 16th, the same hole that caught him out yesterday.

It is tight at the top in the World Cup competition which is part of the Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship. Australia leads the USA by three shots followed by New Zealand, England and China.

A warmer day is forecast for the final round of this championship which tees off at 8.00 tomorrow morning; admission to Royal Melbourne is again free.
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Viitakangas in lead after round two of Master of the Amateurs
Steady play has given Queensland golfer Simon Viitakangas a one shot lead after the second round of the 2014 Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship.

The sun shone on Royal Melbourne Golf Club today in stark contrast to cool temperatures and gusty winds of yesterday, but it was just another day at the office for the 21 year old who has carded rounds of two under on both days.

Just one shot back is the leading international, 21 year old Cameron Wilson from Connecticut. He obviously enjoyed today’s warmer weather, improving three shots on his first round. Ten countries are represented in this field of 53 elite amateurs; their handicaps range from zero and plus 6.

Holding third place tonight is another Gold Coast amateur Corey Crawford. He is one shot ahead of five players all one under after two rounds: American Max Buckley, New Zealander Tyler Hodge and Australians Todd Sinnott, Daniel Hoeve and James Gibellini.

A warmer day is forecast for round three of this championship which tees off at 8.30 tomorrow morning and admission to Royal Melbourne is again free.

For the complete scorecard, hole by hole and the draw, go to www.masteroftheamateurs.com.au.

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Korda and Woods ready to take on Webb
Americans Jessica Korda and Cheyenne Woods will tee it up in the 2014 Volvik RACV Ladies Masters being played from 6 to 9 February at the RACV Royal Pines Resort.

The youthful pair is a great edition to the high caliber field being assembled for the 25th staging of the event.

Korda, is coming off a fantastic year on the LPGA. In just her third year as a professional, the talented golfer made the cut in all the 21 events she played in and posted six top 10 finishes, with her best finish being runner-up in the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. She finished 25th on the Money List with US$593,389.

Korda will be making her third appearance on the Gold Coast and she is thrilled to be coming back.

"I'm excited to return to Australia for the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters in February. The Gold Coast is a fantastic place and I always look forward to going back." Korda said from her home in the States.

"My family has some great history in Australia and it's always a thrill for me to play golf there where the fans have been so supportive of my career."

Korda, who is currently ranked 39 on the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings will be one of the players defending champion Karrie Webb will be watching. Webb, who is going for unprecedented ninth Ladies Masters title, will have to watch out for the long hitting American. Korda finished fifth in the 2013 tournament at Royal Pines, so she likes the layout.

Fellow compatriot Woods, who is the niece of Tiger Woods, will be back and will be looking to improve on her 33rd finish earlier this year. In 2013 Woods played 11 events on the Ladies European Tour and posted three top 20 finishes in her rookie year. The 23-year-old has full exemption on the LET in 2014.

Tournament Chairman Bob Tuohy said "Jessica's and Cheyenne's return to the RACV Royal Pines Resort is welcome and has boosted the high quality of field being assembled".

The Volvik RACV Ladies Masters is supported by Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events throughout the State.

The Volvik RACV Ladies Masters will be broadcast from the Gold Coast by ABC Sport, live throughout Australia, on Saturday 8 February between 2:00pm to 6:00pm and Sunday 9 February between 2:00pm to 6:00pm.
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Samen-Curtis and Foley triumph at Boys and Girls Amateur

Matthew Samen-Curtis (Headland) and Samantha Foley (Royal Pines) have emerged triumphant after 3 gruelling days at the Boys and Girls Amateur. 

Samen-Curtis, like many of his compatriots, battled on the first 2 days but stayed in contention with timely birdies. As overnight leader, and ultimately Championship Runner-up, Jack Sullivan (Palmer Gold Coast) looked like kicking away on the opening 9 of the final day, Samen-Curtis stormed home with a back 9 of 7 under 29 (1 eagle, 6 birdies, 1 par and a bogey). 

With 4 holes remaining, Samen-Curtis was cruising. An untimely double bogey on the 15th gave Sullivan optimism, but Sullivan's own bogeys on 16 and 17 allowed Samen-Curtis the luxury of a 4 shot buffer heading down the par 5 18th. Tapping in for his 12th birdie of the day, Samen-Curtis was excited to celebrate his victory with his parents and sister.

The Girls Amateur was equally as enthralling with Samantha Foley birdieing the 71st and 72nd hole to claim a 1 shot victory over Karis Davidson (Palmer Gold Coast). Recovering from a first round 80, Foley had rounds of 1 over, 2 over and 3 under to capture the Championship.

Trailing Davidson by 5 shots after 54 holes, Foley applied early pressure in the final round, turning in 4 under 34. Both girls showed the strain of a tough 3 days with bogeys on the incoming 9. It was Foley's birdie on the penultimate hole which was the deciding factor, with Davidson and Foley both making birdies on the 72nd.

The 14 and Under Boys and Girls divisions were won by Cameron John (Waverley)and Rebecca Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed) respectively. John was especially dominant with 11 shots separating him and Runner-up Chris Jimenez (Pacific). The Girls Runner-Up was first round leader Doey Choi (Concord), who finished only 1 shot behind Kay.

With players making numerous birdies and eagles during the Championship, it was Lisa Edgar who achieved the rarest of feats. Playing her 63rd hole, Edgar left the putter in the bag when she holed out with a 9 iron to record an albatross.

