04 Apr 2022 | Amateur golf |
Strong #AusJnr field descend on The Vines of Reynella
by Dane Heverin
Golf Australia’s premier event for emerging players, the Australian Junior Amateur, gets under way on Tuesday morning at The Vines Golf Club of Reynella in Adelaide with a host of junior stars in action.
Both defending champions, Jeffrey Guan and Jeneath Wong, are back to defend their titles and they will be hard to beat once again.
Guan is riding high following his victory at the Adam Scott Junior Championship in California in February, and he is hoping to join Scott, Ryan Ruffels and Grant Waite as back-to-back champions.
The Sydneysider is also gunning for a fifth straight junior victory, while Wong is on a similar winning run with six junior victories in a row stretching back to 2019.
As past champions, their names are already alongside current Australian stars Cameron Smith, Minjee Lee, Jason Day and Su Oh, but there are an array of challengers desperate to have their name up in lights.
The girls field is stacked with a number of players who have matched it with older competitors at open age amateur tournaments this season, while 15-year-old Victorian Molly McLean even showed off her talents at The Athena against the professionals.
McLean arrives in Adelaide with happy memories of her win in the SA Junior Amateur earlier in the year, and she will also be chasing vital Order of Merit points this week to make up ground on the top-four.
Queenslander Ilani Short sits atop of those standings courtesy of her very consistent performances - five top-10s from five events - and the trio of Queenslanders Yuuki Takada (second) and Sarah Hammett (fourth), and Victorian Amelia Harris (third) - who have all claimed victories this season - are nipping at her heels.
Australian Boys’ Order of Merit leader Dujuan Snyman is among Guan’s leading rivals and he caught the eye of many onlookers with an opening round of 66 at last week’s Australian Amateur.
Snyman won the SA Junior Amateur alongside McLean in January and he has three runner-ups this season too. He holds a sizable gap in the Order of Merit, but there are sibling bragging rights at stake with his brother, Phil, in fourth place.
The others in the Order of Merit race to keep an eye on this week are Tasmanian Hunter Gillard (second), and Victorians Rupert Toomey (third) and Michael Song (fifth).
Play begins from 7:25 am ACST on Tuesday morning.
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