25 Jan 2021 | Amateur golf |
Guan dominates NSW Am
By David Tease, Golf NSW
Reigning NSW Junior Champion Jeffrey Guan leads the men’s division of the NSW Amateur after a course record 65 at Kooindah Waters Golf Resort today.
Meanwhile Kelsey Bennett and Claire Shin share the lead in the women's division.
Guan, 16, left the field in his wake, binning an impressive eight birdies, including a run of four straight from the 5th to the 8th. The only one blemish on his card, a bogey, came on the par-four 9th. Impressively, 26 putts were all the 16-year old required to craft the four-shot lead. Guan is a combined 22 under par for his last six rounds, a stellar feat for an accomplished touring professional, let alone a teenager about to embark on his Higher School Certificate. And it’s all happened in the last eight days. “My driving wasn’t that good today, but my putting was great," he said. “I got a new putter, a Juno from Taylor Made; I started using it at the Harvey Norman last week in Sydney. 'Magic Juno', definitely,” he smiled. Guan described the level of confidence he currently has over a putt as surreal. “Eighty per cent of the time you know it’s going in. You get the line and the speed right, it’s dead-centre.” With his morning effort safely in the books, Guan spent the afternoon walking around the imposing Magenta Layout, acutely aware that the task would be challenging if the north-easterly blows like it did this afternoon. “There’s a lot of wind. It’s going to be a challenge to keep the ball straight. Definitely going to be tough,” he said. Three shots back of the leader Guan in the men’s division is Maitland’s Hayden Gulliver who has carded an impressive four-under-par effort in the tougher afternoon half of the draw at Kooindah, while Central Coast Local Jordie Garner, is another shot back at three under. Daniel Kolar, back home after a successful college career at Washington State, is at one-under alongside Mollymook-based NSWGC rep Jye Halls.
Twin Creeks Shin and St Michael’s Bennett were the only women in red figures after the opening round of the women's amateur.
They carded matching one-under-par 71 in conditions which became more challenging the morning wore on. ”I’m very happy with it, just my putting, I could have made a few more birdies,” 16-year-old Shin said after the round. ” My driver was the key today. You have to hit it in the right spot here so it can roll out on the fairway, otherwise it can kick off to the right or left.” On the other hand, Bennett, who was runner-up in the 2020 championship, was left rueing a missed chance on the reachable par-five last, failing to get up-and-down from the front bunker for birdie. “I had to hit my second shot for a downslope,” Bennett said. “I had 218 (metres) to the flag and thought I could get a four iron there. It came out too low and rolled into the front trap. “I’m still stoked with the score in the conditions regardless."
A shot back from Shin and Bennett is defending champion Grace Kim. who carded an even-par 72, with Concord’s Sophie Yip and local Michelle Moon another shot back at one-over. The Australian Golf Club’s Stefanie Hall is at two over, with Avondale’s June Song at three over par. Ella Scaysbrook ( 76) is alone in 8th, while Annika Boydm Brielle Mapanao, and Yerin Kim round out the top 10.
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