Congratulations to Indooroopilly Golf Club and their staff for another fantastic event. The course was in first class condition and players are looking forward to returning in 2014.

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McIlroy returns to winners circle in Sydney
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has snatched the Emirates Australian Open title from the hands of Adam Scott to claim his first victory of the year at Royal Sydney Golf Club.

Trailing Scott for the majority of Sunday, the World Number 6 sunk a 12 foot birdie on the 18th green to collect his first title since November 2012, while it was heartbreak for Scott who bogeyed the last.

McIlroy’s final round of 6-under 66 was just too good for Scott who with a 1-under 71, (his worst round of the tournament), finished at 17-under the card in second position.

2006 Australian Open Champion John Senden finished in third position, for his trouble claiming one of three spots up for grabs in the 2014 Open Championship.

In only his second year as a Professional Bryden Macpherson also secured a return to The Open Championship, the Victorian last competing for the Claret Jug in 2011 as an Amateur.

Finishing at 9-under par alongside Macpherson, Rhein Gibson will also make the trip to Royal Liverpool in July for his Open (and Major) debut.

But Sunday was all about two-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy who was delighted to finish atop the leaderboard for the first time in 2013.

“Since the end of September I've just felt in a better place, a better place mentally with some things off the course,” said McIlroy.

“Golf's a long career and I'm 24 years old. I get a little impatient at times and if I actually just took a step back and looked at the bigger picture, it hasn't been too bad a year.”

While admitting that he felt a little guilty of ruining Scott’s Triple Crown glory, McIlroy had nothing but praise for Scott.

“He's had a phenomenal year. Masters champion, he won one of the FedEx Cup play off events. He came down here to Australia, won the Aussie PGA and then the Aussie Masters. Then World Cup last week and here,” he said.

“He's a true gentleman and he's a credit to the game but he's also a credit to this country. I was just lucky to be able to come out on top today.”

Whilst disappointed that the Triple Crown fairytale didn’t end as predicted, a dejected Scott was thankful for such a successful season that included victory at the US Masters and back-to-back wins at the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola and the Talisker Masters in November.

“It's been a great year. Obviously I didn't want to finish like that. If I didn't play any good the first few days and played great today and finished second I'd be pretty chuffed going into Christmas, so that's how I should look at it,” said Scott who shot a course record 10-under 62 on Thursday.

“I'm gutted. I felt like I never had a better chance to win the Aussie Open but it was tight the whole back nine.”

“Nothing was going my way on the greens today. I could have put this thing away I think early on if the putter was behaving how it should have, like it did the rest of the week but I just misjudged into the last and a player as good as Rory is going to take that opportunity.”

Regardless of the result Scott still secured the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit title, his second since turning Professional in 2000.

Western Australia’s Brady Watt also didn’t leave empty handed, his 5-under par finish in a tie for 14th earning him the title as low amateur in the field.
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Clean sweep for Australia at World Cup
Jason Day and Adam Scott have continued the fairytale for Australian golf taking out both the individual and teams components of the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf today at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

With a third round of 1-under 70 Day finished at 10-under the card to claim the individual trophy over Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, while Day’s Australian teammate Scott finished in outright third at 7-under par.

The outstanding individual results by Day and Scott also handed Australia the World Cup of Golf team title, the Aussies overcoming the United States by 10 strokes; the biggest winning margin in the last ten years of the tournament.

The win was particularly momentous for Day having learned only last week that a number of his family members had been killed in the Philippines disaster.

“It would have been the easiest thing for me to just go ahead and pull out of the tournament with what has been going on over the last week,” said Day.

“But I really wanted to come down here and play with Adam and really try and win the World Cup and we achieved that which is great.”

“This is really special to me and my family.”

Two-time World Cup champion and Australian golf legend Peter Thomson watched the victory from the confines of the Royal Melbourne clubhouse and greeted Day and Scott following their round.

“He said that he was going to see his friend, Kel Nagle, and he was going to tell his friend about what he saw today,” said Jason.

“Then I replied, ‘I would like to have five British Opens too.’ He said, “At least get three.” So I have to kind of fulfil my promise there one day.”

In taking out the teams event, Day and Scott became the first Australians to claim the title since Peter Fowler and Wayne Grady captured the 1989 World Cup in Spain.

The individual title for 26-year-old Day was only his second as a Professional, and his first in Australia.

“It’s taken me a while to get my second win and it couldn’t be more fitting with Scotty by my side winning the World Cup down here in Melbourne,” said Day.

“Today I learnt a lot about myself and I am just really excited for next week to get started as well but I am definitely going to embrace being a World Cup winner tonight and I won’t go too crazy but I will definitely have a drink or two.”

After sending a warning yesterday that he still didn’t think the individual title was out of reach, Scott’s finish in outright third position completed a remarkable comeback after being tied for 46th on the leaderboard at the end of Round 1.

“I tried to keep my focus a little bit on the teams’ event, especially after Thursday obviously when I was far behind,” said Scott.

“I think we will look back with really fond memories and be very proud that we have played here and represented Australia and won the World Cup in Australia.

“I have got to congratulate Jase on winning individually. He has come down and played great and that’s not always easy to do and it has been great to watch his development as a player, rapid development really, and I have a lot of respect for how much he puts into the game and I’m not surprised he is winning these kind of events and there will be plenty more to come.”
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Q&A with Taylor Macdonald

Queenslander and Golf Australia National Squad member Taylor Macdonald has been around the world playing golf recently but took some time to catch up with Golf Queensland before he tees off in the NSW Open.

