Australia’s best performed players have been recognised following the conclusion of the 2021 Golf Australia Order of Merit, despite another interrupted season due to Covid-19.
Western Australian Kirsten Rudgeley has rounded out her brilliant year claiming the Women’s OOM title whilst South Australia’s Jack Buchanan won the Men’s OOM.
Rudgeley’s year was highlighted by victories at the Port Phillip Open Amateur, Victorian Amateur, WA Amateur Stroke Play and the Rene Erichsen Salver in South Australia. Rudgeley also finished runner-up at the Australian Amateur and WA Amateur.
“I think it has been my best and most consistent year and it was fantastic to get some wins,” she said. Looking forward to 2022, Rudgeley is keen to test herself against the best amateurs from across the world.
“Hopefully there will be less restrictions on travel next year. It would be great to get to the US and test myself over there,” she said.
Kelsey Bennett from New South Wales finished a close second after her great season, highlighted by three wins, with Queenslander Sarah Wilson rounding out third place.
Buchanan had an incredible six top-five performances, including runner-up finishes at both the Tasmanian Open and SA Classic. Buchanan marked the missed cut at the Australian Amateur as the catalyst for a change of form.
“It was obviously disappointing to miss the cut at the Australian Amateur, but it was great to put together a really consistent season after that,” he said.
“COVID has provided a lot of challenges throughout the last 18 months, and I can’t wait for 2022 with hopefully a full schedule.”
Australian Amateur champion Louis Dobbelaar from Queensland finished in second place, narrowly edging out Victorian Toby Walker.
In the Girls’ OOM, Queensland dominated placings with Haruhi Nakatani taking out top honours.
Nakatani’s year saw solid performances across the board, finished top three at all events and claiming victories at the Tasmanian Junior Masters, NT Classic and Queensland Junior Amateur.
Fellow Queenslanders and Emerald Lakes’ members Sarah Hammett and Emily Martin rounded out the top three respectively.
It was a double for Queensland in the juniors with Kai Komulainen claiming victory in the Boys’ OOM.
Komulainen started the year in outstanding fashion with a remarkable month of golf in January, dominating with victories at the SA Junior Amateur, Tasmanian Junior Amateur and Junior Masters and the Victorian Junior Amateur. Komulainen finished runner-up at the South Australian Junior Masters in his historic run.
Victorian Abel Eduard and Queensland’s Dujuan Snyman rounded out the top three. With the 2021 Australian Senior Amateur unable to go ahead due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, unfortunately the Senior Women’s and Senior Men’s OOMs were not awarded.
The GA Order of Merit encourages participation among low-handicapped golfers and provides players the opportunity to track their performances from certain Australian events across the season.
Golf Australia’s General Manager of Events & Operations, Therese Magdulski said: “There were over 2,700 individual players from Australia who contested a GA Order of Merit event over the last 12-months.
“The events are an important part of our high-performance pathway in providing much needed competitive playing opportunities to develop our next generation.”
Each system is points-based over a 12-month rolling period. All national championships and each state’s amateur championship in their respective systems count towards a player’s average, in addition to various other major events approved by Golf Australia.
The 2022 GA OOM seasons kick off on November 1 with a substantial schedule of high-quality playing opportunities planned for the next 12 months.
GA Women’s Order of Merit: 1. Kirsten Rudgeley (WA) 2. Kelsey Bennett (NSW) 3. Sarah Wilson (QLD)
GA Men’s Order of Merit: 1. Jack Buchanan (SA) 2. Louis Dobbelaar (QLD) 3. Toby Walker (VIC)
GA Girls’ Order of Merit: 1. Haruhi Nakatini (QLD) 2. Sarah Hammett (QLD) 3. Emily Martin (QLD)
GA Boys’ Order of Merit 1. Kai Komulainen (QLD) 2. Abel Eduard (VIC) 3. Dujuan Snyman (QLD)
For final results and more information, please click here.