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.”
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.