How was last week's Nomura Cup experience?
As a team we did really well. We came through strong on the last day and everyone played pretty well. We all get along like a house on fire which is really good. The experience for all of us as a team was fantastic.

What is it like to play in a team environment versus individual events?
You are still representing Golf Queensland and Golf Australia at the individual events so you feel like it is still a team effort.

You tee off tomorrow in the NSW Open. What is it like playing in tournaments at this level?

I've played in a few pro events so I'm getting the hang of it. I'll go out there and play my own game like any another golf tournament.

Congratulations on your recent selection on the Golf Australia National Squad. You must be looking forward to 2014?

I'm looking forward to our first camp, which is in a few weeks. I worked hard over the past year to try and get in the national team. The opportunity opens a lot of doors and I'm looking forward to the year ahead.

It has been a good couple of months for Taylor. As well as the winning the Nomura Cup, he also recently won the 2013 Keperra Bowl and finished 20th in the Asia-Pacific Amateur. 

Taylor tees off in the NSW Open tomorrow at 6.20am (AET).

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Nomura Cup: Australia marches to victory in Thailand
The Australian team produced the best team score of the championship on Sunday to cruise to a nine stroke victory and successfully defend their title at the Nomura Cup at Santiburi Country Club in Thailand.
The Australians posted a final round 201 for a total of 828 to beat Korea in second place. Hosts Thailand finished in third place with China in fourth place.  
Sharing the lead overnight, the Australians hit the right gear in the final round with all players finishing under par for the day. New South Welshman Cameron Davis fired his best round of the championship with a 6-under par 66 while Victorian Geoff Drakeford finished with a 5-under par 67. Queenslander Taylor MacDonald shot a 4-under par 68 while Queenslander Aaron Wilkin shot a 3-under par 69. 
It was Australia's tenth victory at the championship since it was first held in 1963. 

The Men's Asia-Pacific Teams Championship, or more commonly known as the Nomura Cup, is a biennial competition rotated among the Asia-Pacific region.
Conducted by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation, each team consists of four male players, contesting 18 holes of stroke play for four days. In each round, the total of the scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.
View Final Results

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Master Scott set for Aussie Golf Slam
Adam Scott has successfully defended his Talisker Masters title, winning by two shots at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

Starting the day four shots clear of the field, Scott saw his lead dwindle as American Matt Kuchar fired around the composite layout.

A playoff loomed as the pair were tied on 14-under the card before a double bogey on the 18th for Kuchar handed Scott the title.

“You can’t think about the result until you’re walking up the last and you know where things stand,” said Scott who made par on the last to finish with a tournament total of 14-under 270.

The Talisker Masters is Adam Scott’s second PGA Tour of Australasia title in as many weeks meaning the Queenslander has only the Emirates Australian Open standing in the way of his Aussie golf Triple Crown.

“I’ve never won back-to-back weeks so this is a first and something that I like."

“I think it’s very hard to win two tournaments full stop, let alone back to back, so I’m quite pleased with myself this week."

“Sometimes you win a little bit ugly. All the good stuff I had done in the first three rounds counted for a lot, even though it wasn’t the prettiest golf today.”

Scott now looks forward to teaming up with Jason Day to represent Australia in the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf next week, also being played at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

“My game is in pretty good shape so my focus is to go and get Jason revved up and make sure he’s in good shape on Thursday,” added Scott.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun in all seriousness. I hope Jason and I get to play together at some point.”

If Scott goes on to win the next two weeks he will have achieved an extraordinary feat affectionately being named the ‘Scotty Slam.’

Disappointed with his finish, Kuchar enjoyed playing the Talisker Masters at Royal Melbourne and believes he is well placed to once again take on Scott next week.

“At Royal Melbourne you can really pay the price for being just a little off when you are playing aggressive and it got me at a bad time,” said Kuchar of his double bogey finish.

“It was a rough way to end but it’s the nature of the game, you have to be ready to bounce back.”

“The guys who look toward the positive seem to do well in the long run. You see guys some carry over some bad momentum but I know better than that.”

Finishing outright third on 10-under the card was Fijian Vijay Singh with South Australian Nick Cullen a further shot back in outright fourth.

Rounding out the top-5 on 6-under 278 was Victorian Matthew Griffin and New Zealander Ryan Fox.
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Queenslander's dominate in Australian Mid-Amateur
Australian Men's Mid-Amateur Championship 
Queenslander Damien Jordan shot a tournament-best 2-under par 70 in the final round to win the Australian Men's Mid-Amateur Championship by seven strokes at Moonah Links Golf Club.
Jordan finished with rounds of 73-70 to win his first Australian Mid-Amateur title.
Victorian Richard Macafee finished in second place with South Australian Jason Cocks in a stroke further back in third place.
Wests Tigers NRL player Braith Anasta finished in 24th place with rounds of 77-86.

Australian Women's Mid-Amateur Championship
Victorian Sue Wooster won her third Australian Women's Mid-Amateur title by one stroke after a final round 85 at Moonah Links Golf Club. 
Wooster finished with 80-85 (165) to hold off a strong finish from Queenslander Katrina Jones in second place. Victorian Kerry Henningsen was three strokes further back in third place. 
The first round was abandoned on Wednesday due to poor weather.

