Stellar field for Women's Lake Macquarie
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Ladies Amateur Tour | 2008 Women's Lake Macquarie Amateur | Preview | 16 Jan 2008
The Lake Macquarie Women’s Amateur has attracted a stellar 2008 field that includes the cream of the crop from Australia and New Zealand.
The 72-hole tournament, which in its tenth year, starts tomorrow at Belmont Golf Club and the national selection event has evolved into one of the most sought after and fiercely contested amateur titles on the Australasian schedule.
US LPGA player, Nadina Light (nee Taylor) claimed the inaugural title in 1998 and since then past champions have included current professionals, Sarah Kemp (2002) who’s currently playing the US LPGA Tour and European Tour players, Katy Jarochowicz (2003) and Rebecca Stevenson (2000).
The field will be headed by a number of National Squad members, Whitney Hillier, the current Australian Girls Amateur Champion, Bree Arthur, the 2007 Queensland Stroke Play Champion and Irish Stroke Play runner-up, Stephanie Na, runner-up last year in this event, Cecilia Nha, Courtney Massey and Kristie Smith.
New Zealand Golf has sent a full six-strong squad and have dominated the tournament in past years, claiming the last two of three titles at Belmont, with Sarah Nicholson winning in 2006 and Jenny Park in 2005.
The New Zealand women’s squad is led by Dasom Lee, the under-19 and under-21 New Zealand Stroke-Play Champion, Penny Smith and New Zealand’s National Amateur Champion, Larissa Eruera.
The stage is set for what promises to be another gripping tournament. This week’s Lake Macquarie’s Women’s Open has also the potential to turn into a Tras-Tasman test, as the best amateurs of the two nations play-off against each other. This alone will add that extra bit of interest to the tournament, particularly as to whether an Australian can win on home soil and break what appears to be, a New Zealand strangle hold on the title.