Four teenagers to contest New Zealand Amateur Final

On an afternoon where four experienced players who had lifted the New Zealand Men’s and Women’s amateur championship in previous years were predicted to take out their Semi Finals at the Titirangi Golf Club this afternoon, it was youth that won out and tomorrow will see four teenagers have their shot at glory in the 36 hole final.

Sixteen year old Daniel Hiller (Manor Park Golf Club) and seventeen year old Sam Vincent (Lochiel Golf Club) will contest the men’s final it what is believed to be the youngest ever final, while sixteen year old Alanna Campbell (Omanu Golf Club) will face off against eighteen year old Julianne Alvarez (Manor Park Golf Club).

After Vincent saw off club mate Luke Toomey in a big upset in the mornings quarter final, few would have expected him to topple the in-form 2012 champion Vaughan McCall, who had beaten number one seed Tae Koh in his quarter final.

In rainy conditions Vincent showed few nerves and calmly birdied the first hole for a lead that he would never relinquish. A bogey on the 3rd saw the match back to all square but the experienced McCall was unable to get his nose in front and quality play from Vincent with birdies on 7, 12 and 13 saw him move to three up. While McCall fought back with birdies of his own on the 15th and 16th, Vincent played error free golf on the 17th and 18th for the biggest victory of his young career.

In the other semi-final like Vincent, Hillier too showed confidence right from the start by birdieing the 1st. Hillier’s effort though was matched by the defending champion Josh Munn. Munn however stumbled on the next two holes with bogies allowing Hillier to jump out to a two up lead. Birdies from Munn on the 4th and 8th squared the match and the two players amazingly halved the next seven holes. Just as the match looked certain to go at least eighteen holes Hillier made a clutch birdie on the 16th and Munn bogeyed the 17th handing Hillier a 2&1 victory, and like Vincent, the biggest win of his career.

In the Women’s Semi Finals, three players Munchin Keh (2012), Chantelle Cassidy (2014) and Julianne Alvarez (2013) had all won the New Zealand Amateur Championship, however tomorrow Alvarez will be the only player with a chance of adding another New Zealand Women’s Amateur title to her resume.

Alanna Campbell the number one seed who had three gritty wins, being taken to the 17th hole and twice to the 18th in her matches prior to facing Cassidy looked to try and change that theme in the semi-final and jumped out to a quick two up lead. Cassidy was the defending champion for a reason though and quality golf saw her fight back and take a 1up lead standing on the 11th tee. Campbell who has been behind at some stage in all of her previous matches showed the grit that has personified her week at the tough Titirangi Golf Club and clamed back the lead with a brilliant birdie on the clubs signature par three 14th hole. After finding the putting surface in two on the par five 17th she calmly holed the eagle putt for a 2 & 1 victory.

In the second semi-final Julianne Alvarez lined up against Wenyung Keh knowing she was two matches away from a historic double after claiming the New Zealand Stroke play title at Paraparaumu Beach earlier this year and being able to rightly claim the title as the new queen of New Zealand Women’s Golf.

Birdies on the 2nd and 3rd hole and a par to Keh’s bogey on the 4th saw Alvarez shoot out to an ominous three up lead after only four holes. While Keh was able to eat into the lead when Alvarez made a rare mistake on the par three 7th hole, as was the case all afternoon Alvarez would quickly win the next hole to maintain a comfortable advantage. Another Alvarez birdie on the 15th saw her dormy with three to play and while Keh, as she had all afternoon fought back to with the 16th, she was always too far behind after Alvarez’s hot start and when the pair traded birdies on the 17th hole Alvarez’s passage to the final where she can claim her second New Zealand Women’s Amateur title was safe.

Tomorrow will see a fascinating days play where a new prince of New Zealand Golf will be crowned, and the new queen of New Zealand Golf will try to ensure that the princess doesn’t get her crown.

Photo Caption: Will contest the New Zealand Men’s Final

Photo Caption: Will contest the New Zealand Women’s Final

New Zealand Men’s Amateur Quarter Final Results

Vaughan McCall def Tae Koh 4/3, Sam Vincent def Luke Toomey 1up, Daniel Hillier def Austin Bautista 1up, Josh Munn def Dale Williamson 2/1

New Zealand Men’s Amateur Semi Final Results

Sam Vincent def Vaughan McCall 1up, Daniel Hillier def Josh Munn 2/1

New Zealand Women’s Amateur Quarter Final Results

Alanna Campbell def Ela Grimwood 1up, Chantelle Cassidy def Munchin Keh 2/1 , Julianne Alvarez def Brooke Hamilton 4/3, Wenyung Keh def Momoka Kobori 3/2

New Zealand Women’s Amateur Semi Final Results

Alanna Campbell def Chantelle Cassidy 2/1, Julianne Alvarez def Wenyung Keh 2/1



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