Top am­a­teur tro­phies head to Welling­ton

Inside Golf - - Events -

IT was a dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion for Welling­ton­based club mates Ju­lianne Al­varez and Daniel Hil­lier, when they won their re­spec­tive Co­bra Puma New Zealand Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onships last month.

Al­varez claimed the New Zealand Women’s Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship at the Alis­ter MacKenzie-de­signed Ti­ti­rangi Golf Club, de­feat­ing 16-year-old year old Alanna Camp­bell in a tense 36-hole fi­nal. Her new­est tro­phy will go nicely with sil­ver­ware from her 2013 na­tional ti­tle as well as the New Zealand Stroke Play ti­tle she won ear­lier this year.

Al­varez sig­nalled her in­ten­tions early in the fi­nal round with a birdie on the first hole, match­ing Camp­bell with pars un­til her sec­ond birdie at the sixth to ex­tend her lead.

Camp­bell, who qual­i­fied as the num­ber one seed af­ter show­ing her fight­ing qual­i­ties all week, mounted a strong come­back to square the match with a birdie on the 17th. How­ever, Al­varez shone through and put the ex­cla­ma­tion mark on what had been a won­der­ful few weeks of golf for her.

On the num­ber one rank­ing, Al­varez said: “It’s some­thing I’ve al­ways aimed for. I’ve been work­ing at it for a long time and things are com­ing into fruition … it’s where I want to be. It feels good.

“Match play is ex­cit­ing you can be more cre­ative and ag­gres­sive but I just stuck to my game plan. I have been for­tu­nate to be hit­ting it re­ally well, which is a great ad­van­tage around Ti­ti­rangi, so I used that to my ad­van­tage.”

In the New Zealand Men’s Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship, 16-year-old Daniel Hil­lier stormed to victory in a fi­nal tus­sle fea­tur­ing an­other young con­tender.

Sam Vin­cent, 17, bat­tled hard all day of the fi­nal round, but could not move ahead of Hil­lier’s er­ror-free golf.

Hil­lier was thrilled with the big­gest win of his ca­reer, and re­flected on how far he had come since his days as a four-year-old when he went out “for a few holes with my Dad”.

“I’ve been work­ing with [Manor Park Golf Club coach] Kevin Smith for four years now and we have made some re­ally good progress for a while now … and have re­alised that this could be a re­ally big part of my life.”

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