This year’s Eric Apperly shield will come to a belated – and historic – conclusion this Sunday with defending champions, St. Michael’s set to meet Avondale in the final of the under 21’s team matchplay competition.
2020 has been a memorable year in more ways than one; with the original draw savaged due to COVID-19, it has been equally significant for the inclusion of females in the competition for the first time.
And in another first, it’s the females who will play a vital part in Sunday’s historic finale at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club.
Avondale duo, Grace Kim, a NSW representative and the reigning NSW women’s Amateur Champion, and her state team counterpart, June Song, will figure prominently.
The pair are well aware of the significance of the inclusion of females in the storied under 21’s team matchplay tournament.
“We are making some very good history. It’s been 70 years.
“I beleive it strengthens the teams, and I think its a lot more fun,” Kim said.
Song agreed with Kim’s sentiments.
“There is some real camaraderie in the team,” Song added. “Given the circumstances we have been in with COVID-19, it’s so good to go out and play every weekend at such a high level of golf.”
Adapting to females as teammates and opponents in the matchplay format has meant few if any adjustments according to fellow team member Chris Fan.
“It’s great to see the game becoming more inclusive.
“Having them as competitors, seeing them showcase their skills is always good.
“Practicing with them, and learning from them too has been awesome,” he added.
The presence of females in the Apperly Shield final on Sunday is just one part of what should be a fantastic battle with both clubs looking to set their own piece of history. For St Michael’s it will be a record-setting 10th Eric Apperly crown, while for Avondale, it will be the club’s first shield win since 1965.
Play will get underway at Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club from 11.00 am. Spectators are welcome, but those wishing to attend must follow all GolfNSW and Twin Creeks COVID-19 safety plans, including sign-ins and all appropriate social distancing rules.