Top amateur trophies head to Wellington
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.”