Siblings double up in Cameron Smith Classic

Posted: 12pm 09 Jan 2022

Siblings Manato and Haruhi Nakatani (pictured above) made the fifth Cameron Smith Junior Classic (CSJC) a family affair at Wantima Country Club.

The brother and sister, from Surfers Paradise, won the top boys' and girls' prizes in the rescheduled tournament at the Brendale course on Friday.

Manato, 17, shot a two-under par 68, on a day of heavy showers and blustery wind, to land the boys’ title at the second attempt.

Sister Haruhi, 15, birdied the first play-off hole to beat Tuuki Takada, from Southport, after both had rounds of 71.

Manato Nakatani with his trophy for winning the Boys overall competition.

Second win

It was Haruhi’s second overall victory in the CSJC having won in 2019 and finished runner-up in 2020.

Among their prizes were pin flags from the 2021 US Masters, signed sent by Cameron Smith, with signed caps for the A Grade runners-up.

“We had to go out in the rain (for the play-off), but it was worth it. If it was a countback I would have lost,” Haruhi said.

“I found it tough out there. I missed quite a lot of fairways, but my short game was pretty good today.”

Picture special: scroll through

Cooper Field (Pelican Waters)
Toby Davis (Toowoomba)
Yevin Samaravatne, Alfie Ward and Cooper Sabotic
From left - Mary Golder, Haruhi Nakatani, Summer Sadler and Tuuki Takada
Kip Reisinger-Jones lines up a putt
Organiser Ken McKay

Great start

Manato described conditions as “pretty hard and pretty wet” but it was a “great way to start the year. I think Mum and Dad are very happy!

“The wind and rain made it difficult. My gloves and clothes were wet and you had to concentrate more than usual on hitting the ball clean.

“But I really enjoyed it. I thought the course was really good today.”

Taj Egea, from Brookwater, pipped Wantima’s Jayke Merrell to second spot on countback after both had rounds of 71.

More pictures: scroll through

A Grade Boiys winners, from left, Taj Egea, Manato Nakatani, Jayke Merrell
Manato Nakatani with his signed US Masters pin flag from Cameron Smith
Taj Egea with his awards for being runner-up in the A Grade Boys
Haruhi Nakatani with her signed US Masters pin flag
Manato and Haruhi Nakatani with their troghies from the Cameron Smith Junior Classic.
Ron Hedges


Like Manato, Egea praised the course saying it looked “amazing”, while Merrell thanked the officials and volunteers who made the CSJC possible.

Organisers Ken McKay and Shane Johnsson paid tribute to the greenkeepers for the quality of the course and Wantima Country Club for its continued support of the CSJC.

The 2021 tournament was rescheduled after torrential rain forced a late postponement on December 10 and was held with additional COVID-19 precautions in place.

At the same time Cameron Smith, who grew up in Bray Park and learned to play at Wantima, made a stunning start to the first US PGA Tour event of 2022.

Wantima's Jayke Merrell who took the A Grade Boys nett prize

Cam's message

He was 7600kms away in Hawaii by had a first round 65 to lead the Sentry Tournament of Champions - and was never caught, carding a four-round total 34 under par to eventually beat world number one Jon Rahm by a shot.

However, Smith still found time to send a video message to Wantima saying: “Thanks to (Classic organisers) Ken McKay and Shane Johnsson for their help throughout the year.

“Thanks to all the sponsors, it means such a lot to the event and to support Wantima Country Club. It feels like only yesterday I was there with some cut-down clubs, following Dad around.

“Thank you all for competing. Congrats to the guys and girls who won and hopefully I will see you guys in December.”

Cameron Smith en route to winning the Australian PGA title

Cameron Smith Junior Classic 2021

A Grade Boys

Gross winner: Manato Nakatani (Surfers Paradise) 68/69

Runner-up: Taj Egea (Brookwater) on countback 71/72

Nett winner: Jayke Merrell (Wantima) 71/69

A Grade Girls

Gross winner: Haryuhi Nakatani (Surfers Paradise) in play-off 71

Runner-up: Tuuki Takada (Southport) 71

Nett winner: Summer Sadler (Emerald Lakes) 72/72

B Grade Boys

Gross winner: Jack Jones (Keparra) on countback 75/70

Runner-up: Justin Hammett 75/69

Nett winner: Kiedyn Heddie (Parkwood International) 78/70

B Grade Girls

Gross winner: Tiyara Samararatne (Mt Warren Park) 82/74

Runner-up: Saskia Knevitt 85/73

Nett winner: Alicia Ludi (Hope Island) /Alyanna Antonio (Virginia) 74

C Grade Boys

Gross winner: Eli Cookman (Tewantin-Noosa) 86/72

Runner-up: Robert Nieuwoudt (Gainsborough) 87/70

Nett winner: Kane Johnsson (Wantima) 103/68

Nearest the pin

Boys winner: Max Russell (Royal Pines)

Girls: winner: Mikayla Dyal (Keperra)

Previous winners


Boys Champion - Tyler Duncan

Girls Champion - Lion Higo


Boys Champion - Mitchell Hennessy

Girls Champion - Chloe Nam


Boys Champion - Andrew Park

Girls Champion - Haruhi Nakatani


Boys Champion - Harry Takis

Girls Champion - Justice Bosio



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