Christchurch, New Zealand: Amelia Garvey will be aiming to cap the most memorable year of her young golfing career with a commanding performance in next week’s Faldo Series New Zealand Championship.
The 17-year-old has enjoyed an outstanding 2017. The icing on the pre-Christmas cake would be retaining her Girls’ Division title at award-winning Clearwater Golf Club in the 12th leg of the Faldo Series Asia season.
Since her admirable display in the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final in March, where she was pipped for victory by Japan’s Minori Nagano on a countback in the Girls’ Under-16 division, Garvey has played consistently well.
Among the highlights were winning the New Zealand Amateur Stroke Play Championship and being the only amateur from her country to make the half-way cut in the LPGA Tour’s New Zealand Women’s Open, performances that have helped her to secure a golf scholarship to the University of Southern California next year.
“Hopefully, golf’s the future for me,” said Garvey, who represented New Zealand in this year’s Asia Pacific Women’s Amateur Team Championship for the Queen Sirikit Cup and has risen to 349th in The R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Before heading Stateside, Garvey would like another shot at the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, the 12th edition of which will be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam in March, 2018.
To qualify, Garvey will need to be among the age-group winners in the fourth edition of the 54-hole New Zealand Championship. But she can expect stiff competition at Christchurch’s Clearwater Golf Club which, for the third year in a row, has been named as New Zealand’s Best Golf Course and the Best Course in Oceania at the World Golf Awards.
Likely to be among her main rivals are former Faldo Series New Zealand Championship winners Juliana Hung and Hiroki Miya, the current Canterbury Match Play champion, and Jordan Woodall, triumphant in the South Island Under-19 Championship and joint runner-up in the Boys’ Under-18 category at Laguna Lăng Cô this year.
A strong showing is expected also from Marcel Boet, who helped New Zealand to victory at the 2015 IMG Junior World Team Championship, tied for first at the 2016 World School Golf Championship and is currently on a golf scholarship at the University of Oregon.
Andrew Bell, Clearwater’s General Manager, said: “We’re delighted to once more host the Faldo Series New Zealand Championship and are extremely thankful for the support of New Zealand Golf and Todd and Marion Heller, which ensures three young New Zealanders will enjoy the privilege of contesting the Faldo Series Asia Final. We hope that this year’s New Zealand winners can build on the runner-up places claimed by Amelia and Jordan.”
The 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. The International Junior Golf Academy is a partner of the Faldo Series.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships are staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.