Kathryn Norris and Connor Fewkes were crowned Drummond 54 Hole Classic champions after plotting very different paths to their successes over the three-day, three-course event in the south west this week.
Defending champion Norris (Mandurah) put the finishing touches on a wire-to-wire five-stroke victory at Bunbury Golf Club on Friday to complete another impressive week from the 16-year-old, whose highlight arrived with a ladies course-record 70 at Collie on Thursday.
Fewkes (Goldfields) by contrast had to survive an arm wrestle in the boys’ section before a final-round 70 was enough to haul him over the line by two shots.
Fewkes, who made the cut at the WA PGA Championship alongside the pros in May, had to make up considerable ground on the final day after beginning three shots behind 14-year-old overnight leader Adam Brady (The Vines) alongside five players with conceivable designs on winning.
Reuben Darch (Royal Fremantle) made the first move of the day with three birdies in his opening four holes, although Brady improved to two-under to at that stage lead Fewkes by five shots.
Darch’s bid lost momentum on the back of bogeys at the fifth and seventh, before dropping two shots at the short par-four 12th, and with the field starting to bunch Brady held his lead thanks to his impressive short game.
Josh Herrero (Mandurah) turned in an even-par 36 and then birdied the 10th and, when Fewkes birdied the par-five 11th while brady bogeyed 12, suddenly there was a four-way tie on the 13th tee with Jose De Sousa (Gosnells) also in the thick of the action.
It was time for someone to stand up and Fewkes, 17, took on the responsibility as his hitherto ice-cold putter came to life, holing an uphill putt from six metres at the 13th for birdie and a slippery five-metre downhiller at the 16th following an iron that covered the flag all the way.
Herrero was solid, adding a birdie at the 17th during a back-nine two-under 34, to claim the age group gross for the 16 years and over, but was two adrift of Fewkes.
Brady finished in third place in the open boys’ championship, a shot further back, but good enough to ensure he won the 14-and-15 years title.
Norris set the foundation for her comfortable week on the opening day at Capel when she carded a 76 to open up a four-shot lead from Kirsten Rudgeley (Wanneroo) and Alysha Ahnantakrishnan (Royal Perth).
On the second day the Mandurah teen then set about breaking the ladies course record at Collie, which was previously set at 72 by Helen Beatty 20 years ago.
It was the second ladies course record score Norris has claimed this year after she shot a 69 to became to first female winner of the Kwinana Junior Open in the event’s 17-year history.
Rudgeley also went under the course record at Collie on Thursday, as she and Norris became the first females to break par at the course, with a 71 to stay in touch ahead of the final round.
But the 2017 women’s WA Amateur Championships winner could not close on Norris as both finished with 73s at Bunbury.
WA State squad member Abbie Teasdale (Royal Fremantle) won the girls’ 14-years-and-under title while her younger brother Joe won the boys’ 13-years-and-under crown.
For more information about opportunities for juniors in the south-west region please contact GolfWA.