24 Jan 2020 | Amateur golf |

Kim, Schmidt win NSW Am finals

by Contributor

Grace Kim NSW Am image
Grace Kim won her home state amateur title today. Photo: Golf NSW

By David Tease, Golf NSW

Grace Kim has claimed some redemption for last year’s loss with an outstanding performance in the final of the NSW Women’s Amateur Championship, while England’s Ben Schmidt won the men’s final at St Michael’s.

Sydney’s Kim took the women’s crown with a superb 3 & 2 win over her New South Wales teammate Kelsey Bennett in a titanic battle. The 19-year-old lost last year's final to Lisa Edgar.

Today's match was anyone’s after the completion of the opening 18, but Kim took control early in the afternoon bracket, jumping out to a telling two-hole lead after the 20th.

A tenacious Bennett wasn’t going away however, and fought to stay in the match as the holes went by. Kim’s close-out was a testament to her experience and quality as she did what was required to stay in front.

Wins on the 12 and 13th holes for Kim were always going to make things difficult for Bennett, however she responded with one of the shots of the day, on the 14th, hitting her approach to about a foot to keep the match within reach.

Kim had a chance to seal the match on the par three 15th, but the putt slid by. It was enough to go dormie. The 16th hole became the decider. After both players hit the green, Kim had her chance to seal it with a long-range putt for birdie.

It missed, and left Bennett with her chance to keep the contest alive. Sadly for the 20-year-old, her putt from just inside three metres slid by, and with it the match was Kim’s. Kim was ecstatic after the victory.

“Second time is a charm,” she grinned. ” I was pretty confident I could get it done today. I knew I could compete, Kelsey played good and I knew how good I had to play to beat her.” The win is Kim's first state championship and she was thrilled to know her name joins a list of many of Australia’s finest female players.

”I know Karrie (Webb) has won this event and she is a hero of mine, so it is exciting to see my name engraved on a trophy with hers.”

Yorkshire’s Ben Schmidt has underlined his reputation as one of England’s finest prospects with a dominant display of golf in the men’s final.

The 17-year-old from Barnsley was never headed in the final against countryman Callan Farr, easily winning 7 & 5.

Schmidt was a very pleased man after the win saying he stuck to his game plan all day. “Me and Sean, my caddie, had a great game plan and we stuck to it all week.

“I hit some great golf shots and didn’t make many mistakes, and the result shows what happened out there. You’ve got to hit it i the right places out here.’’

Coming off an impressive 2019 where he recorded wins in the Brabazon and Carris Trophies, Schmidt said the the NSW Amateur win should set his year up nicely.

“I did all right last year,” he smiled. “It’s good to get my first win for this season under my belt. It’s a massive confidence boost.”


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