The Australian Men's and Women's Mid Amateur Championships have been played since 2007 and are for players aged 30 - 54 years.

View Men's and Women's Results 

Image: (L to R) Damien Jordan, Katrina Jones, Michael Neaton received Golf Queensland assistance to participate in the tournament.
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Men's Inter Association 2013 Wrap

After 3 days of competitive golf Sunshine Coast South Burnett and North West Districts have emerged victorious in the Gross and Nett Championships respecitively of the Men's Inter Association at Carbrook Golf Club.

Sunday saw the first round as a Four-Ball Stroke where the best score out of the 2 team's scores counted towards their District's total. The South West team of Josh Lambert and Phil Burns won on countback  from Josh Kalms and Adam Rydwanski (SCSBDGA) after both finished with 6 under 64 rounds. FNQ stalwart Danny Bradley teamed with Michael Morgan to have the best Nett score of 61.

Day two had players combining for Foursomes with Kalms and Rydwanski going one better and winning the day with an even par round of 70. Best Nett went to the North West team of Mike Ruri and Jim McGregor with 67. 

With 4 teams within a handful of shots , the final day's singles would be critical. The best 3 out of 4 scores count towards the District's total so the pressure was on for team members to contribute. BDGA started well and looked like narrowing the gap to SCSBDGA with early rounds of 68 and 70 to Ashley Grosvenor and Mitchell Smith. When Adam Rydwanski and Mitchell Early signed for 69 apiece, the 3 shot lead was maintained until the end, with David Grenfell and Joshua Kalms rounding out the winning team. 

North West needed only to play within a few shots of their handicaps in the last round to wrap up the Nett Championship, and with no big moves from the chasing pack, the team of Rob Murphy, Ron Corstiaans, Mike Ruri and Jim McGregor held on for victory. 

Carbrook Golf Club is to be congratulated for the hospitality shown to the players during the tournament as well as the fantastic condition in which the course was presented. 

The 2014 edition of the Inter Association will be hosted by Wide Bay District at Hervey Bay Golf Club.

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Triumphant homecoming for Master Scott
Masters Champion Adam Scott has made a triumphant return home winning the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola.

Starting the day with a two stroke lead over Rickie Fowler and David McKenzie, Scott fired a 4-under the card round to finish with a tournament total of 14-under 270.

“I sat here a few days ago letting you know that this is the one I wanted,” said Scott.

“It feels amazing to be able to kind of tick the boxes down here in Australia now.”

“It’s very memorable one for me here on the Gold Coast as well on my first event back this year. I think this is the icing on the cake for me.”

Inclement weather delayed play at RACV Royal Pines Resort but didn’t put a dampener on Scott’s game.

“I went back out feeling pretty good about myself really,” said Scott who went on to eagle the par-5 12th, his first hole after the delay.

“It just faded in of my intended line. It was a pure strike, it ended up being a great result and a big part of me going on to win I think,” said Scott of his approach into 12.

Winning his first Australian PGA Championship will have a special place alongside Scott’s career highlights.

“I’m really proud, the PGA means a lot to me and my family and I think this is an incredible win,” said Scott, whose father Phil is a PGA Professional.

“The PGA has been so involved in my family for a really long time, and it being the one I hadn’t won down here I really wanted it bad.”

“It’s a special win to me, I felt an incredible support from the crowd, it was nice seeing them getting so excited for me to get a win.”

Scott now turns his attention to the Talisker Masters, Emirates Australian Open and becoming the first player since Robert Allenby in 2005 to claim the Australian Triple Crown in the same season.

“That would be an incredible way to end the year,” added Scott.

“But I think I am going to enjoy this for a couple of days before I think about playing next week and trying to win.”

Finishing second was crowd pleaser Rickie Fowler who helped create an exciting final day’s play coming within a shot of the lead.

“It’s nice to get a good runner up finish here, I was looking forward to giving Adam a little bit more of a challenge. It’s a little tough to catch a guy when he’s making an eagle and a
couple of birdies. ” said Fowler.

“I definitely enjoyed my time on the Gold Coast and I’m looking forward to getting back down to Australia hopefully next year. We loved it,” added Fowler who made the trip with his family.

WA Goldfields PGA Champion and Third Year Trainee Jack Wilson finished in outright third on 8-under the card claiming the Kel Nagle Plate in the process.

“Winning was always the thing from start to finish that I wanted to do. I knew I was in a good position when I got off to a good start,” said Wilson.

“I saw my name climbing up the leaderboard, you know it’s good to watch, it’s good to see it getting up there, it’s exciting.”

A further shot behind Wilson was Cameron Percy and rounding out the top-5 on 6-under 278 was Michael Wright.

For all final results please click here.

The PGA Tour of Australasia now moves to Royal Melbourne Golf Club for the Talisker Masters to be played from the 14 - 17 November 2013.
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Wear green to celebrate our Masters Champion!
To celebrate the homecoming of Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters Champion and recent recipient of The Don award, the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola will be awash with green on Friday 8th November.

The PGA has announced that the second round of the tournament will be officially known as ‘Wear Green for Adam Scott Day’ providing sports fans with the opportunity to show their pride in Adam Scott’s historic achievement.

“The whole of Australia was buzzing with excitement following Adam’s momentous victory at Augusta National in April,” said Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia.

“This will be Adam’s first tournament back on Australian soil and, with the tournament being played in Adam’s hometown of the Gold Coast, we wanted to provide a welcome home befitting his achievement whilst also giving fans the chance to celebrate.”

