Strong Field Set for NSW Junior

Kassidy Rogan
July 2, 2024

Liverpool and Cabramatta Golf Clubs are set to host some of the country’s most accomplished junior golfers when they compete in the prestigious NSW Junior Championship next week.

A stellar lineup of 254 boys and girls will battle for glory over four days. Players are travelling from almost every state in the country, as well as a few making the trip from overseas.

With reigning champions Ella Scaysbrook and Taj Egea having moved on to the senior ranks, the stage is set for two new champions to be crowned.

An impressive 75 players in this year’s event boast handicaps of scratch or better. Leading the charge is 2023 Australian Junior Champ Ann Jang of NSW GC, playing off +4.9.

Jang, who claimed victory in this event in 2021, will face fierce competition from last year’s runner-up, Rachel Lee from Avondale.

Lee, claimed the WPGA-sanctioned Mollymook Women’s NSW Open Regional Qualifier in December last year, and was a key player in the winning NSW Junior State Team in Perth in April this year.

The girls’ division also features several other strong contenders including Concord’s Amy Squires, Catalina’s Sophie Eppelstun, and The Australian Golf Club’s pair Lara Thomsen and Camilla Kim, who were also both pivotal members of the winning NSW Junior State Team.

Sophia Chau of Gungahlin Lakes, an ACT Junior state team representative and winner of this year’s Murray River Junior Masters, is another formidable competitor.

Other notable competitors with wins on this year’s JNJG Tour include Kiara Connolly-Jackson from Kooindah Waters, Mirabelle Naaman of Liverpool, and Sahara Hillman-Varma of Concord.

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Keep an eye on 14-year-old Mimi Thomsen of The Australian, who also earned a spot on the NSW All Schools Team just last week at the NSW Combined High Schools Championship.

The boys’ division is also packed with talent, Jonothan Hong of Macquarie Links stands out with the lowest handicap of +4.5, in. afield which includes NSW Junior Boys State team members Harry Gourlay (The Australian), Vidur Subramaniam (Ryde Parramatta), and Toby Farrar (The Australian).

ACT Junior Boys State Team member Harry Whitelock of Royal Canberra, this year’s Murray River Junior Masters winner, will compete alongside fellow state team member Nathan White of Pymble.

Darcy Mackay of The Australian, a newly minted member of the NSW All Schools State Team, and Bo Chung of Concord, winner of the Illawarra Junior Masters and Macarthur Junior Masters, are also in the mix.

Known for unearthing future golfing sensations, many of Australian Golf’s finest players, including Peter O’Malley, Matt Jones, Jan Stephenson and Sarah Kemp, have won the NSW Junior. Recent winners include the 2023 PLAY TODAY NSW Open Champion David Micheluzzi (2014), PGA Tour Winner Lucas Herbert (2012), and Challenge Tour regular Jordan Zunic (2010).

Besides Scaysbrook and Jang, recent winners of the girls include LPGA player Karis Davidson (2015) and June Song (2017) who was a pivotal member of the 2023 all-conquering NSW Interstate Series Team.

This year’s host venues are the picturesque Liverpool Golf Club and Cabramatta Golf Club. The challenging yet fair courses will provide the ideal backdrop for the 72-hole Championship.

All players will complete at least one round at both host venues, with a cut taking place after the second round. The final two rounds will be played at Liverpool and Cabramatta Golf Clubs.

The 2023 NSW Junior Championship begins next Tuesday morning, with play set to start at 7 AM.

In other junior news, the NSW & ACT Junior State Teams selection protocol outlines criteria for choosing players to compete in the Australian Junior Interstate Team matches has also been released.

Each team consists of five boys and five girls, who must be under 18 and members of an affiliated NSW or ACT golf club. Selection is based on World Amateur Golf Ranking, Golf Australia Order of Merit Rankings, and performance in specific tournaments.

Selected players must adhere to a representative player agreement and play in the Australian Junior Championships before the interstate matches.

More information can be found here.

A new 2024-25 Golf NSW Junior Interstate Squad Program has also been announced for elite junior golfers under 18 from NSW.

Selection is based on performance in designated tournaments and criteria such as club membership and conduct.

The squad includes 16 players, and while selection for the squad doesn’t guarantee a place in the Junior Interstate Team, it provides training and competition opportunities.

Automatic selection is granted to top finishers in specific 2024 events. Non-automatic selection is based on overall performance and commitment.

For more details, visit the Golf NSW page.

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