13 Dec 2022 | Amateur golf |
Wong, Owen victorious at Vic Am
by Dane Heverin
Jeneath Wong and Joseph Owen have etched their names onto the Victorian Amateur trophies for the first time at a wet and wild Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Tuesday.
Wong and Owen remained unphased despite wind gusts up to 51km/h and spurts of pouring rain taking hold of Royal Melbourne's east course as they led from the first and second holes respectively in their finals.
For Metropolitan Golf Club's Wong, her 5&4 win against West Australian Abbie Teasdale capped off a remarkable week after winning the Port Phillip Open Amateur on Saturday and ensured she went one step better after being bested in the final of her home state's championship in the past two years by Kelsey Bennett and Kirsten Rudgeley.
"This feeling is definitely a lot better than coming second over the past two years," Wong said with a chuckle.
"It's really big for me that I've won this year and it's nice to finally get out of the bad weather.
"Yesterday was probably the worst but today was still pretty bad. I just tried to maintain making pars and birdies, and limiting the mistakes was the goal."
Owen's triumph was also a breakthrough as the 26-year-old New Zealand born Perth resident chalked up his first victory in a World Amateur Golf Ranking event since winning the 2020 City of Perth Amateur by defeating New South Wales' Jeffrey Pullen 2&1.
The Lake Karrinyup member - who also works part time in the pro shop - impressed greatly by consistently getting up-and-down from bunkers and off the green in the final despite never having played at Royal Melbourne before.
"My short game was really good. It kind of has to be around here because you're going to miss a lot of greens and that bailed me out quite a few times," he said.
"I'm a bit older than most of these boys and I've basically been doing this for quite a while and have never had a big win. Especially though Covid I didn't play much so it was good to play this year and it feels great."
Owen now heads into the Australian Master of the Amateurs and the Australian Amateur in the first two weeks in January with a full head of steam, and big plans to further his career.
"I'm either going to look to stay one more year as an amateur and hopefully get into some bigger events," he said. "Or I'm going to go to Q-School in April to try get on the PGA Tour of Australasia."
Earlier in the day, Owen defeated another New South Welshman, Declan O'Donovan, 3&2 in their semi-final clash, while Wong overcame South Australian Amelia Whinney 5&4 at the same stage of the tournament.
The two-time Australian Junior Amateur champion will depart Australian shores in the new year for Pepperdine University in California - where Katherine Kirk attended - to play collegiate golf and study sports science and psychology.
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