Fans attending the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola on ‘Wear Green for Adam Scott Day’ will be encouraged to wear a touch of green or go all out and design costumes that flood RACV Royal Pines Resort in the colour synonymous with the US Masters.

“I have already heard some grand plans for costumes and am looking forward to seeing how Australia congratulates Adam on Friday,” added Thorburn.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is also throwing his support behind ‘Wear Green for Adam Scott Day.’

“Masters Champion Adam Scott, who will receive the keys to the city on 6 November, is of course our home-grown hero so we’re encouraging people who buy tickets for Friday 8 November to come dressed in green as part of Wear Green for Adam Scott Day,” said Mayor Tate.

“I hope the crowd is awash with a sea of bottle green, full of Adam Scott fans!”

Fans unable to make it to the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola for 'Wear Green for Adam Scott Day' are encouraged to participate on Friday 8th November via the Australian PGA Championship facebook page and Twitter using #Green4Adam.

Tickets for the tournament are now on sale at www.ticketek.com.au with children 16 years and under admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Discounts are also available for members of RACV and affiliated motoring clubs as well as for Gold Coast residents.

Visit the Australian PGA Championship website at www.pgachampionship.com.au for further details.

The Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola will again be co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia.

The Championship is proudly supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as well as Coca-Cola, RACV, City of Gold Coast, Gold Coast Tourism, Emirates, Volkswagen, Hahn Premium Light, Amadio Wine and Srixon.
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Ian McPherson wins Men's Senior Match Play
Western Australian Ian McPherson has won the Australian Men's Senior Match Play Championship 1up over New South Welshman Denis Dale at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links in Victoria.

A member of Joondalup Country Club in Perth, McPherson is the first player from Western Australia to win the title.

The Australian Men's Senior Match Play Championship is open to the leading 32 players from the Australian Men's Senior Ranking System; and a Super Senior Section for the leading 8 players aged 65 years and over. It is played over two and a half days, with players who are eliminated from the main championship progressing to consolation flights.
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Finalists set at Men's Senior Match Play
2008 champion Denis Dale (NSW) will be aiming for a second victory at the Australian Men's Senior Match Play Championship after progressing to Wednesday's final where he'll take on Ian McPherson (WA) at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links for the title.

Dale enjoyed comfortable victories over Laurence Bockman (NSW) in the quarter final and Sal Ballard (NSW) in the semi final while McPherson (WA) defeated David Limbach (NSW) in the quarter final and Allan Bullas (VIC) in the semi final.

Bullas earlier defeated three-time champion Stefan Albinski (NSW) in the quarter finals.

FINAL: Denis Dale (NSW) v Ian McPherson (WA)

The Australian Men's Senior Match Play Championship is open to the leading 32 players from the Australian Men's Senior Ranking System; and a Super Senior Section for the leading 8 players aged 65 years and over. It is played over two and a half days, with players who are eliminated from the main championship progressing to consolation flights. 

Match Play Results

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Sisters of Swing return to the Gold Coast
Tournament Chairman Bob Tuohy announced today the Sisters of Swing will return to the Gold Coast for the 25th Annual Volvik RACV Ladies Masters hosted by the RACV Royal Pines Resort between February 6-9, 2014.
The Volvik RACV Ladies Masters will revert to a seventy-two hole tournament with increased money.
Mr Tuohy acknowledged the on going sponsorship support of Korean Golf Ball Manufacturer Volvik together with long standing event partners RACV, Tourism and Events Queensland, the Gold Coast City Council and Gold Coast Tourism.
Defending Champion Karrie Webb is likely to go head to head against New Zealand’s teenage sensation, world number 5, Lydia Ko and a world class field of players from over twenty countries.
The 2014 Volvik RACV Ladies Masters will feature many new and exciting new faces as a result of Europe’s crushing victory against arch rivals the US LPGA Tour in the 2013 Solheim Cup.
Our television partners, ABC Sport, J Golf Korea, Sky NZ and other international networks around the world will broadcast the Ladies Masters reaching 120,000,000 house holds providing priceless global and domestic exposure for the Gold Coast and our sponsors, Tuohy said.
Karen Lunn, Executive Director of the ALPG said on behalf of the Co-Sanction Partners, the Ladies European Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf:  It is only fitting that the Australian Ladies Masters returns to RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast for its 25th Anniversary celebrations in February 2014.  The event has been the highlight of the ALPG Tour calendar since its inception in 1990 and it has grown into one of the most significant women's sporting events in Australia.  On behalf of the ALPG and our co-sanction partner the Ladies European Tour, we would sincerely like to thank our co-title sponsors Volvik and RACV together with Tourism and Events Queensland and also our other event partners for ensuring the future of this important event on our schedule.
Mr Kyung Ahn Moon, Chairman of Volvik said it’s his pleasure to continue to co-sponsor with RACV the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters and return to the beautiful RACV Royal Pines Resort next February and join in the tournaments 25th year celebrations.  I personally hope that Volvik will be a memorable brand not only for Australian golfers but also in every other country the international television reaches.
Mr Colin Jordan, RACV Managing Director & CEO, said that RACV was delighted to co-sponsor this prestigious women’s event, now in its 25th year at RACV Royal Pines. 

“As the 'home of championship golf' in Queensland, RACV Royal Pines is looking forward to hosting the event and welcoming the world’s leading players, their families and large crowds,” he said.
"We are very pleased to see the tournament revert to a 72-hole format this year.  

