19 Nov 2020 | Amateur golf |
Meaburn aims for home-state title
by Martin Blake
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge negative impact in the world but for Hallie Meaburn, it’s been a time of incremental improvement as a golfer.
The extra time that one of Tasmania’s top young players has been afforded to play and practise at her home club, Royal Hobart, has seen her game soar.
Already the Tasmanian Junior Masters winner, 17-year-old Meaburn will be one of the favourites in the women’s section of the Tasmanian Amateur which starts at Mowbray Golf Club in northern Launceston on Saturday, concluding on Monday.
“Covid’s helped me,” she said today. “I think at the start of Covid, I was playing off one (handicap) and now I’m off plus five. I’ve just had the chance to play so many more rounds. Normally I’d just practise and play once a week, but now that I’m playing more, it’s helped my game.”
Meaburn has been playing three times a week recently; the Covid restrictions kept her from attending classes at St Michael’s Collegiate school in Hobart throughout term two this year, but she is firing. Two eagles and five birdies went on the card at Royal Hobart today in a three under par round.
As she climbs the ranks, she joined with her famous grandmother Lindy Goggin to win the foursomes title at Royal Hobart for the second year in a row. Lindy Goggin, the winner of 19 Tasmanian Amateurs and the mother of professional Mathew, has been a strong mentor for Meaburn.
As it happens, Lindy Goggin is playing in the Tasmanian Senior Amateur that runs alongside the main event this week, having just recently won another Royal Hobart A grade club championship aged 71. “She’s a couple of groups ahead of me,” said Meaburn. “I said to her: ‘I’ll be able to keep an eye on you’!’’
The par-71 Mowbray is hosting the amateur for the second year in a row, and from Meaburn’s point of view, it is a great venue. At her only start at the course, three years ago, she won the Northern Tasmanian Amateur.
“I will be trying to shoot good scores and if I can putt well, I think I can be pretty competitive. It’ll probably come down to my putting. I think I’d be disappointed if I wasn’t competitive in this.”
An entry list of 62 players will take part in the Tasmanian Amateur for men and women, the 108th staging of the event. It is a 72-hole event with 18 holes on Saturday, 36 on Sunday and another 18 to finish on Monday.
A big percentage of the field is Tasmanian because of the border issues, although Queensland has a strong contingent headed by Louis Dobelaar, the 2018 Queensland Amateur champion and the 2016 New Zealand Amateur winner.
Another Queenslander, Will Florima, is the defending champion on the men’s side while last year’s runner-up, Ryan Thomas, is playing again.
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