Josiah Edwards unleashed his inner Tiger Woods to win the Tasmanian Junior Amateur by an incredible 18 strokes.
The Gosnells GC and GolfWA State Squad member blew away the field to finish at 15-under-par for the championship. Carding rounds of 66, 72, 66 and 69 around Launceston’s par-72 Riverside Golf Club, Edwards was the only player to finish the event under par. Nearest rivals Maximilian Fischer (Bonnie Doon GC, NSW), Bailey Goodall (Shepparton GC, VIC) and Campbell Kerr (The Brisbane GC, QLD) shared 2nd on +3.
The way 15-year-old Edwards tore up the course was reminiscent of Tiger Woods’ march to a 15-stroke victory in the 2000 US Open. Edwards carded only three bogeys over 72 holes and didn’t drop a shot in either of his six-under-par 66s. He credited his short game for the margin of victory. “My putting and chipping saved me the whole four rounds,” he said. “I made clutch up and downs, and took almost every opportunity I had for birdie. I made heaps of 20-footers!”
The title gave Edwards his first win in a Golf Australia Junior Order of Merit event outside of WA – an achievement he hadn’t counted on so early in his career. “I definitely wasn’t expecting to win interstate events at 15, but I’ll take it and I’m looking forward to more wins in the future,” he said.
Although familiar with Edwards’ strengths, Marc Pike, GolfWA’s Game Development & Performance Manager, admitted that he was still stunned by the nature of his victory. “After playing three other Order of Merit events already in January, having the physical and mental prowess to compete at such high levels time after time is astounding. To play such fantastic golf and win by 18 strokes is an amazing accomplishment.
“We also recognise Josiah’s capacity to balance his golf ambitions, school commitments and other hobbies with having downtime and just being a teenager,” Pike added. “This is integral to being a rounded human being as well as a high-performing golfer, which is a testament to Josiah’s upbringing, core values and family.”
The result was just the latest in a string of accomplished performances by Edwards, who finished T2nd and 8th in two Junior Order of Merit events in South Australia last week (one of which was won by Edwards’ WA teammate George Barclay). He went on to claim a share of 3rd place in the Tasmanian Junior Masters later in the week. Read more about that event here.
Besides Edwards, two further WA-based players contested the event with Spencer Harrison (Royal Perth GC) and Benjamin Kivelhan (Royal Fremantle GC) earning top-20 finishes.