Sixes go off with well-known bang

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Hayden Hopewell (left) and Belinda Ji celebrate with Australian professional and tournament organizer Ewan Porter in Cronulla.

It was as if lightning struck twice when West Australian Hayden Hopewell and Belinda Ji of Sydney claimed the inaugural Junior 6s Invitational at Cronulla Golf Club.

And just like the literal bolt that temporarily halted the procedure mid-afternoon, it was the double wins over the reigning Australian boy and girl champions – Elvis Smylie and Hye Park – in the final that thrilled the crowd.

The stage was set for spectacular golf as the match rounds started with Jacob Dundas, the 8th seed, where the best seed of the boys Jeffrey Guan was removed in a sudden death closest to the pin thriller to open the upper half of the draw.

It opened the door for Hopewell who was good for Novocastrian Dundas 3 & 2 in the semi-final.

Smylie, the second seed, was good for both Blake Phillips and Tyler Duncan to reach the final and watched many who had to beat the man.

But it was all Hopewell in the final when the Perth youngster jumped to an early lead with victories over the first two holes.

Smylie fought hard, but when Hopewell made a clutch bird on the 16th to go 2-up, it was almost over.

A concession on the next hole was all Hopewell needed to secure the title.

The West Australian state player described it as the biggest win in his career.

"My game plan for the Super 6s was to go for everything, not hold back, and not regret," said the 17-year-old.

“It has paid off. I finished nine under for the 15 holes.

"This victory is certainly there. I won the Jack Newton (International) last year. I am proud to be the inaugural winner."

Hopewell also guaranteed itself a start in the NSW Open next month, as well as a start in the Gippsland 6s on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.

"It must be great to play, I can't wait," beamed Hopewell.

The girl's event amounted to the two best seeds in the final with Koreanland, Korean Park, NSW and Australian girl champion against Concord & Belinda Ji.

Park seemed to be in the lead with a lead of 1 in three holes to play, but a lost ball on the 16th seemed to rattle the talented 15 year old.

An incorrect tee-shot on the penultimate hole led to a second straight concession and suddenly it was Ji in the box seat with only the par-three as the last to play.

Ji showed how nervous under pressure and hit her tee-shot to just under 4 meters to increase the pressure on Park, who responded by also striking her tee-shot close together.

Unfortunately, Park was unable to convert the putt and Ji left two putts for the win that also excited her.

"It's a great win for me," she said.

"I have never played anything like this, so it feels special.

"I played pretty well all day, so I knew I would get my chance and I just had to stay patient."

The victory assured Ji of a place in the 2020 Ladies NSW Open at Dubbo Golf Club.

Competing against the pros is familiar grass for Ji, who qualified for her first Women & # 39; s NSW Open as a 12-year-old and during the 2018 Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville took a hole-in-one on the 17th hole in the first round.

"I'm looking forward to playing against the professionals again. It's great to see how you can play against them; it's a great experience," she said.

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