State teammates Kelsey Bennett and Grace Kim will meet in tomorrow’s NSW Women’s Amateur final after a roller-coaster afternoon at St. Michael’s Golf Club.
Men’s Final – 7:30am Friday 24 January
Callum Farr (ENG) V Ben Schmidt (ENG)
Women’s Final – 7:45am Friday 24 January
Kelsey Bennett (NSW) V Grace Kim (NSW)
With the temperature nudging the 40’s it was the cool calm and collected Bennett who put on a clinical display dispatching the British Women’s Amateur Champion Emily Toy 4 & 2.
“I’m stoked, really stoked,” Bennett said after the round.
“I figured she would be pretty good in the wind, coming from Great Britain, playing on links courses.”
A St. Michael’s member, Bennett admitted the key for both of her wins was her local knowledge.
“I know you have to stay smooth with the wind out here, rather than trying to overhit. They will balloon, and that is the worst thing you can do.”
“I knew the spots on the greens to aim for, and I planted my approach shots there.”
Bennett is looking forward to tomorrow’s final, and the prospect of facing Kim is a daunting one. Bennett knows it will take her best to beat the world number 78.
“I’m just going home to sleep,
“I won’t be leaving anything on the table at all, and I’ll be giving it my all,” Bennett smiled.
Kim, in contrast, ended up in a battle royale against the never say die Queenslander, Sarah Wilson.
After dispatching 12-year-old Ann Jang in the morning, Kim faced the more experienced Wilson in the afternoon.
With the lead barley swinging more than a hole either way throughout the afternoon, the pair came to the 18th all square.
With the pair on opposite sides of the fairway, Kim, first to play rifled her approach to about 15 feet over the flag.
Wilson couldn’t respond, missing short and right of the green, and after hitting a good – but not great chip to about six feet, she left Kim with a putt for the match.
Kim couldn’t convert, and when Wilson slotted her par save, the match was off to extra holes.
The pair traded pars on the first before heading to the second. Kim, with the honour, smashed a metal wood to within 75 metres of the green, but Sadly for Wilson, her tee shot went left and into trouble.
After being forced to take an unplayable, it was always going to be tough for Wilson, and when she failed to make the green, it was all but over.
After hitting the green, Kim calmly two-putted for par, and she was into her second NSW Amateur final in as many years.
The Men’s Final will be an all England affair for the second time in three years with Callum Farr and Benjamin Schmidt to meet.
Farr was the day’s giant Killer, taking down the Aussie Amateur Champion Jed Morgan, while Schmidt accounted for the talented Kiwi Jayden Ford.
SCORES – Semi Finals
Jed Morgan (QLD) V Callum Farr (ENG) – Farr defeated Morgan 1 up
Jayden Ford (NZ) V Ben Schmidt (ENG) – Schmidt defeated Ford 3 & 1
Sarah Wilson (QLD) V Grace Kim (NSW) – Kim defeated Wilson 20th
Emily Toy (ENG) V Kelsey Bennett (NSW) – Bennett defeated Toy 4 & 2
Who’ll get the better of Jed?
Jed Morgan has taken another step towards his second Championship in as many weeks with a victory in this morning’s quarter-final session over a courageous Corey Lamb.
The Queenslander had to fight all the way, however, and when a plucky Lamb snuck a win on the final hole, it meant sudden-death.
It was a short affair, with Morgan holing a 20 footer for birdie on the 19th to end the match.
England’s representation in the semis is a strong one after Callum Farr accounted for Queensland’s Kyle Gray, while Benjamin Schmidt took out local hope Harrison Crowe 1 up.
Kiwi Jayden Ford kept the hopes from across the ditch alive with a 4 & 2 win over 15-year-old Jye Halls in the other match.
Bennett saves her best till last
Kelsey Bennett has outlasted her state teammate Doey Choi in a thrilling quarter-final at St. Michael’s Golf Club this morning.
In a match that never swung a hole either way, it was a clutch par on the 18th for Bennett to seal her first semi-final appearance in the NSW Amateur.
The biggest shock in the morning matches was the departure of the top seed in the women’s, Stephanie Kyriacou. The St. Michael’s local had no answer for a rock steady Queenslander, Sarah Wilson, going down 3 & 1.
Grace Kim stamped her authority over young 12-year-old Ann Jang with a 5 & 4 win, while reigning British Women’s Amateur Champion Emily Toy had no real trouble defeating a plucky June Song 3 & 2.