Golf: Bay youngsters lead the NZ charge

By Ben Guild

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Omanu's Alanna Campbell has shown rapid improvement over the last year.
Omanu's Alanna Campbell has shown rapid improvement over the last year.

Bay of Plenty golfers have secured a disproportionate number of places in junior national teams to contest upcoming amateur events in Australia.

Te Puke's Charlie Hillier, Mount Maunganui's Bailey Smith and Omokoroa's Tyler King have all been named in the boys' team to compete at the Australian Boys' Championship at Heritage Golf & Country Club, Victoria, from April 9-11, while Omanu's Alanna Campbell and Opotiki's Tyla Kingi have made the team to contest the Australian Girls' Amateur at Croydon Golf Club, Victoria.

Bay golfers comprise half of the four-strong girls' team that also includes Celyn Khoo and Brydie Hodge, while the presence of Hillier, Smith and King in the boys' selection means both national teams have a distinct Bay of Plenty feel about them.

Bay of Plenty Golf CEO Chris McAlpine said the announcement was fantastic news and just reward for an outstanding year for the Bay's golfers.

The list of titles captured by the young squad members reads like a roll call of some of the most prestigious junior tournaments.

In January, Smith won the South Australia junior title, followed by Campbell winning the Victoria Girls' Masters.

Kingi captured the National Women's Maori Championship and was third equal with Campbell at the Lawnmaster Classic in Manawatu.

Last year, King claimed the South Island under-19 championship, while Hillier won the New Zealand under-19 title by four strokes.

Both Australian tournaments will be played over 72 holes and are open to players under 18 years of age on the first day of play.

The boys' event boasts past winners including Adam Scott, Jason Day, Stuart Appelby and Robert Allenby.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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