Victorian Junior Masters in an era of growth

Alizza Hetherington
Alizza Hetherington is the overall girls leader at -1 after round 1.

After being played across two courses earlier this year, the Victorian Junior Masters is set to expand yet again in 2017 at the newly merged Churchill - Waverley Golf and Bowls Club.

In a bid to grow the event even larger, the 2017 tournament will be played without a cut across four days from 3-6 January, meaning players will play two rounds at the Waverley course and two rounds at the Churchill Park course.

The decision to remove the cut will guarantee all competitors four rounds of championship golf and assist in attracting an elite domestic and international field. 

With 230 players currently registered, the tournament has already broken last year’s record high field of 213. A large contingent of interstate players and a number of players from New Zealand and Singapore will be welcomed to the field alongside local talent.

The reigning boys’ champion Jones Comerford (NSW) will return to defend his title and on the girls’ side current Victorian Girls’ Champion and Victorian Women’s Amateur Champion Alizza Hetherington will tee it up.

Tournament Director, Doug O’Keeffe, said the decision to remove the cut and expand the event from three to four days was an easy one.

“This move is a natural progression for the championship. We need to guarantee players four rounds of golf to assist the event to grow and compete with other nationally ranked junior championships,” said O’Keeffe. 

The tournament will be played in stroke play format across 72-holes, with the field seeded at the halfway point of the event. Once again the final round will be live streamed via the Golf Victoria website (www.golfvic.org.au) and will also feature live scoring throughout the event.

We expect to see a high level of competition with the overall champions to receive a conditional exemption to compete in the 2017 Oates Vic Open, a professional event sanctioned on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and the ALPG Tour, as well as the Port Phillip Open Amateur. 

2017 will mark the 23rd consecutive year Waverley has hosted the event. 

“We continue to work closely with Churchill - Waverley Golf and Bowls Club to grow the event year after year and we feel that the field we will have in January will be one of the best yet,” O’Keeffe added.

The Victorian Junior Masters is a stage renowned for boosting junior golfers towards touring professionals. Past champions include Aaron Baddeley (1998), Marc Leishman (2001) and Jason Day (2005).

For all tournament information, please visit www.golfvic.org.au.

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