Gennai ‘Captain Fantastic’
MOSSMAN’S Gennai Goodwin has captained the Queensland junior team to victory in the interstate team titles.
The talented 17-year-old, a member of last year’s Queensland team which won the title, said being chosen to lead the state team of Lauren Mason, Tiffany-claire Lewis, Victoria Fricot, Dee Dee Russell and Nadine White to victory earlier this month against the best young golfers in the country was a huge honour.
“Not only because of the title but it became obvious that my teammates, coach and manager all had the confidence in me to show guidance and wisdom and to lead the team to victory,” she said.
“Going into the interstate series I knew we had the team to win, but for us to play with the determination and drive that each player did, I believe that’s why we took out the series.
“Throughout the whole week the team really worked together as one group, which I believe is the biggest key to winning this event.”
The Queensland team got off to the perfect start in the interstate series, winning 5-0 against South Australia in their first match at the Carbrook Golf Club south of Brisbane.
The team came out the second day eager to build on the momentum in the morning session and beat Victoria 4-1.
In the afternoon session against New South Wales, which finished runner-up last year, the Queensland girls knew they would face their toughest test.
However they kept it together and fought to win 3 1/2 to 1 1/2.
With such a strong performance throughout the first two days, it meant they only had to win one contest against the very intimidating Western Australian team on the final day.
“At this point the team thriving on the idea of taking out the series for a second year, you could feel the excitement and determination coming from everyone,” Goodwin said.
“Nadine White and Lauren Mason won their matches which meant Queensland had won back to back series.
“It’s a great way for most of us in the team to finish our junior careers.
“Being part of a back-to-back winning team is an extraordinary feeling, but to say I was captain of such a hardworking and extremely motivated team is a feeling and a title I will never forget.”
Goodwin also finished a credible 15th out of 83 junior golfers in the 2012 Australian Girls Amateur Championships at Carbrook in the lead-up to the team triumph.
“The course was playing very tough throughout the championships, with the rainy conditions making it even more difficult,” Goodwin said.
“I was hoping for a slightly better result but I’m not disappointed, I played well throughout the week and I was well prepared.”
Goodwin recently moved to Brisbane to study a bachelor of arts at the University of Queensland as well as being selected as the captain of the State’s junior team.
“At the start the move was tough to get used to but in terms of where I see myself in the future it was the best option I could have made,” Goodwin said.
“Balancing golf and study is definitely a challenge, but I think I thrive and work better when I’m busier, so this is definitely the right circumstance for me.
Goodwin has also just been awarded a Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) scholarship. The QAS is the breeding ground for sporting champions and supports more than 600 athletes across 22 different sports and through individual scholarships, providing athletes with access to world-class sporting facilities, coaching and support services.
“To be granted this scholarship is definitely the first stepping stone I need to really get my golf career moving towards becoming the professional golfer I want to become in the future,” Goodwin said.
Leading from the front: Queensland captain Gennai Goodwin holds aloft the trophy with her teammates