"RACV recently appointed Graham Marsh Golf Design to undertake a redesign of the championship course to increase the challenge of the course for professional golfers, whilst retaining the appeal of the course for amateur, social and corporate golfers.
"RACV is very excited with Graham's concept design, which has involved input from both the ALPG and PGA.   Works will commence immediately after the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters and are expected to take a couple of years to complete." 
RACV continues to invest in new and upgraded facilities at Royal Pines for the benefit of Auto club members and guests. A brand new Day Spa will be unveiled before the tournament, work on a new state of the art gymnasium is about to commence and the Conference and Event facilities will undergo refurbishment in the coming months. 
Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey welcomed news that the event would celebrate its 25th anniversary on the Gold Coast. 
“The Volvik RACV Ladies Masters brings an international flavour to the Gold Coast’s dynamic event calendar, showcasing the Gold Coast and Queensland to over 120 million households across the globe,” said Minister Stuckey.
“The Queensland Government is proud to continue supporting this event through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of our goal to double overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.
“We look forward to welcoming some of the best women’s international golfers back to the Gold Coast and invite them to stay on and discover the fantastic tourism experiences the region has to offer.” 
Please visit www.ladiesmasters.com for further information.

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Australian's complete solid week at Asia-Pacific Amateur
Three Australians finished in the top 10 at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship as Korean Lee Chang-woo won the title at Nanshan International Golf Club in China yesterday.
The Korean, who finished second alongside Rory McIlroy at last week's Korean Open, fired a closing 70 for a 3-under-par total that earned him an invitation to next year's Masters Tournament. He also secured a place in International Final Qualifying for The Open Championship along with runner-up Shohei Hasegawa of Japan, who shot a 71.
Victorian Lucas Herbert was the highest-placed Australian after a final round 3-under par 68 moved him into a share of fourth place at 3-over par for the championship, six strokes behind champion Lee.
U.S Amateur runner-up, Western Australia's Oliver Goss finished in outright seventh place after a final round 72 left him at 4-over par for the championship. Fellow Western Australian Brady Watt was one stroke further back at 5-over par in a tie for 8th place.
Western Australian Daniel Hoeve finished in a tie for 17th place while Queensland's Taylor Macdonald finished in a tie for 20th place.
Victorian Geoff Drakeford missed the 36-hole cut. 
Final Results

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Ona Stays Strong to Claim Qld Women's Amateur

Ashley Ona (Gailes) has held off the strong challenge of Ali Orchard (Surfers Paradise) to claim the 2013 Qld Women's Amateur Championship at a perfectly presented Southport Golf Club.

In one of the most closely contested finals of recent time, Ona managed to reach a 4 hole lead on two separate occasions, only for Orchard to peg her lead back to 2 both times. Ona held strong on the final 9 holes to match Orchard's eagle on the penultimate hole and claim the Championship 2/1.

Women's Amateur Wrap Up

The leading 16 qualifiers from the Women’s Stroke Play returned to Southport Golf Club on Thursday to contest the Amateur Championship, with 2012 champion Hayley Bettencourt looking to defend her title won at Pacific Harbour.

Whilst the Men’s Amateur was littered with upsets on day one, all bar one higher seed advanced to the Quarter Finals, with 11th ranked Jaimee Dougan (Beaudesert) a dominant winner over Amy Walsh (Emerald Lakes) 5/4.

With first round victories, 2012 Final combatants Bettencourt and Ali Orchard (Surfers Paradise) locked in a Quarter Final encounter, after wins over Jiwon Jeon (Hills) and Stacey White (Pacific).

The bottom half of the draw saw comfortable wins to top seed Anna Stanton (Woodford) 4/3 over Sue Wooster (National) , Gennai Goodwin (Indooroopilly) 6/4 against Suzanne Fairhurst (Bonnie Doon) and Lauren Mason (Horton Park) 2/1 over Adele Huggard (Sandhurst).

The match between Ashley Ona (Gailes) and Robyn Choi (Emerald Lakes) was close all day and it wasn’t until the 22nd hole that Ona was able to claim her spot in the Quarter Finals.

Friday’s blustery conditions in combination with their opponent’s fine play, saw higher ranked Lauren Hibbert (Pennant Hills), Goodwin and defending champion Bettencourt fall to Dougan, Orchard and Ona respectively. The win was especially sweet for Orchard who was runner up to Bettencourt in two Amateur Championships in 2012.

Top seed Stanton was not adverse to drama herself as she needed birdie on the 18th to force a playoff against Mason. With another birdie on the par 5 first, Stanton scrambled through to the afternoon’s Semi Final.

In a promising sign for the future of Queensland Golf, all four Women’s Semi-Finalists hail from the Sunshine State.

Dougan and Orchard could not be split over the opening 9 holes but Orchard snuck away early on the back nine and maintained her advantage to claim a 2 up victory and move into her second consecutive final. Dougan will derive great benefit from her performance and will definitely contend in many more Championships.

Drawing on all her experience and the confidence of claiming the 2011 Royal Canberra Ladies Classic against seasoned professionals, Ashley Ona started with a birdie and never surrendered her lead over Anna Stanton. Stanton should be proud of her achievements this week, having finished runner up to World Number 1 Amateur Su-Hyun Oh in the Stroke Play and reaching her maiden Amateur Semi-Final.

