09 Mar 2022 | Amateur golf |
Wong chasing Riversdale hat-trick
by Dane Heverin
One of the most prestigious events on the Australian amateur golf calendar, the Riversdale Cup, gets under way on Thursday and two-time defending champion Jeneath Wong is looking to make history.
No woman has won three consecutive titles at Riversdale in Melbourne’s south-east and the feat would be yet another stunning achievement on Wong’s resume.
“It’d be really cool to win it three times in a row. I’ve won the Victorian Junior Amateur three times in a row so to do it at Riversdale as well would be a big thing for me,” Wong said.
The 17-year-old VCE student has taken out the Victorian Junior Amateur and the Australian Master of the Amateurs, and challenged herself against professionals at the Vic Open and TPS Victoria already this year, while continuing her final year of high school.
She has been offered a scholarship to Pepperdine University - where Katherine Kirk attended and played collegiate golf - and she is staying balanced between her studies and golf.
“I played a few practice rounds last week because I’ve been so busy with school this week,” Wong said.
“I normally practise everyday after school, but I’ve had some tests after school in the past few days.”
Melbourne-based Wong complained that the tests took too long, but remarkably for anyone who has watched her in action on the golf course, she believes she is more calm in the exam hall.
“I get more nervous on the golf course than doing tests at school because I’m quite good at school. I find golf a lot more fun though!” she said.
Caitlin Peirce and Sarah Wilson are among the competitors looking to take it up to Wong this week.
South Australian Peirce notched up her first two amateur victories in recent months at the Tasmanian Open Championship and the Tasmanian Amateur Championship, while Queenslander Sarah Wilson has spent the summer on the WPGA Tour of Australasia as part of her Future Tour Affiliation Membership.
On the men’s side, defending champion Andrew Richards will face some stiff competition to retain his crown.
The Sydneysider has had an up-and-down season across both amateur and professional tournaments, but a runner-up finish at the Avondale Amateur in January is sure to provide motivation to notch up a third amateur career win.
Australian representatives at last year’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship Andre Lautee and Connor McKinney are also among the favourites and both are full of hunger as they each chase a breakthrough victory.
Another big name to watch out for is last year’s Golf Australia Order of Merit winner Jack Buchanan.
The All Abilities Riversdale Cup will be played across the weekend with a host of Australia’s top golfers in the field.
World number 18 Cameron Pollard is the top-ranked player this week, but he will face tough competition from Englishman and world number 23 Mike Browne.
Mike Rolls (world no. 36) and Shaun Bakker (world no. 43) are other top-50 in the world players in the field.
Now in its 3rd year, the All Abilities Riversdale Cup is the first event where Men’s and Women’s World Amateur Rankings (WAGR) and World Disability Rankings (WR4GD, also administered by WAGR) have all played together.
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