Golf Australia

Whitelock whitewash a stunner

Momo Sugiyama and Conor Whitelock
Momo Sugiyama and Conor Whitelock show off their spoils at Royal Adelaide today. Picture: LEAH TATTERSALL

There are wins, then there’s what Conor Whitelock did at the South Australian Junior Masters today.

Whitelock, of Byron Bay, and young Queenslander Momo Sugiyama were the respective boys’ and girls’ champions at Royal Adelaide today as the traditionally four-round event was cut to 54 holes by soaring temperatures in the host city.

But it wasn’t enough to slow Whitelock, who completed an extraordinary feat to record an 11-shot victory over Royal Fremantle’s Zane Lewis on an otherwise tight leaderboard.

Whitelock, a member at his hometown club and also representing Coolangatta-Tweed Heads further north on the Gold Coast, carded a closing five-under-par 67 to finish 12 under.

Remarkably, in a very rare feat, he signed for the lowest score in each of the three rounds, against 49 of Australia’s top juniors. His 67 was best two today, his opening 68 was best by three and his second-round 69 was best by one in a complete romp.

Whitelock, 17, occasionally referred to as “Mr Casual” for his calm on-course demeanour, made just five bogeys all week on one of Australia’s most famous tournament courses and finished the event in style.

After starting his final round on the fifth hole, he was one over through nine holes walking on to the 14th tee before birdies on six of his final nine holes, including four straight to complete his round.

Lewis began nervously in chase with three bogeys and a double in his first eight holes before settling down with four late birdies of his own. But his chase was in vain.

Victorian Daniel Gill, who had a fine closing 69, was joint third at even par with Queenslander Tyler Duncan, while home club favourite William Arnold was the best South Australian in a three-way share of fifth at one over.

The girls’ event proved closer, although Sugiyama was never really in danger in the final round finishing at one under in total, eventually beating fellow Queenslander Lion Higo by two shots.

The steady Royal Pines member, who began on the 14th hole today, was one under for her round before her only real trouble resulted in a double-bogey up the long ninth hole en route to a closing one-over 74.

But, needing multiple birdies, Higo could only find one in her closing 75 as her opponent held steady in the final holes.

Amelia Whinney, a member at The Grange nearby and already a runner-up in the SA Junior Amateur earlier in the week, was again prominent and roared home with four late birdies to share third two shots further back alongside another Queenslander, Justice Bosio.

Earlier in the girls’ event, Emerald Lakes youngster Brianne Edgar had a hole in one on the club’s picturesque seventh hole.



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