Konrad Ciupek (Victoria Golf Club) and Alizza Hetherington (Royal Melbourne Golf Club) have won the 2016 Victorian Boys and Girls Championships, played at Yarra Yarra Golf Club.
Heading into the last 18 holes, the contest was open with a number of players in contention to take out the titles.
Ciupek, 17, entered the final round in fourth place, three shots back of the leading pair of Thomas Heaton and Isaac Noh. Heaton and Noh both suffered their worst rounds of the tournament, shooting 5-over and 9-over respectively, opening the door to the rest of the field.
Ciupek seized the day with a sizzling 2-under round including four birdies, one of which was on the eighteenth hole to seal the victory and provide vindication for Ciupek who lost the Victorian Junior Masters in a play-off earlier this year.
Kingston Heath Golf Club’s Andre Lautee also shot 2-under, however fell just one shot short of Ciupek, earning outright second.
In the girl’s section, 16-year-old Hetherington, who held a six-shot lead at one stage in the third round, entered the final round with just a one-shot buffer ahead of The Australian Golf Club’s Celina Yuan.
Yuan opened strong with a flawless front nine however struggled on the home stretch, eventually carding 4-over for the day. Conversely, Hetherington started with a shaky front nine however steadied after the turn to return a score of 1-over and secure a two-shot victory.
Mandurah Golf Club’s Kathryn Norris carded an equal best round of 1-over to join Yuan in second place.
In the U14 division, Nathan Page took out the boy’s section and Keely Marx was victorious in the both girl’s section and the overall net section. While in the U16 division, Thomas Heaton took out the boy’s section and Norris went home with the honors in the girl’s section.
In a major coup, all four tournament days were held at Yarra Yarra, one of Melbourne’s prestigious sandbelt clubs.
Tournament director, Doug O’Keeffe was thrilled to stage the tournament at such a quality golf course.
“We are extremely thankful to Yarra Yarra for supplying their course for all four competition days and sharing our vision, not only to grow junior golf but the game of golf in general,” he said.
The tournament drew a full field of 166 players including golfers from all over the country and also three females from Singapore.
“It was fantastic to see such a strong field playing Victoria’s eldest junior tournament on one of the country’s best courses and we look forward to seeing the tournament and players alike return to Yarra Yarra for the 2017 event,” said O’Keeffe.
2016 also saw the introduction of an inaugural Victorian Boys and Girls Championships live stream. The stream was housed on the Golf Victoria website and provided the opportunity for family, friends and the general public to witness the action unfold live from Yarra Yarra.
Hetherington’s name will be engraved alongside the likes of Burtta Cheney (1935), Margaret Masters (1951 – 1954), Lindy Goggin (1969), Rachel Hetherington (1991) and Su Oh (2008 and 2010). While Ciupek joins Kevin Hartley (1951), Ian Stanley (1966), Bob Shearer (1963), Marc Leishman (2001), Bryden Macpherson (2007) and Todd Sinnott (2009).
For full tournament information, please visit the Golf Victoria website.