Blue skies and a gentle breeze greeted Orchard and Ona as they prepared for the 36 hole final. After coming so close last year, Orchard was keen to get off to a good start. Early halved holes were broken by Ona’s first birdie on the third hole. Orchard responded immediately but when Ona won the 5th, 6th and 8th holes, it looked like Orchard would be bridesmaid again.

Orchard had other ideas, and after a run of 5 halved holes, she birdied 14 and 15 to cut the deficit to 1. Ona’s fourth birdie of the morning on the 17th had her lead back to 2 as players went for lunch.

Showing her class, Ona exploded out of the blocks after the intermission, birdieing the 19th and 20th holes to extend her lead to 4 up.

Displaying the qualities which won her the 2012 Women’s Amateur Player of the Year, Orchard made yet another charge to win the 24th and 25th holes. Heading into the final 9 holes of the Championship, Ona led by only 2.

Steady play by both players over the next 3 holes had Ona holding a 2 hole lead and when she won the 31st hole, Orchard’s hopes looked forlorn.  Another 2 halved holes and Ona was dormie 3.

A great birdie by Orchard on the 34th hole and a miracle was in the offing. The expectations of an amazing comeback were heightened when Orchard holed a 12 metre eagle putt on the penultimate hole. The joy was short lived for Orchard however when Ona rolled in her own 2 metre eagle putt and celebrated with a hug of her caddie as the realisation of a Championship victory set in.

Congratulations are extended to Southport Golf Club for their hospitality and immaculate condition of the golf course. 

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O'Reilly Storms to victory in Qld Amateur

Callan O'Reilly (Pennant Hills) has taken out the 2013 Queensland Men's Amateur Championship 10/8 in a dominant performance over defending champion Jake McLeod (Royal Queensland).

On a perfect day for golf, O'Reilly birdied the 1st hole and was never headed. With O'Reilly having 9 birdies and an eagle in 28 holes, McLeod was always under the pump and could not match his 2012 heroics to be the first player in over 2 decades to successfully defend the title. 

Full Amateur Wrap Up

After a well deserved rest day, the Top 16 qualifiers from the Men’s Stroke Play Championship headed to Southport  on Thursday, to contest the first round of the 2013 Amateur Championship.

Leading qualifiers Anthony Quayle (Hills) and James Gibellini (Emerald Lakes) were favoured to advance deep into the Championship, however Day One proved to be full of upsets. Gibellini stumbled in the opening round and lost to Dale Brandt-Richards (Mona Vale) and when the other fancied seeds were all defeated, the top half of the draw was thrown wide open.

Defending Champion Jake McLeod (Royal Qld) won his opening match 1 up over Cory Crawford  (Sanctuary Cove), whilst fellow State Squad member Aaron Wilkin also advanced after a 2/1 victory over Duncan Shaw (Kooyonga).

Friday saw the Quarter Finals tee off in the morning and AJ McCoy (Royal Qld) shot out of the blocks with 4 birdies in his first 6 holes to be 4 up over a shell shocked James Macklin (Nudgee). Macklin fought hard but was unable to reel McCoy in and went down 3/1.

NSW visitor Callan O’Reilly (Pennant Hills) held off the challenge of Brandt-Richards, after a fortunate ricochet on the first extra hole enabled O’Reilly to halve the 19th and claim victory on the 20th.

McLeod was sluggish early in his match against Wilkin, however a back 9 charge lifted him into the afternoon Semi Final where he would meet top seed Quayle, who snuck home with a 1 up victory on the 18th over Sam Rawlings (Riverside). 

After a brief break for lunch, players headed out for the afternoon Semi Finals. McCoy again got off to a fast start but O’Reilly was not letting him out of his sight. Once O’Reilly made the turn 1 up, he would not be headed again and closed out a 3/2 victory and made his way into his first Qld Amateur Championship final.

The other Semi Final between McLeod and Quayle was a tight affair with neither player able to gain more than a 1 hole advantage in the 1st 14 holes. A win on the 15th for McLeod proved just the buffer he needed to fend off a valiant Quayle, who’s attacking play over the final holes unfortunately was not rewarded.

State rivalries would be renewed Saturday morning when Queenslander Jake McLeod took on New South Welshman Callan O’Reilly, with McLeod looking to be the first player to successfully defend the title in over 25 years.

A birdie on the opening Par 5 hole, provided O’Reilly with the dream start and a lead he would maintain for several holes. O’Reilly put the foot down heading towards the turn, with wins on the 7th, 8th and 9th holes extending his lead to 4. Another win on 13 and the margin was out to 5. McLeod bravely fought back with a birdie on the 14th, but when O’Reilly birdied the 17th, he headed into the lunch break with a commanding 5 hole lead.

McLeod needed a good start to the afternoon and after leaving himself with a 3 metre eagle putt, thought that he could turn things around. Unfortunately his putt slid by and after O’Reilly holed his birdie putt, status quo remained.

O’Reilly’s 6th and 7th birdies of the day enabled him to extend his lead to 7 through 23 holes. After dropping the 24th hole, O’Reilly made yet another birdie and with a 7 hole lead and only 11 holes remaining, McLeod’s challenge was all but over.

McLeod’s bogeys on the 26th and 27th holes gift wrapped a 9 up advantage to O’Reilly. On the 28th, Callan O’Reilly finished in style with his 9th birdie of the day, as he claimed the 2013 Queensland Amateur Championship 10/8. It was a dominant display from start to finish as O’Reilly birdied almost a third of the holes and eagled another.

