27 May 2024 | Amateur golf |

Phillips, Kiwi are NT Amateur champs

by Martin Blake

NT Amateur winners image
Blake Phillips and Rebekah Blackwell-Chin celebrated their wins.

Star New South Welshman Blake Phillips continued his red hot streak while Kiwi Rebekah Blackwell-Chin finished strong to take the men’s and women’s divisions at the Northern Territory Amateur on Sunday.

After a fabulous week at Darwin Golf Club, Concord Golf Club’s Phillips, 21, added another state championship to go with the Victorian Amateur that he secured just a month ago.

That’s not to mention making the winning putt in Concord’s history-making NSW pennant final victory recently, and a triumph on the NextGen amateur tour.

Phillips mostly dominated the tournament after opening with rounds of 69-68 but just when he appeared to be cruising in the final round, an untimely triple bogey after a lost ball on the par-4 17th hole opened the door for Western Australia’s Adam Baillie.

But the New South Welshman regathered himself impressively to birdie the 72nd hole and hold out Baillie by a shot at 9-under overall. Sanctuary Cove’s Taylor Barr was third at 7-under overall.

“I enjoyed myself out there,” said Phillips. “I took a lot from the Vic Amateur, just once you get the lead how to stay in front. I managed that until 17, and to birdie the last was pretty special.

“It (recent wins) definitely helped. I’ve been working a lot with Dean Kinney, my coach, back at home, pretty much for moments like this. So to get the win is special.”

Blackwell-Chin, 19, birdied three of the last four holes to break out of a logjam at the top of the women’s division.

Rounds of 71-71-75-71 put her at even-par overall to win by two shots from Maddison Kelly of Brighton Lakes Golf Club in Sydney.

Blackwell-Chin plays out of Remuera Golf Club in Auckland and has previously finished fifth in the New Zealand Amateur as well as winning several junior championships.

She cited her brilliant chip at the par-4 15th hole in the final round, setting up a birdie to begin her closing charge, as the game-changer for her.

“I was up against the lip of the bunker, had a downhill lie, and I chipped it to six feet short of the hole,” she said. “Then I was able to hit the middle of the green at 16 and then hit the green in two on the par-5 (18th hole) on the home stretch.”

Darwin Golf Club was a generous and outstanding host for the week in the NT, with both winners praising the course set-up.

“It’s been hot, and the the ‘greenies’ have done well to maintain the course with the weather like this,” said Phillips.

Blackwell-Chin said: “It was different from what I’m used to in NZ. The course was really firm. I had to change my whole game and my set-up. It’s not what I’m used to but it’s a beautiful course, nice fairways and greens.” Results

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