Inspired by the first major of the season and Hideki Matsuyama’s historic win at Augusta, New South Wales’ Jeffrey Guan will be leaving nothing to chance when the Australian Junior Amateur gets underway at Gold Creek Country Club tomorrow.
Guan has been one of the form players in Australian amateur golf over the past six months and will be one of the players to watch this week.
“I won the Illawarra Junior Masters last week. I shot one of my best rounds, nine-under, and finished ten under for the tournament.
“I think it was only an unofficial course record because we didn’t play off the blacks.
“The Juno is working pretty well. Hopefully, it will work well this week.”
Runner-up in the Australian Amateur in February, the 16-year-old admitted he learnt a lot about managing his emotions and being in control following his stirring final round finish at Kooyonga. Lessons learned, he agreed, will hold him in good stead this week.
“I think I have learnt to handle the pressure coming down the stretch. I learnt a lot about staying in control and getting myself into position for the next day.
“My confidence levels are pretty good.”
Guan said watching Hideki Matsuyama’s win at August this morning was also a revealing insight into how the world’s best handle pressure at the highest level.
“It was interesting to see how nervous Hideki got, three over in the last four holes, and to only win by one. I was a little bit surprised, really.
“It proves it happens to everyone.
Guan added simply watching the best players thought processes allowed him to ‘bank’ a lot of golfing knowledge.
“I love to watch the decision making – not the attitude. I learn from it, and it helps a lot.
“Some of the shots I might face are similar to those the pros have to play, so i keep it in my memory. I know I might have to use it on the course.”
As for the course itself, Guan said he was quite surprised at its condition, adding it was more open than he first thought.
“It’s quite open, but if the wind gets up, it could become tough.
“The greens look a bit tricky to read, and if you miss the putting surfaces, chipping will be a bit delicate.
Guan is one of 154 juniors who will tee up in tomorrow’s opening round at Gold Creek Country Club. For the first time in the event’s history, the field, which consists of 85 boys and 69 girls, will be competing on the same course.
Former winners of the Australian Boys’ Amateur include Peter O’Malley, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Cam Smith and two dual winners, Adam Scott and Ryan Ruffels.
The Australian Girls’ Amateur has been won by legends including Margie Masters, Jan Stephenson, Jane Lock and more recently by LPGA Tour players Sarah Kemp, Sarah Jane Smith, Su Oh and world No.9 Minjee Lee.