16 Mar 2023 | Amateur golf |
2023 Junior Interstate Teams announced
by Dane Heverin
The teams have been confirmed for this year’s Australian Junior Interstate Teams Matches at Ulverstone Golf Club in northern Tasmania from April 17 to 20.
The event follows the Australian Junior Amateur – played at Tasmania Golf Club in Hobart from April 11 to 14 – as the nation’s top junior step into the spotlight for two weeks.
Mixed gender teams – which were first adopted at last year’s edition of the tournament at Mount Osmond Golf Club in South Australia – are in action again but the only change is the addition of an extra boy and girl per team with five boys and five girls taking part this year.
Only four boys and four girls will play in each round of matches with team to take on each other once in the traditional round-robin team match play format.
The winners will be the team on top of the ladder at the end of the round-robin contests. Respecting the history of the event, teams will also compete for separate boys’ and girls’ trophies.
New South Wales claimed the overall and the boys’ trophies last year, while Western Australia took out the girls’, but the defending champions will roll out a new-look team this time around.
Only Rachel Lee and Ella Scaysbrook from their triumphant team have been named for another shot at glory.
Victoria also brings winning experience into the tournament with Amelia Harris and Molly McLean set to lead the charge after featuring in the Big V’s victory at the open age Australian Interstate Teams Matches in 2022.
Rupert Toomey meanwhile has already tasted success on the Apple Isle this year having won the Tasmanian Junior Masters.
West Australian Josiah Edwards took out the Tasmanian Junior Amateur earlier in that same week and his team are likely to be among the contenders once again with Australian Junior runner-up Joseph Buttress, Celine Chen and Ollie Marsh backing up from last year. Plus Jorja Hinson-Tolchard takes on the captaincy duties in her second appearance in this event, while George Barclay won the South Australian Junior Masters in January.
Queensland appears to be the team to beat, however. Sarah Hammett, who has represented Australia twice at the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, will be a player to watch and she is joined by six players who featured in last year’s event: Billy Dowling, Taj Egea, Kai Komulainen, Kate McFarlane, Shyla Singh and Harry Takis.
Dowling and Komulainen are Cameron Smith scholarship recipients - Dowling made headlines recently for shooting golf’s magical number 59 at his home course of Surfers Paradise Golf Club – while Takis won four times last year in World Amateur Golf Ranking events.
South Australia also brings a similar feel to the tournament with Kade Bryant, Raegan Denton, Josh Grundel, Imogen Jessen, Charlie Nobbs and Katie Seol all making the team once again.
Seol is only 11 years old but remarkably she is not the youngest player named. That mantle belongs to the Australian Capital Territory’s Sophia Chau who is also born in 2011 but is almost three months younger.
The ACT are another team without much player turnover as Noah Bricknell, Madison Hood, Emily Mollard, Matilda Sullings, Amber Tilley, Nathan White and Harry Whitelock all feature for a second straight year.
Home state Tasmania have once again only fielded a boys’ team with Eli Monaghan and Issac Roberts continuing the theme of players holding onto their spot from the previous year.
The opportunity to host the nation’s best junior golfers is an exciting one for Ulverstone Golf Club who have previously staged the Tasmanian Open and the Australian Interstate Teams Series.
The course is renowned for being a picturesque venue with a unique remote feel as players are surrounded by an abundance of bird life and other native fauna, including the echidna, from the tall eucalypt forest which Ulverstone is set amongst.
It also borders the Leven River, and the tree-lined undulating fairways provide a fantastic test of a golfer’s game.
“We are thrilled to be hosting this year’s Australian Junior Interstate Series. It will be wonderful opportunity for our region, to see Australia’s most talented young players, and we are looking forward to showcasing our course in its best condition. It will be a terrific week that we are looking forward to!” said Ulverstone Golf Club captain Sarah Johnstone – who is a long-time representative of Tasmania at the Australian Interstate Teams Matches.
ACT – Noah Bricknell, Sophia Chau, Madison Hood, Emily Mollard, Callan Robertson, Nelson Sargent, Matilda Sullings, Amber Tilley, Nathan White, Harry Whitelock.
NSW – Sophie Eppelstun, Toby Farrar, Shashank Koirala, Rachel Lee, Riley Millers, Jake Riley, Ella Scaysbrook, Lara Thomsen, Chun-Ta Wu, Rebecca Zhao.
QLD – Billy Dowling, Taj Ega, Harrison Gomez, Sarah Hammett, Amy Hodgkins, Kai Komulainen, Kate McFarlane, Ionna Muir, Shyla Singh, Harry Takis.
SA – Kade Bryant, Raegan Denton, Emily Giotis, Josh Grundel, Jaime Hards, Harry Leaf-Milham, Max Jericho, Imogen Jessen, Charlie Nobbs, Katie Seol.
TAS – Edison Lee, Jonty Lunson, Eli Monaghan, Isaac Roberts. *Note: TAS fielding a boys’ team only.
VIC – Louise Baliton, Max Fedmowski, Bailey Goodall, Amelia Harris, Molly McLean, Noah Paterson, Olive Spitty, Rupert Toomey, Jesse Trembath, Jessica Zhu.
WA – George Barclay, Joseph Buttress, Celine Chen, Rocco Cucchiara, Josiah Edwards, Amanda Gan, Jorja Hinson-Tolchard, Isabella Leniartek, Ollie Marsh, Erina Tan.
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