Gunnedah teen finds Tamworth to her liking

THE Longyard’s Nathan Mann and Gunnedah’s Montana Dries are the Tamworth Junior Open champions for 2012.

Mann edged out Tamworth’s Zac Johns to win the boys’ title, while Dries was a six-shot winner in the girls and took home the Allison Watt Memorial Shield and North & North West District Ladies Golf Association Junior Girl Champion silverware as well as the Tamworth open trophy.

The 16-year-old has enjoyed her share of success at the Tamworth course.

She’s won the junior open previously and recently won the North West schoolgirls’ title for the second successive year.

On Sunday she fired a 10 over par 82 to finish ahead of Sawtell’s Courtney Robinson (88).

“It went surprisingly well. I hit the ball quite well,” she said.

“I haven’t been hitting the ball that well.”

She said she struggled a bit on the greens chipping onto them, but was consistent over the 18 holes with 41 and 41.

Next on the calendar is the Gunnedah Junior Golf Championships where she will be defending her title. 

Dries is also thinking of registering for some tournaments in Sydney in early January.

For Mann, the win was his first.

He’s played in the open every year but the best he’d done before Sunday was second in a play-off two years ago.

He was the lowest marker, playing off +1, and fired a two over par 72 to beat Johns by a shot.

“I played okay,” Mann said.

“I had three bogeys on the front nine which didn’t help.”

The back nine was a lot better.

“I had a birdie and eight pars on the back,” he said.

He is now looking towards the Australian men’s amateurs in Melbourne in the middle of January.

“Hopefully I can get into that and go down there,” he said.

They take the 216 on the lowest handicap of those registered.

He was one of 55 who played on Sunday from clubs across the North West and New England, and from the Central West, North Coast and Hunter.

The tournament hasn’t had the best of luck with the weather. Twice in the last four years it’s been washed out.

But the sun shone brightly on Sunday, as did Armidale’s Callum Butler.

He won the 11-14yrs boys’ 18 hole event ahead of Walcha’s Andrew Brennan.

In the 9-hole events, Gunnedah’s Dylan Power won the 11-12yrs and Muswellbrook’s Kyle Dowde the 9-10yrs, with Brodie Parker (Tamworth) and Bailey Milford (Coonabarabran) finishing runners-up. 

The girls was won by the Longyard’s Nicola Ross from Tamworth’s Hannah Roworth while Coonabarabran’s Callum Reedman won the 5-hole boys’ division.

Tamworth’s Brendan Scott was the runner-up.

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