By Neal Maidment
Joe Buttress came up just short in the Australian Junior Amateur despite a brave effort on the final day at Tasmania Golf Club.
The WAGC member applied immediate pressure to overnight leader Zackary Swanwick with three birdies in his opening four holes. Buttress was three under for his round after nine and closed the gap to the lead to just two strokes after a birdie at 14.
He was unable to pick up any further shots on the homeward run, though, and closed with a bogey to card a three-under 69 and finish 2nd for the championship at -10. It is the second consecutive year in which Buttress has finished as runner-up in this event.
Buoyed by an eagle at the 14th, New Zealander Swanwick was able to relax down the stretch, eventually recording a four-stroke victory from Buttress, with QLD’s Kai Komuleinen a stroke further back in outright 3rd.
Although disappointed not to close out the win, Buttress was pleased with his week’s work, which marked a return to form after an indifferent season in national events.
“I’d give my game a seven out of 10 today,” Buttress told GolfWA. “I gave it my best shot, but Zack has had an amazing tournament and deserves the win.
“I’m very happy with second place and looking forward to hopefully contributing to a team win at next week’s interstate matches.”
Best of the rest
Elsewhere, Wanneroo’s Ollie Marsh closed out the boys’ championship with a one-over 73 to finish T19th at +3 overall, while there was a moment to treasure from Josiah Edwards as he recorded a hole-in-one at the par-three 8th. Edwards aced the 151-metre hole with his nine iron on his way to a level-par round and a T23rd finish at +5 for the tournament.
The fourth WA boy to play all four rounds was Joondalup’s George Barclay. He closed with a round of 76 to finish T30th overall.
Although not title contenders, WA’s Jorja Hinson-Tolchard (Gosnells) and Celine Chen (Joondalup) continued the strong form they showed in Round 3. Hinson-Tolchard’s closing 75 saw her finish in 16th position at +11 for the championship, while Chen’s week concluded with a level-par 73 and T17th.
Mount Lawley duo Erina Tan and Isabella Leniartek also played all four rounds, finishing in T33rd and 35th respectively. NSW’s Ann Jang claimed the girls’ title at -9 for the championship, four strokes clear of New Zealand’s Eunseo Choi.
On to the interstate matches
The GolfWA players now switch their focus to next week’s Australian Junior Interstate Teams Matches, with WA Team Manager Catherine Strickland saying they go in feeling good about their chances of success.
“I’m immensely proud of the whole team’s performance at The Junior Amateur,” she said. “They showed great determination on a challenging course, there’s great camaraderie in the team and they have set themselves up well for next week’s matches.”
The Junior Interstate matches take place at Ulverstone Golf Club in Tasmania from April 17-20 and you’ll be able to follow WA’s progress via the GolfWA news section and our Facebook, Insta and Twitter accounts.