"Another big step" for junior classic

Published 6:00am 26 July 2023

"Another big step" for junior classic
Words by Nick Crockford

The Cameron Smith Junior Classic (CSJC) is opening up to even more young golfers this year.

Organisers have secured more course time for the December 7-8 tournament at Wantima Country Club in Brendale.

That means between 180-210 players can be accommodated in the main two-day Classic, up from around 140 last year.

The one day nine-hole competition will cater for up to 72 players this year, an increase of 18 on 2022.

“It’s another big step,” Ken McKay, Wantima’s former junior co-ordinator who launched the CSJC in 2017, said.

“If you’d asked me seven years ago, I’d have said it was just a pipe dream to be where we are now.

“But none of this would be possible without Cam (Smith), the person and of course with his success.”

Boy's 9 hole overall gross winner Kamran Barden receives his award from Cameron Smith last year - Picture Katrina Gibson

Smith, the 2022 Open Champion, who is currently world ranked seven, held a junior golf clinic at the tournament last year.

The 29-year-old grew up in Bray Park, went to Pine Rivers State High School and learned to play golf at Wantima alongside his father Des.

Entries will open for the CSJC, a strokeplay event for players aged 18 and under with a Golf Australia handicap or overseas equivalent, at the end of August.

It will have a shotgun start on the Thursday (December 7) and first-tee start on the Friday. (December 8).

The nine-hole tournament is for those without an 18-hole handicap to involve as many players as possible over the two days.

It will also, again, be the first qualifier for the next Greg Norman Junior Masters series and counts towards the Queensland Order of Merit.

Ken McKay, who founded the Cameron Smith Junior Classic at Wantima.

Cameron Smith Junior Classic winners:

2017: Boys’ champion Tyler Duncan; Girls’ champion Lion Higo

2018: Boys’ champion Mitchell Hennessy; Girls’ champion Chloe Nam

2019: Boys’ champion Andrew Park; Girls’ champion Haruhi Nakatani

2020: Boys’ champion Harry Takis; Girls’ champion Justice Bosio

2021: Boys’ champion Manato Nakatani; Girls’ champion Haruhi Nakatani

2022: Boys’ champion Wesley Hinton; Girls’ champion Kirra St-Laurant


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