Class field at Lake Macquarie Amateur
BY Liz White | Australian Ladies Amateur Tour | 2010 Women's Lake Macquarie Amateur | Preview | 14 Jan 2010
A quality field will take on this week’s Ladies Lake Macquarie Amateur at the Belmont Golf Course on the NSW north coast.
Headlining the tournament is defending champion Julia Boland and Australian Amateur titleholder Justine Lee.
Hot on their heels will be Victorian Stacey Keating who will be keen to make it three in a row after winning the Tasmanian 72 -hole stroke in October and the prestigious Dunes Medal in a play off over Justine Lee just last month.
It’s been a busy six weeks for Keating who narrowly missed gaining her full tour card for the Ladies European Tour in Spain just three weeks ago.
The Lake Macquarie Amateur is a national ranking event and also forms part of the Karrie Webb points race series.
A good showing by Keating would see her stretch her narrow three-point lead over another of this country’s consistent performers, South Australia’s Ebony Heard. West Australian Jessica Speechley rounds out the top three in the points race, sitting just a little under seven points further back.
Golf Australia National Squad member Whitney Hillier will also be looking to put in a strong performance after spending much of late last year competing in international events in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.
In June she won the Astor Salver at the Royal Berskhire Golf Club in England then continued her strong form through to August where she shot a course record seven under 65 at the Canadian Amateur to finish equal 10th.
Current Texas A&M student Julia Boland returns to the scene of last year’s triumph and it will be interesting to see if the Tamworth native can successfully defend her title. If she does, it will make it three in a row for the 23-year-old.
Boland signed up for a one-year scholarship with Texas A&M in August after winning the Tennessee Trans national Amateur in July.
The move has not hurt her golf where she has put in some solid performances, including two wins, and a tied 4th from just five starts. Boland’s performance as a college senior earned her the Big 12 Female Golfer for the month of November.
While all eyes will be on the senior amateurs this week, worth watching will be some of the up and coming juniors including Kingston Heath’s Su-Hyun Oh.
Last year, the Korean born golfer created history becoming the youngest player, at aged 12, to compete in the Women’s Australian Open.
She missed the cut by just six shots, an outstanding performance from the teenager who drives around 230m off the tee.
With such prodigious talent and the experience of playing in Australia’s National Open it would not surprise to see this determined youngster go close this week.
The 72-hole Ladies Lake Macquarie Amateur kicks off today.