A stunning 30-shot Australian title win for Hampton
GOLF: New Caledonia's Norman Bonnet shot to victory at the 2017 Australian Junior Age Division Golf Championship in the 17-18 years boys' section played at Capricorn Resort.
The three-day event attracted 125 junior golfers aged from five to 17 from three Australian states, as well as from New Zealand, New Caledonia and India.
The competition was fierce on the fairways, with three Central Queensland golfers emerging victorious in their age divisions.
Capricorn Resort's Ben Scott won the boys' 15-16 age group, Yeppoon's Isaak Jensen won the 11-12 years boys and Moranbah's Talie'e Hampton claimed the seven-eight years girls by an amazing 30 shots, the biggest winning margin of the tournament.
The brainchild of Don and Shelley Scott, the championship is the only event of its kind in the country where players compete in their own age group, and the winners qualify to represent Australia at two world junior events in the United States.
The 17-18 years boys division was hotly contested between local golfers Ben Swaffield and Caleb Scott, Emerald's Harry Wills and Norman Bonnet.
In the end Bonnet won with a score of 227 from Swaffield (233) who came in second after a countback with Wills.
In the girls division, Moree's Breanna Purse shot rounds of 92, 85 and 85 (262) to win.
In the 15-16 years boys, Ben Scott (last year's 13-14 years winner) carded rounds of 77, 80 and 78 (235) to take the gold.
In the girls division, Brigitte Griffin from Pelican Waters led from day one to take the title from Blackwater's Rae Weiki.
The 11-12 boys division was closely fought by Yeppoon's Isaak Jensen and Gladstone's Declan Corke.
Isaak led from the start to finish with impressive rounds of 76-74-73 (223) to win by seven strokes.
Talie'e Hampton tore up the course in the seven-eight years girls, shooting scores of 53-55-52 (160) to score an emphatic victory over Mackay's Hana Taare (190).
New Zealander Ethan Lam was crowned the seven-eight years boys champion.
The 9-10 division, which saw the biggest field with 23 boys, was a race between India's Arrow Shah, New Zealand's Hayden Lam and home club member Aidan Scott which came down to the last round.
Arrow wrapped up the title after he blitzed the course on the final day to finish on 104 from Hayden (108) and Aidan (111).
This age group also had the biggest girls field and required a playoff to determine the winner.
The title was secured after one play-off hole by Juhi Rampersad from North Lakes after she and Megan Smith from Cairns both carded 108 from their 27 holes.
New Zealand's Caerwyn Ross shot 223 to win gold in the 13-14 years division, while French girl Maiwen Delamaire from Royal Pines had a convincing win in the girls division.
Shelley Scott said the event was again a great success.
"The tournament was played over three days in great conditions with many sub-par rounds being posted across the age divisions," she said.
"The course was in great condition after the passing of Cyclone Debbie and her trail of wind and rain, and the greens staff did a fantastic job to have the course picturesque and ready for action.
"The players all conducted themselves in a fantastic manner, showing a high level of sportsmanship and camaraderie throughout the event. We sincerely thank our sponsors and supporters - local mayor Bill Ludwig, Livingstone Shire Council, Keppel Bay Sailing Club, Drummond Golf Rockhampton, Get Real Golf Stats, Record Printing, Fayde Clothing and Capricorn Resort Golf and its staff."
Shelley said the best-performed Australians in each individual age would be invited to travel to the World Stars of Junior Golf in Las Vegas and the West Coast AAU Junior Olympic Games in Temecula, Southern California, in July.
Those players are:
6 years and under: Ellianna MacRae, Chase Rendell
7-8 years: Mattys Visser, Yutaro Matsushita, Emily Ansen, Talie'e Hampton
9-10 years: Arrow Shah, Aidan Scott, Aliana Manderson, Juhi Rampersad
11-12 years: Isaak Jensen, Saxonn Capilos, Mary Golder, Annabelle Abrahamsen
13-14 years: Tyler Quaill, Brock Olive, Poppy Harrington, Dhiya Rampersad
15-16 years: Ben Scott, Bailey Callander, Rae Weiki, Brigitte Griffin
17-18 years: Ben Swaffield, Caleb Scott, Breanna Purse