Driving Classic to new heights

Published 2:56pm 11 December 2023

Driving Classic to new heights
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured above: Cameron Smith with the 2023 Junior Classic overall boys' winner Issak Jensen at Wantima on Friday..

The biggest Cameron Smith Junior Classic (CSJC) has also been hailed “the best” after a record entry, close finishes and a hole-in-one at Wantima Country Club.

Cameron Smith, who learned to play on the Brendale course and is now one of the world’s top golfers, said: “It keeps getting better every year.

“Kenny (McKay) and the boys here at Wantima do an incredible job organising it.”

224 players teed-off in the two-day 18 and single round 9-hole events on Thursday and Friday - with Smith on the course both days and presenting all the awards.

Rounds of 68 and 63 gave Isaak Jensen, from Yeppoon, the overall boy’s title by two shots from the 2022 winner Wesley Hinton, of Keperra.

Driving Classic to new heights
Overall Girls' winner Allegra DeGuzman teeing off on the fifth hole at Wantima. Picture courtesy Belinda Dixon

Allegra DeGuzman, from Pacific, won the overall girls' trophy with rounds of 82 and 77 for a two-shot victory over Elly Petersen, of Royal Pines.

The nine-hole event for under 14s went to Dylan Baker after a four-way putt-off having finished on 38 with Kennith Hinton, Joseph Unnasch and Byron McNaught.

Jace Taylor, 16, from Brookwater, who started playing 11 months ago, celebrated the first hole-in-one of his career and only the second in CSJC history.

He hit a six iron off the 16th tee but said: “We didn’t know if it was in because of the sun. Everyone was saying it was close.

“I ran up, looked in the hole and it was in! I went a bit crazy. I’ve not really got close to a hole-in-one before!”

Driving Classic to new heights
Jace Taylor all smiles after hitting the first hole-in-one of his career, at Wantima on Friday.

It was one highlight among many which delighted Cameron Smith, who grew up in Bray Park, went to Pine Rivers State High School and is now based in Florida.

“Kids loving golf puts a smile on my face more than anything else,” said the 2022 Open Champion and winner of The Players Championship, dubbed the fifth ‘major’.

“It’s so good to watch. I’ve seen lots of good shots and a few not so good, but that’s golf.

“This course brings back so many of good memories for me … they flash through my mind every time I’m out here.”

Smith paid tribute to co-organisers Ken McKay and Shane Johnsson and the green staff at Wantima who are “making the course better and better each year”.

Driving Classic to new heights
Issac Jensen, the overall boys' champion, in action on Friday. Picture courtesy Belinda Dixon

He also thanked the scores of volunteers, on and off the course and the Wantima Country Club for its support.

That was echoed on the Cameron Smith Junior Classic Facebook page, with one parent, in particular, posting: "Congratulations on such an amazing event.

“To get such great support from so many volunteers, just shows how important junior golf is to the Wantima Golf Club.

“From the food to the refreshments supplied, to the greens staff presenting such a hidden gem, this event has everything, even Australia’s best (Cameron Smith) cruising around with his dad waving to the kids. So good.”

Driving Classic to new heights
Cameron Smith, second from left, with the CSJC organisers, from left, Ken McKay, Cheryl Hong Choy, Ben Collins and Shane Johnsson.

2023 Cameron Smith Junior Classic Overall results

A Grade Boys (December 7-8)

Gross/overall winner: Isaak Jensen (Yeppoon) - 68, 63, total 131

Gross runner-up: Wesley Hinton (Keperra) - 64, 69, total 133

Nett winner: Dallas Douglas (Charters Towers) - 69, 62, total 131

B Grade Boys

Gross winner: Robert Nieuwoudt (Gainsborough Greens) – 72, 76, total 148

Gross runner-up: Alex Clark (Wantima) – 74, 75, total 149

Nett winner: Jett Draper (Indooroopilly) – 67, 65, total 132

C Grade Boys

Gross winner: Eli Parsons (Rockhampton) – 82, 77, total 159

Gross runner-up: Archie Lethbridge (Tewantin-Noosa) – 81, 79, total 160

Nett winner: Bailey Handcock (Wantima) – 68, 60, total 128

Girls’ results (December 7-8)

Gross winner: Allegra DeGuzman (Pacific) – 72, 70, total 142

Gross runner-up: Elly Petersen (Royal Pines) – 72, 72, total 144

Nett winner: Catherine Sun (Sanctuary Cove) – 66, 67, total 133

Nett runner-up: Cassandre Geens (Keperra) – 70, 64, total 134 CB

My Golf 9-hole Junior Classic (December 8)

Boys’ Winner: Dylan Baker - 38 (after putt-off)

Runner-up: Kennith Hinton - 38

Joseph Unnasch and Byron McNaught also scored 38 and were in putt-off.

Girls’ winner: Chloe Tennant - 36

Runner-up: Tiana Belcher - 41

Picture gallery 1 - click through

18-hole Round One Results (December 7)

A Grade Boys

Best Gross score: Wesley Hinton (Keperra) - 64

Best Nett score: Harry Malcolm (Virginia) - 66

B Grade Boys

Best Gross score: Robert Nieuwoudt (Gainsborough Greens) – 72

Best Nett score: Jackson Grady (Keperra) – 65

C Grade Boys

Best Gross score: Archie Lethbridge (Tewantin-Noosa) – 81

Best Nett score: Kane Johnsson (Wantima) - 64

Girls

Best Gross score: Millie Komillainen (Emerald Lakes) - 71

Gross runner-up: Allegra DeGuzman (Pacific) – 72 CB

Best Nett score: Catherine Sun (Sanctuary Cove) – 66

Picture gallery 2 - click through

18-hole Round Two results (December 8)

A Grade Boys

Best Gross score: Issac Jensen (Yeppoon) - 63

Best Nett score: Dallas Douglas (Charters Towers) – 62

B Grade Boys

Best Gross score: Daniel Brown (Indooroopilly) - 73

Best Nett score: Jace Taylor (Brookwater) - 62

C Grade Boys

Best Gross score: Eli Parsons (Rockhampton) - 77

Best Nett score: Kyle Hino (Virginia) – 60 CB

Girls

Best Gross score: Allegra DeGuzman (Pacific) – 70

Gross runner-up: Elly Petersen (Royal Pines) - 72

Best Nett score: Abby Cook (Wantima) - 63

For full results click here

Share

Related Stories

Popular Stories

New Suttons Beach 'pavilion' revealed
News / Local

New Suttons Beach 'pavilion' revealed

The winning design in a competition to replace the iconic Suttons Beach pavilion, has been unveiled today by Moreton Bay City Council. ** Pictures, Video, Free to read **

Walk off the war within

Walk off the war within

Now in its fourth year, Walking Off the War Within will continue supporting veterans and the first responder community when the organisation holds its annual walk on June 29, raising awareness of mental health. Here's the details

Pangai Junior set for round 16 debut
News / Sport

Pangai Junior set for round 16 debut

Dolphins NRL Head Coach Wayne Bennett says new recruit Tevita Pangai Junior will play against the Storm in round 16, but first his side has to face a red-hot Sharks team in their first Sydney game of the season. Here’s what he had to say + photos from training