DUBBO’S Dayne Gardiner has taken out the 2013 Western Area Secondary Schools Golf Association golf championship’s A grade scratch title in a thrilling play-off.
Teeing off at the Wentworth Golf Club yesterday morning, Gardiner edged out a hot junior field with 75 off the stick to claim the title from Bathurst’s Scott Matheson, also finishing with 75 off the stick in the 18-hole event.
It took a play-off hole for Gardiner to topple Matheson.
Orange’s Hudson Smith claimed the A grade handicap title with a net score of 68.
Smith bettered another Orange up-and-comer in Tyler Mendham, with 71 net enough to score Mendham second place on the handicap ladder.
In the girls’ event, Cowra’s Laura Cummings won the scratch with 79 off the stick while Bathurst’s Emma McCarthy claimed the handicap title with 82 net.
Jack Newton Junior Golf country junior development officer Sharon Nott was thrilled with the standard of golf, adding the western region was renowned for producing top talent at a junior level.
“We do have a strong number of junior golfers,” Nott said.
“The WRAS (Western Region Academy of Sport) in Bathurst, there’s a number of standouts that are in the mix here at the championship, they’re all low markers. WRAS, this is a bit of a stepping stone towards that.”
Kids from as far as Bourke travelled to Orange for the 2013 event, previously hosted by Cowra.
Bourke’s Larry Brissenden came out on top in the B grade handicap event with a net score of 60 while Kayden Barber, from Dubbo, finished runner-up with 72 net.
The B grade scratch was won by Bathurst’s Blake Arthur with 90 off the stick.
Lincoln Smith from Orange finished in second with 94.
Nott, who helped coordinate 26 students competing in the non-handicapped two-man ambrose event, said the success of the championship was there for all to see.
She now hopes the ambrose event, taken out on a countback by Harry Whatman and Sam McKenzie with a score of 24, will help attract more kids to junior golf.
“It’s just to give those kids an opportunity to get involved with golf on a school level,” Nott said of the Newtown Shield, which was introduced for under 15s to be involved in the championship.
“And hopefully it gets more kids coming down to their local course.”
The top four boys and girls from the event will travel to Blackheath for represent the WSSA before heading to Wagga next term for the NSW Combined High Schools championship.