Their respective paths to the titles were very different, but Jeneath Wong and Jeffrey Guan have claimed the girls and boys’ Australian Junior Amateur championships at Gold Creek Country Club in the National Capital today.
Wong, the pint-sized tyro from Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne, made it a wire-to-wire result to win the Australian girls’ crown, cruising to a five-shot win at Gold Creek Country Club in Canberra today.
Second place went to South Australia’s Amelia Whinney, who carded an impressive final-round 71 to go with her third-round 69. Third place was shared by Gold Coast’s Haruhi Nakatani, western Australia’s Sheridan Clancy and NSW pair Rachel Lee & Michelle Di Natale at seven-over par.
Wong was quietly satisfied with her win, saying after her round the Australian Junior title meant as much to her as her back-to-back Riversdale Cup crowns.
“I’m really happy to win this after two Riversdale Cups in a row.”
“I was a bit all over the place today, I didn’t shoot my best, but I was happy to keep the lead.”
Wong said she was thrilled to know her name now sits alongside some of the greats of Australian Women’s Golf, including Jan Stephenson and Minjee Lee. She was also very aware the win had secured her a start in the next Women’s Australian Open.
“I’m very excited to play with the pros. I’ll learn more stuff from them.
“I’m really happy to see my name on the trophy, especially with Minjee Lee, one of my idols.”
After starting the final round one shot behind, Guan, from The Australian Golf Club in Sydney, made a move early and was safely ensconced at the top of the leaderboard by the third hole.
At one stage during the final round, Guan led by five, however, some back-nine nerves no doubt played their part, and despite a three-putt bogey on the last, the 16-year-old had enough of a buffer to claim the crown by a shot from the fast-finishing Western Australian, Aldrich Potgieter.
Nicholas Siegmund, playing alongside Guan, grabbed third place with a final round 72, while Toronto’s Jake Riley (73) and overnight leader Jye Halls (77) finished tied for fourth.
Guan, however, was the man of the moment, and in his usually reserved way was happy to claim the Junior Amateur title.
“I just wanted to shoot a couple of good rounds, and I got there.
“No over par rounds this week.”
Guan admitted getting to the lead as quickly as he did wasn’t entirely to plan, but he was still happy to have grabbed it as rapidly as he did.
“It was non-intentional, but the second and third holes gave me momentum, before I slowed down at the end.”
The Junior Amateur Championship has capped off an extraordinary run for Guan, who said his performances over the summer had been
“What can I say. I’ve played really nice, really good to be honest,
Like Wong, Guan’s win also secured him a start in this year’s Australian Open, on his home course at The Australian Golf Club.
I’m looking forward to it definitely. Home course advantage. Let’s see if I can get dad on the bag and see what happens.”