Western Australian Golf has had some memorable periods throughout its illustrious junior Amateur history, however, the past 8 days nearly eclipses all before it.
Eight days of highlights, memories and achievement, most will remember the success of Maddison-Hinson-Tolchard, Connor Fewkes and the Girls’ Interstate team for many years to come.
Gosnells talent Hinson-Tolchard began the week in fine style, lighting up the Royal Perth Golf Club to dominate the Australian Girls’ Amateur, shooting 14-under-par and winning by four shots.
The victory was setup by a birdie blitz during the third round, where six-straight birdies moved the WA captain into an unbeatable position, Karrie Webb Scholarship holder Grace Kim couldn’t catch her.
It was the breakthrough win that the 16-year-old has so desperately craved. An Australian Open berth in February 2019 now awaits.
The stunning win follows the footsteps of world no. 17 Minjee Lee after she captured the title in 2013.
Connor Fewkes, however, wasn’t to be outdone.
The Kalgoorlie left-hander followed his counterpart with a career-win of his own, the Boys’ Australian Amateur at Gosnells Golf Club.
The final day was highlighted by the lead group, three West Aussies – Fewkes, Jo De Sousa and Cooper Geddes, battling it out in a tight and dramatic contest.
Fewkes, the WA boys’ skipper, held his nerve for the longest. A birdie on 16 and pars on 17 & 18 was enough, clinching a win for the ages and a start in the Australian Open in November of this year.
Australian golfing legends Adam Scott and Jason Day are multiple winners of the same accolade; Fewkes certainly shares the same desire as his childhood heroes.
The week was then complete with a win 13 years in the making.
Coming in as underdogs to a powerful New South Wales team, the WA girls’ shone brightest at the Interstate Series, securing the title inside two days with four commanding wins on the trot.
The side consisted of some special talent – Kirsten Rudgeley, Kathryn Norris, Yeah-Jin Lee, Abbie Teasdale, Eve Cohen and captain Maddison Hinson-Tolchard. Many of which will compete in two weeks’ time at the Women’s Interstate Series in Adelaide.
Hinson-Tolchard finished her week with the moment of the tournament, chipping-in on the last hole at Royal Perth to take a 1up victory and put the icing on the cake for her beloved teammates, with the side having already secured victory.
As the chip fell softly into the hole, you could sense the excitement, something special had very much been achieved by these girls.
While the boys’ managed third place in their Interstate event, it was the dogged determination that caught peoples eye. Their never give up attitude was to be admired, with the team culture and enjoyment at an all-time high.
The week finished with Min Woo Lee catapulting into the top ten in the World Amateur Rankings, a milestone that pushes the young sensation closer to his ultimate dream.
Moreover, WA now owns 8 of the top 20 athletes in the Australian boys’ rankings, while five girls’ sit inside the top 22.
It may have only been 8 days, but it has left a significant mark on golf in Western Australia. Clearly, the future is incredibly bright for golf in WA.