Wolstenholme to take on Lee in NSW Amateur
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2006 New South Wales Amateur Championship | Round Four | 11 Feb 2006
In what now appears to be a regular occurrence which sees an Australian battling an Englishman for an amateur championship this summer, the NSW Amateur Championship will be determined between Gary Wolstenholme, England’s most capped Walker Cup player and young local and National Squad Team member Won Joon Lee.
Wolstenholme’s experience and consistency proved to give him the edge in the semi final against Richie Gallichan, whilst Lee’s 10 birdies in the afternoon session discounted Scotland’s Scott Jamieson.
Lee, 20, will be looking to go one better from his runner up finish last year. He knows every blade of grass on the superb Concord layout. The problem is that he is up against one of the world’s most experienced and talented amateur golfers Wolstenholme.
Wolstenholme, 44, is a match play scenario specialist and the final is guaranteed to be anything but a walkover as both players ooze class within the amateur system. Wolstenholme is twice British Amateur Champion, has played in four winning Walker Cup teams and he was the 1995 NSW Medal winner.
Lee is also no slouch regarding amateur success with wins in the 2004 Korean Amateur and a number of Vardon events including the Avondale Medal and Concord Cup. Lee goes into the final with the home advantage as well as from a number of starts in the professional ranks this summer, including the Proton NSW Open and the MFS Australian Open.
Sentimental favorite would have to be Lee, after all it is his home club and you can be sure a strong and proud following of Concord Golf Club members will be giving Lee plenty of encouragement. He has been there before only last year, but fell short to current world number 4 amateur, Mitchell Brown.
In an indication of Wolstenholme’s capacity to rise under the pressure, not that this is at all doubted, was shown he disposed of the defending champion Mitchell Brown in the 4th round of this Championship. Wolstenholme’s solid and consistent play today against a determined Richie Gallichan will give the Englishman a tremendous lift going into the final despite what will probably be a parochial local reception when he tees off tomorrow.
Wolstenholme’s game suits Concord’s layout of one of the best inland layouts in Australia. Concord is a parkland layout similar to his home club Kilworth Springs which requires precision off the tee and the capacity the read green undulations.
It must be said that the NSW Amateur Championship is a true test to determine a champion.
The player holding the Championship trophy tomorrow evening would have survived a 72 hole stroke qualification series that was played over two different layouts and five 36 hole elimination match play rounds – now that’s a championship which is not for the fait hearted and both Lee and Wolstenholme have plenty of heart.
Photo – Anthony Powter