2023 04 news junior mainA Championship record score highlighted our 27th Annual Northern Junior Open.

A smaller field than normal but the quality was there anyway. A new format this year of stroke play for the under 20 handicappers and stableford for the over 20s. Northern is on the Junior order of Merit schedule; the Boys playing for the Geoff Ogilvy Trophy while Girls play for the Future Champions Award. The under 12s in the field also have the opportunity to win State Junior Squad selection. It’s a busy tournament and highly recognised by Golf Australia; a reputation earned over its 27 years.

The course was in outstanding condition for the event and numerous youngsters reported their enjoyment of playing at Northern; a credit to our Superintendent Ryan and his staff. Members who were there waiting for the Juniors to finish before they could play also said that they had never seen the course looking better. A fine sunny day after a weekend of almost winter weather might have contributed to the prospect but the work is there and our young visitors appreciated it with some excellent scores.

Xue You Ning (Cranbourne), my Aussie name Jack, shot the lowest score in the event’s history; 66 with 6 birdies to take the Boys Stroke Trophy. He was excited that he had played his best-ever game and even with his limited English and nervousness while speaking everyone enjoyed his special moment. Runner-up Angus Hoey (Latrobe) shot a 3 under 69, a winning score in previous years. The Girls 18 hole Stroke winner was Sophie Mann (Keysborough) with 75 by two shots from Georgia Schwartz (Medway ) with 77. Sophie was generous in her thanks to the tournament organisers and the course staff in receiving her winner’s trophy.

Charlie Baker (6) (Latrobe ) won the Boys Nett Event with 69 nett by one shot from Jacob Ngo (2) (Medway) with 70 nett on a countback from Meinke Shi (Northern). The Girls Nett was won by Grace Li (19) (Box Hill) by one shot from Elsa Sima (13) (Woodlands).

The Boys Stableford winner was Yubo Shen (34), a visitor from Thailand, with 52 points from Henry Vu (25) (Spring Valley) with 41 points. The Girls Stableford was won by Bonnie Sandri (23) (Medway) with 44 points from Olivia Jin (Eastern) and Ele Willis (Torquay) both on 38 points.

Northern was also represented in the field by Sam Clough and Zentis Meehan-Laurins and it was pleasing to see a former Junior member, Alessandro Tarantelli, now at Huntingdale, playing.

Special thanks to Luke Young, Northern’s Assistant Manager, who conducted the event on behalf of Golf Australia. Another successful Northern Junior tournament.

(Scoop Church) signing off.

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