After a hugely successful 2018, GolfWA held the Junior Presentation day at Mount Lawley Golf Club as their last event to award all the hard work that has been put in over the year. Teams competed in a friendly 4 Ball Club Team Ambrose, with this year’s theme being ‘sporting heroes’ and teams dressing up as their favourite hero.
Beautiful weather, even if slightly windy, proved favourable for GolfWA’s own team (Fritz Arnold, Kirsten Rudgeley, Josh Herrero and Hayden Hopewell) who took out 1st place with a nett score of 54.125. They were followed closely by a team from The Vines (David Lewis, Adam Brady, Sammy Operchal and Declan Hoskin) with 55.375, and Cottesloe Golf Club’s team (Jack Patterson, Tom Patterson, Lucas Ferri and Zac Mainwarring) taking out 3rd place with a Nett score of 56.5.
Even more important than the golfing was the costume competition. With plenty of Tiger Woods, a few tennis players and even a Kelly Slater thrown in the mix, competition was tight. However the clear winner of the day was the Pinjarra Golf Club team (Craig Lowery, Alex Maxwell, Brayden Napoli and Zane Riches), who were seriously decked out as John McEnroe in a true team effort.
Presentations began to celebrate the many achievements of 2018, including stroke average winners and junior golfers of the year. Teams that competed throughout the year were acknowledged, including the School Sport WA team who competed at the National School Sport Australia Championships in Coffs Harbour, and the boys state team.
Girls captain Maddison Hinson-Tolchard gave a speech on behalf of the Girls state team, who claimed the national teams title in April at Royal Perth; the first WA girls to win since 2005.
The Smarter Than Smoking Junior Stroke Averages were presented, with Ollie Marsh, Tom Addy, Connor McKinney and Connor Fewkes taking out their respective age categories for the boys, and Amie Phobubpa and Kirsten Rudgeley claiming for the girls.
Out of the male nominations for the 2018 most improved junior golfer, Spencer Harrison claimed the title thanks to his progression as a regular playing member at Royal Perth and improvement of his handicap. For the girls, Amie Phobubpa, also from Royal Perth, was the most improved in 2018, managing to lower her handicap from 8.1 to 3.6 and performing consistently in competitions.
Finally, the Keith Barker Medal for the 2018 Junior Golfer of the year for the boys and girls was announced. From Royal Fremantle Golf Club, Hayden Hopewell was awarded the honour after an outstanding year and extensive list of achievements, including the Drummond 54-Hole Champion, Jack Newton International Classic Champion and much more.
For the first time in history of the award, there were two female recipients. The two girls who achieved such amazing success in 2018 that they couldn’t be separated were Kirsten Rudgeley and Maddison Hinson-Tolchard. Kirsten was the WA Amateur Champion, quarter finalist at the Australian Amateur, runner up in English girls stroke play among other things, as well as spending time mentoring and volunteering.
Maddison was the Australian girls amateur champion, US Girls amateur qualifier, Victorian amateur champion plus an ambassador and mentor for younger girls. Having two Western Australian girls achieving so high in 2018 was fantastic to see and the awards were very well deserved.
At the end of a hugely successful year, GolfWA would like to thank all the sponsors; Healthway, Callaway, Drummond Golf and DLGS & CI for their support, enabling us to continue developing junior golf and assisting junior golfers.