Inaugural Junior 6 Champions Decided

The respective winners flank tournament host Ewan Porter

The inaugural staging of the Junior 6’s Invitational at the Cronulla Golf Club in Sydney was completed yesterday and already the talk turns to next year’s event and expanding on the tournament’s successful debut.

The brainchild of former two-time Nationwide Tour winner, Ewan Porter, himself a member of the Cronulla Golf Club during his amateur days, the event was administered by the Cronulla Golf Club along with Porter and Gold Coast based professional Peter Shaw and consisted of 36 holes of stroke-play over the opening two days followed by a rapid fire series of six hole knockout matches.

The respective male and female fields were restricted to players 17 years of age and under.

The leading eight players from the stroke-play phase played off on the final afternoon to determine the winners of both the girls’ and boys’ competitions.

West Australian Hayden Hopewell defeated current Australian Junior Champion Elvis Smylie of the Gold Coast in their final to win what he described as his most important title in his young career to date.

“My game plan for the super 6’s was to go for everything, don’t hold back and have no regrets,” said Hopewell.

“It paid off. I ended up being nine under for the 15 holes.

“This win is definitely up there. I won the Jack Newton (International) last year. I’m proud to be the inaugural winner.”

The finals would see both the Australian Boys and Girls Junior Champions defeated with RACV Royal Pines based Korean, Hye Park, who holds the Australian and NSW Junior Amateur titles along with the Queensland Amateur Championship, going down to Concord Golf Club (Sydney) Belinda Ji in the Girls’ event.

It’s an amazing win for me,” said Ji

“I haven’t really played anything like this before, so it feels special to win.”

Both players earn starts at their respective NSW Opens in November and March (girls)

Porter was delighted with the initial staging of the event is especially pleased with the base formed for future growth.

“I was really pleased how the event came together so well in its first year and with the opportunity to build on that then I see a great future for an event which is so close to my heart,” he said.

“The Cronulla Golf Club played such a role in my early golfing days and that the trophy for the Strokeplay phase in both the girls and the boys events was named after my Dad (Norm), who passed away a year ago, made the event even more special.”

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