Congratulations are extended to Southport Golf Club for their hospitality and immaculate condition of the golf course. 

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Queensland Amateur finalists decided
The 2013 Queensland Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships will wrap up tomorrow at Southport Golf Club on the Gold Coast.

The Women’s Championship final will be an all Queensland affair, with Ashley Ona (Gailes) and Ali Orchard (Surfers Paradise) defeating their opponents to advance. Orchard, who will play her second consecutive Queensland Amateur final, defeated Jaimee Dougan (Beaudesert) 2/1 in the semi-final, while Ona defeated Anna Stanton (Palmer Colonial) 2/1.

In the Men’s Championship, Callan O’Reilly (Pennant Hills) and Jake McLeod (Royal Queensland) will battle it out in the final. O’Reilly defeated Alex McCoy (Royal Queensland) 3/2 in the semi-final, with defending champion, McLeod holding off the challenge of top qualifier Anthony Quayle (Hills International) to win 1up.

Play will commence at 7am Saturday morning. Click here to follow the live scoring.
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Josie Ryan triumphs at Women's Senior Amateur
Queensland's Josie Ryan (Headland) has won her second Australian Women’s Senior Amateur Championship title after a 3&2 victory over Wendy O'Connell (Wantima) in the final at Tanunda Pines Golf Club in South Australia's Barossa Valley.
Ryan said she was pleased to win the title for the second time following her victory in 2003.
“I’m delighted to win the Championship again after many years.  I had some fantastic support from my fellow Queenslanders.  It was a great match against Wendy and she only got this far because Wendy knocked some great players out,” Ryan said. 
O'Connell still had reasons to celebrate with her victory in the Australian Women's Senior Rankings system.
New Age Veterans Flight Champion: Linda Urquhart (NSW)
Veterans Flight Champion: Nicky Moon (ACT) 
Super Veterans Flight Champion: Lu Proud (TAS)
Super Veterans Plus Flight Champion: Anne Alletson-Brown (QLD)
The Australian Women's Senior Amateur Championship is open to players aged 55 years and over. Players contest 36-holes qualifying, with the leading 16 players progressing to elimination match play. The leading eight players in four separate age divisions also qualify for age flights.
Match Play Results 

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All-Queensland Finalists at Women's Senior Amateur
The Australian Women’s Senior Amateur Championship final will be an all-Queensland affair with Josie Ryan taking on Wendy O'Connell for the title on Friday.
Both are former champions at the event, with O'Connell winning in 2006 and Ryan in 2003.
Ryan defeated top qualifer Robyn Puckett (USA) 1up in the quarter finals before a semi final win over Jill Blenkey (NSW) 4&3 in the afternoon,
O'Connell needed 20 holes to defeat Robyn Boniface (NZ) in the quarter finals before a 2up victory over defending champion Jacqui Morgan (NSW). 
The Australian Women's Senior Amateur Championship is open to players aged 55 years and over. Players contest 36-holes qualifying, with the leading 16 players progressing to elimination match play. The leading eight players in four separate age divisions also qualify for age flights.
Match Play Draw

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Queenslanders in Australian Women's Senior Amateur
Defending champion Jacqui Morgan (NSW) and top qualifier Robyn Puckett (USA) have both progressed to the quarter finals at the Australian Women’s Senior Amateur Championship at Tanunda Pines Golf Club in the Barossa Valley in South Australia.
In cool conditions, Morgan enjoyed a comfortable 5&4 victory over Annabel Harris (QLD) while Puckett defeated Lorry Brown (SA) 4&3. Puckett will play Josie Ryan (QLD) in the quarter finals and Morgan will play Liz Smyth (ACT).
Robyn Boniface (NZ) will play Wendy O'Connell (QLD) and Ros Fisher (WA) will play Jill Blenkey (NSW) in the other quarter finals. 
The quarter and semi finals will be played on Thursday.
The Australian Women's Senior Amateur Championship is open to players aged 55 years and over. Players contest 36-holes qualifying, with the leading 16 players progressing to elimination match play. The leading eight players in four separate age divisions also qualify for age flights.
Match Play Draw

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Oh victorious at the Queensland Women’s Stroke Play Championship
Su-Hyun Oh (Metropolitan) has led all the way in the 2013 Queensland Women’s Stroke Play Championship to record a 286 total and a 5-shot victory.

Having opened the Championship with a two-under par round of 71, followed by a second round 73, Oh found herself with a one shot lead over Lauren Hibbert (Pennant Hills) heading into the third day.  After the morning round, Lauren Hibbert fired a three-under par (70), to further apply the pressure on Oh.  

Oh carded a two-under par (71) to place both players on 215 (-4) heading into the afternoons final round.

It was Hibbert who faulted early with an opening double bogie on the first hole, and a double also and the 9th hole with a further three bogies on the back nine, she was slipping back down the leader board and out of contention.

Oh capitalised in her final round with some consistent play, scoring two front nine bogies followed by three on the back nine, a couple of bogies on the back nine didn’t hamper her campaign she signed for a two-under par (71), beating the nearest rival Anna Stanton (Palmer Colonial) by five shots, finishing six under for the Championship.

Stanton got off to a shaky start on the Southport layout after an opening round of five over par 77 to find herself in a tie for seventh.  Fortunately for Stanton her week improved firing a sec