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|Peregian||Twin Waters||Pelican Waters||Noosa Springs||TOTAL|
|Allegra De Guzman||74||77||71||72||294|
What an exciting four days of Junior Masters Championships golf.
Four rounds of golf over four of the Sunshine Coast's best golf courses in Peregian, Twin Waters, Pelican Waters and Noosa Springs.
A very big thank you to all four courses and the management for their help and cooperation in facilitating the event.
Girls nett winner - Ruby Kavanagh
Boys nett winner -Chase Rendell
The opportunity for our up and coming junior golfers to play in a format similar to that played on the PGA and LPGA circuits against other junior golfers of comparable ability is an invaluable experience in their golf development.
Heading to Noosa Springs for the last round there were only two boys, Harrison Gommez and Miles Romagnoli, with a realistic chance of taking out the championship.
Harrison teed off iwth a two shot lead but an early flurry from Miles and the pair were back on level pegging. As the match progressed Harrison's experience and consistency wore his opponent down and a series of uncustomary bogeys from Miles saw Harrison take an unassailable lead in to the final few holes. Harrison's one under par score proved to be his second sub-par round for the Championships leaving with a 9 shot Championship win over the rest of the field.
The girls event proved to be a much closer affair. After the third round at Pelican there were 3 girls within 4 shots of current leader Ionna Muir. Allegra De Guzman and Mikayla Dyal were hot on Ionna's heels with Ruby Kavanagh just a further shot back.
Mikayla and Ruby teed off ahead of Ionna and Allegra with Mikayla getting off the a flying start courtesy of a birdie on the first hole before giving the shot back with a bogey on the second followed by a double bogey on the third. Two birdies on the fron saw Mikayla turn in a respectable one over par 37.
Ruby on the other hand started off more conservatively with three pars. With her putter running hot Ruby peeled off four birdies in six holes with a bogey and a par to turn in a Championship best front nine of 3 under par 33.
In the final group Allegra started chasing down Ionna's 4 shot overnight lead with two birdies on the first two holes while Ionna lipped out a putt for par on the second. Another birdie on the front nine for Allegra along with her double bogey on the 7th saw her turn in even par 36 against Ionna's 3 over 39, whittling the lead down to just one shot at the turn.
With the tension mounting both girls teed off the 16th at +8 for the Championship. Meanwhile in the group up ahead Mikayla and Ruby coontinued to chip away at the lead that both Ionna and Allegra had been able to maintain. Mikayla played par golf up until the 18th where an emaculate approach shot set up a birdie and enabled her to finish at +8 for the Championship. With her only blemishes on the back nine being two bogeys Ruby needed to sink her birdie putt to match Mikayla's +8. Unfortunately the putt came agonisingly close but failed to find the bottom of the cup leaving Ruby on +9.
Allegra and Ionna traded pars on 16 and 17 leaving them still on +8 teeing off on 18. Both girls hit solid drives and good second shots setting up the opportunity for an attacking third shot to the green on the par 5. Both girls hit the green with Allegra's approach getting her a little closer to the hole. As Mikayla watched on Ionna just missed her long putt, sank the next and finished on +8 for the Championship. The title now rested on the face of Allegra's putter as she lined up what looked like a reasonably makeable putt and a Championship winning +7. A collective sigh emerged from the crowd as Allegra's putt missed and we were off to the first for a three way play-off.
The players drew for teeing order. Mikayla stepped up to the tee first and planted her drive right down the middle of the fairway. Allegra followed next and and also got a good drive away finsihing about 5 metres ahead of Mikayla.. Ionna stepped up and hit a solid drive which began to draw across the fairway before finishing up in the trees to the left hand side of the fairway.
With nerves of steel Mikayla stepped up to her appraoch shot and proceded to stick it about 4 feet below the pin. This put the pressure back on to Allegra , her approach finishing some 15 feet to the right of the pin. Unfortunately for Ionna her wayward tee shot left her with a fairly ugly lie and she was only able to progress the ball about half way to the green leaving her a tricky down hill approach shot.
All three players are now on the green. Allegra and Mikayla for two and Ionna, furthest from the pin, sitting three. Ionna needed to sink her long par putt and hope both the other girls missed their birdie putts to keep the match alive. It wasn't to be. Ionna finishing with a bogey five. Next to go was Allegra needing to sink her longish putt for birdie to put the pressure back on Mikayla's short birdie putt. The crowd held there breathe as the ball headed towards the hole only to curve away at the last moment. For Allegra a tap in par, leaving Mikayla the opportunity to win the play-off and the Championship.
We can only imagine what was going through Mikayla's mind and the pressure she may have felt on that putt. Whatever it was, it didn't show as Mikayla cooly struck the putt in to the middle of the cup.
A moment of pure joy for one player. A moment of bitter disappointment for two players.
Ruby Kavanagh managed some compensation for her missed putt on 18 taking out the girls nett win for the Championship. Boys nett winner was Chase Rendell. Both players thereby qualifying for the Frank Schmidt Cup (formerly the Cup of Cups) to be played at Noosa Springs on November 19.
For their win Mikayla and Harrison each recieved a $1000 scholarship to help cover the costs of attending a golf tournament of their choice. In addition as the Champions they have automatic qualification for the 2024 Graeme Miller Junior Masters Championship.
A big well done to all the players. The competition was fierce but played in great spirit. For many of you four days of competitive golf is a new experience.
Also a massive thank you to all the parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers and others who got behind the kids and helped make the event a success.