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Kalgoorlie Miner - - FRONT PAGE - Mike Exell

Ju­niors ready to hit course for cham­pi­onships

A group of the Gold­fields’ most promis­ing golfers are head­ing to Perth for one of the big­gest chal­lenges of their young ca­reers, the 2014 State Ju­nior Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onships.

To­mor­row’s 36-hole stroke play event at the Gos­nells Golf Club will test the lo­cal play­ers’ skill level and en­durance.

Ris­ing star Joshua Fewkes, who com­peted at the WA Gold­fields PGA Cham­pi­onship, head­lines the group of seven and is joined by younger brother Con­nor.

Brett Honey, Ky­nan Holt, Austin Ba­roni and Thomas Han­nam are also mak­ing the trip, while Jocelyn Green is the only Gold­fields’ girl tak­ing part.

All seven are mem­bers of the Gold­fields Golf Club’s high per­for­mance squad, and de­spite play­ers rep­re­sent­ing the club at other events, this is the first State Cham­pi­onships for all of them.

The course will be very dif­fer­ent from the desert-style one the ju­niors are used to, with Gos­nells fea­tur­ing tree-lined fair­ways and deep roughs.

Thomas, 15, com­peted at the course in July and said he would use the ex­pe­ri­ence to take con­fi­dence into to­mor­row’s event.

“It’s a very dif­fer­ent course to Kal­go­or­lie and it’s pretty chal­leng­ing, es­pe­cially when you go off the fair­way — you’re not go­ing into dirt,” he said.

“I’m just hit­ting my peak I think — I played pretty well on the week­end, so hope­fully come Fri­day I’ll be able to play well over 36 holes.

“I’m not try­ing to fo­cus on too much head­ing in, just try­ing to stay re­laxed, but the greens are a lot quicker down in Perth, so I’ll need to be mind­ful of that when I’m putting.”

The vastly dif­fer­ent course lay­out will not be the only chal­lenge fac­ing the play­ers, with all 84 com­peti­tors set to play morn­ing and af­ter­noon rounds.

To­mor­row’s tem­per­a­ture is also ex­pected to top 37C, which means the lo­cal play­ers will have their work cut out for them.

GGC di­rec­tor of ju­nior golf Mark Ba­roni said play­ing on for­eign cour­ses in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions was crit­i­cal to the de­vel­op­ment of the re­gion’s up-and-com­ing golfers.

“Play­ing on other cour­ses, dif­fer­ent set­ups is nec­es­sary to im­prov­ing the young play­ers’ games,” he said.

“Cour­ses in Perth have nar­rower fair­ways, of­ten they are tree­lined, so the area where they can hit the ball and the land­ing zones are a lot smaller.

“Gos­nells is a pretty tough course, hilly ter­rain and pretty slick greens, so it will be a good chal­lenge for our kids who are go­ing down.”

Pic­ture: Paul Braven

Ju­nior golfers Con­nor Fewkes, 14, Ky­nan Holt, 16, Joshua Fewkes, 16, Thomas Han­nam, 15, Jocelyn Green, 15, Brett Honey, 15 and Austin Ba­roni, 14 are all set to com­pete in Perth.

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