Smylie triumphs in Keperra

Posted by on October 18, 2019  /   Posted in golf news

Elvis Smylie with the Keperra Bowl today. Image: Richard Mamando Golf NSW

Brilliant Queensland junior Elvis Smylie today added the prestigious Keperra Bowl to his national junior title triumph earlier this year.

Left-handed Smylie, 17, boarded six birds and no bogeys in a par 66 under six to catch 54-hole leader Josh Armstrong of Canberra and eventually win with two shots at 16 under total.

He shot 69-66-71-66 for the week at Keperra Country Club, including an amazing three eagles in his second round.

Another Queenslander, Dylan Gardner, finished with a 65, the low round of the day, to finish second at 14-under par, a shot for Canberra & Armstrong (71 today) and New South Welshman Nathan Barbieri (68) on 13- bottom.

Australian Christian College year student Smylie is the son of multiple grand slam tennis champion Liz Smylie and plays from Southport Golf Club on the Gold Coast. He played tennis when he was a baby before playing golf at the age of seven.

When he won the national junior title in his home club in April, he captured a spot in the Emirates Australian Open field in December, where his growing talents will be on the bigger stage.

He played in the final group today with Armstrong and Barbieri, took the lead midway through the final round and parried the last five holes to secure the win, and finished with a great long-distance two-putt at the 72nd hole. "I started two behind and knew that I had to go low," he said afterwards. "Fortunately I made some putts when it was needed and it worked for me."

Smylie said the win was almost the same as his junior national win because of the open field. "You play with boys who are no younger than 18, so the caliber of players is higher," he said. "Keperra is a difficult job and people went low. My game is as good as it ever was. I went out, kept things simple and it worked for me.

"When you think about what Aussie junior is doing to you, it's huge. I don't want to compare and they are both important events."

Smylie played tennis in his infancy, but switched to golf around seven and never regretted it. He seems to have made the right choice. He will then contest the Port Phillip Amateur in Victorian before taking up his invitation to play the National Open with the professionals.

The Keperra Bowl dates from 2005 and is a world top for amateur rankings. Previous winners are Marc Leishman (2005).

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