11 Jan 2022 | Amateur golf |

Dowling, McLean win SA Junior Am

by Dane Heverin

Billy Dowling and Molly McLean with the SA Junior Am trophies.

Queenslander Billy Dowling and Victorian Molly McLean have won the South Australian Junior Amateur in sweltering conditions at Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide today.

Dowling, who is remembered amongst golf fans for almost making the cut at last year's Queensland Open, carded four-under par for the tournament to finish two strokes clear of Victorian Rupert Toomey.

The teen from Surfers Paradise Golf Club said playing in temperatures up to 38 degrees was "quite tough" and he "had to grind it out", but he drew on his previous experience to remain cool and composed.

"When I played the Queensland Open I felt pretty free playing against the pros so coming into these tournaments it gives me a different perspective when I'm playing," Dowling said.

"I'm pretty relaxed out there and trying not to think to just much. Just having a bit of fun while I'm out there.

"I made a lot of putts from 20 foot and inside that. While off the tee I felt like I was playing conservative and smart instead of just playing aggressive the whole time."

McLean, of The National Golf Club on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, finished three-under par to also win by two shots ahead of Queenslander Sarah Hammett.

The Melburnian said the heat was "nothing like Melbourne weather" as she regularly sort out the drinks cart, but the challenges Kooyonga threw her way felt a bit closer to home.

As she felt that the short game skills needed to navigate her home course held her in good stead today.

"I feel like my short game was the best part of my game today," McLean said.

"I was pretty consistent and I was hitting it to inside ten feet pretty regularly which helped me hole a few putts.

"I've been working hard on that part of my game recently and it really paid off."

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