NSW's Grace Kim (Avondale GC) and SA's Jackson Kalz (Glenelg GC) have been crowned champions of the 2017 Sportscover Victorian Junior Masters after the final round was contested in hot conditions at Churchill – Waverley Golf and Bowls Club.
With a record high field and no cut in 2017, players were divided across both the Waverley and Churchill Park sites in the morning with the tournament leaders teeing off at Waverley in the afternoon.
For the third day in a row, temperatures surpassed 30-degrees proving a testing finish to the week for all players.
In the girls’ section reigning Victorian Girls’ Champion and Victorian Women’s Amateur Champion Alizza Hetherington started the day with the lead, however as the round progressed, the door opened for New South Welshman Kim.
Birdies flew on the front nine for both players as Kim took a one stroke lead at the turn. Tragedy soon struck for Hetherington who triple bogeyed the 15th hole after an out-of-bounds penalty, handing Kim a four-shot lead that Hetherington was unable to recover.
The heat didn’t seem to affect Kono Matsumoto who shot an equal course record of five-under par to draw level with Hetherington. The Victorian duo eventually finished two-strokes adrift of the winning Kim.
Meanwhile, the boys’ championship came down to an exciting finish with South Australian Kalz rallying to fend off Queenslander Zach Maxwell and claim a narrow one-shot victory.
Kalz played solid golf from start to finish while Maxwell will be will be left questioning what might have been. Maxwell, who held a two shot lead on the back nine, bogeyed holes 15, 16 and 17 allowing Kalz to draw level down the 18th.
After knocking it on the green for two Kalz remained calm and sunk the birdie putt at the last, where Maxwell could only muster a par, to seal the deal.
In a staggering feat, two hole-in-ones were recorded in consecutive groups on the fifth hole at the Waverley site. Keeley Marx aced the par-3 and about 12 minutes later, in the next group, so did Ethan Chen.
Impressive wins were recorded in all age groups with a high level of talent across all divisions.
Nivethan Kanthan from Spring Valley won the U12 boys with a total of 336 to win by eight. Anne Fernandez from Singapore Island in Singapore won the U12 girls with a total of 315 to win by 51.
Nathan Page from The National won the U14 boys with a total of 307 to win by 18. Piper Stubbs from Huntingdale won the U14 girls with a total of 321 to win by three.
Tyler Duncan from Redcliffe in Queensland won the U16 boys with a total of 291 to win by seven. Rose Zheng from Pakuranga in New Zealand won the U16 girls with a total of 292 to win by eight.
The tournament was live streamed for the second year running on the Golf Victoria website and in a first for Australian amateur golf, the stream was simulcast on Facebook LIVE via the Golf Victoria page.