29 Jan 2024 | Amateur golf |
Newcastle locals ready to challenge at NSW Amateur
Around 250 of the country’s top amateur golfers are set to compete with players from across the South Pacific, Asia, North America, and the United Kingdom when the 2024 NSW Amateur Championship begins at Belmont and Pacific Dunes Golf Clubs in Newcastle tomorrow. One of the oldest events on the Australian golfing calendar, the NSW Amateur boasts a roster of past champions that includes Harrison Crowe (2022), as well as notable figures like 16-time Japan Tour winner Brendan Jones, 2005 US Open champion Sir Michael Campbell (1992), and the esteemed Jim Ferrier. In the women’s championship, Grace Kim (2021), who clinched victory last year in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, stands amongst other distinguished champions including Sarah Oh (2005/06), Nikki Campbell (2000/1/2), and World Golf Hall of Famer, Queensland’s Karrie Webb (1993).
Local hopes competing in the tournament include 2023 NSW junior champion Ella Scaysbrook of the Australian GC, 2023 Jack Newton International champion Riley Millers of Avondale GC and 2023 Concord Cup champion Jake Riley from Toronto.
Rising star Amy Squires will be one to watch after her fine form saw her crowned the Australian All Schools Girls stroke champion, win the Jack Newton Fayde Junior Matchplay and presented the JNJG Outstanding Achievement Award last year.
“I’ve been working a fair bit on my swing and my chipping and putting has been pretty sharp so I’m pretty confident," Squires, who is also a Newcastle local, said.
"Especially because I’m a member at Pacific Dunes so it’s good to have the local knowledge. I play at Belmont bit too so I’ve got a bit of an advantage, I’m just hoping the wind doesn’t pick up.
“I haven’t seen my coach in a while because I’ve been away, and I’ve been playing for the past five weeks so my body is feeling it now but mentally I’m ready. I’m not having a caddie this week because I just want to do it myself. I’m feeling very prepared.”
This is the third year Squires has competed at the Amateur and she’s hoping it’ll be her best one yet.
“I’m always hoping for a win. I went into last year just wanting to play consistent and be happy with any score and not getting too down on myself. I’m taking the same attitude into this year. The only thing I can do is work as hard as I can,” she added.
“I haven’t made the cut before, so I’d like to do that this time. That’s my main goal.”
Daley Loumanis, the 2021 Champion of Club Champions, is back for his fourth Amateur and is looking to go one better and take out the main event.
“My goal for this week is to make the matchplay. I always love playing matchplay so I feel like I’m quite confident once going into that,” the St. Michael’s tyro said.
After a practice round at Pacific Dunes yesterday and flying visit to Belmont today, the 19-year-old is getting has his game plan set.
“Pacific Dunes is very narrow, so you want to make sure you’re accurate and get in with a decent score. It seems there’s a bit more opportunity to score at Belmont.”
While Loumanis is hoping to be at the top of the leaderboard, he knows he’ll have some tough competition.
“Declan O’Donovan won the Avondale Amateur last week so obviously he’s in good form, and a few other boys had some nice rounds last week. I just know once I get into the matchplay I’m confident, so hopefully I’ll be up there,” he added.
Played in conjunction, the NSW Medal and Women’s Strokeplay are played over 36 holes, with the leading 32 men and 16 women available players progressing to the elimination rounds for the NSW Amateur Championship.
Matches in the NSW Amateur are conducted over 18 holes, with the final decided over 36 holes.
Also incorporated into the 36-hole qualifying rounds is the Men’s NSW Champion of Club Champions Trophy.
Played in conjunction with the Women’s Strokeplay Championship is the Leo Wray Bowl for the 36-hole nett winner, The Country Championship Cup and the Metropolitan Championship Cup.
The first two rounds of strokeplay will be played at Pacific Dunes and Belmont on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the matchplay to begin on Thursday at Belmont. The men’s and women’s final will take place on Saturday, also at Belmont.
The champions will also secure themselves starts in the respective Men’s and Women’s NSW Open Championships.
Play will start at 7am
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