History being made at NSW Amateur
BY Golf NSW | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2014 New South Wales Amateur Championship | Preview | 28 Jan 2014
For the first time in history, the Men’s and Women’s NSW Amateur Golf Championships will be played together. A host of the world’s leading amateur golfers will contest the events, with players competing from all over Australia, as well as Spain, Fiji, Korea, New Zealand and England.
This year will see Sydney’s Inner West play host to this prestigious event, with Castle Hill Country Club, Pennant Hills Golf Club and Concord Golf Club being utilized. The event is held over six days from Wednesday 29 January to Tuesday 4 February (no play on Saturday 1 February).
The oldest major event conducted by Golf NSW, the Men’s NSW Amateur Championship was first played in 1898. The list of former winners contains a who’s who of NSW and Australian Golf greats including the likes of Bruce Devlin, Jack Newton, Tony Gresham, Brett Ogle, Peter O’Malley, Michael Campbell and Brendan Jones.
It is the first men’s state Championship of the year, one of the major national amateur tournaments, and is a National and World Ranking Event.
“This championship attracts the best amateur golfers in the state, both young and old, plus leading golfers from other states and internationally," remarked Graeme Phillipson, General
Manager – Golf, Golf NSW.
“With the final two players having played six gruelling days of golf, it really is a test of skill, mental strength and endurance”. “This year we will have the men and women competing at the same venues for the very first time and it promises to be a fantastic spectacle. We are bound to see some great golf.”
A strong field of 240 competitors will tee up in this year’s event. Of the Interstate visitors, Victorian’s Ben Eccles and Thomas Power-Horan are back to defend their NSW Medal and Amateur
titles. Power-Horan is also now the holder of the course record at one of the venues, Castle Hill, after his spectacular round there during the NSW Open in November.
England’s Ryan Evans, the top-seed last week at the Australian Amateur, comes off a course record on The East Course at The Grange and should feature at the Amateur. As will fellow countryman and
world number 32, Harry Casey. They will be joined by a strong contingent of Welsh and New Zealand players.
From NSW the ones to watch include National Squad member Cameron Davis, who continues to impress and 2012 Champion of Champions, Jordan Zunic (Bonnie Doon GC).
The Women’s NSW Amateur Championship has been moved to this new date to follow on from the Women’s NSW Open Championship the week before.
“We’re excited about the growth of the women’s event with it now being played the week after the Women’s NSW Open. It will allow leading amateurs from all over the world an opportunity to play in this fantastic event” noted Phillipson.
Over 60 women will compete in the event this year, which is one of the major national amateur tournaments, and is a National and World Ranking Event.
Like the men’s, the Women’s Championship is steeped in tradition, having been first played in 1903 and the trophy bearing the names of Edwina Kennedy, Rachel Hetherington, Karrie Webb and Nikki Campbell.
Players to watch in the field include West Australian’s Tatiana Wijaya, Hannah Green and Hayley Bettencourt, and Victorian’s Bianca Lang, Jo Charlton and Grace Lennon.
Visitors have taken out both titles in recent years however a host of NSW youngsters hope to utilize their local knowledge to stop that trend.