ON COURSE: Charlestown young gun Jye Pickin. The 17-year-old is one of the favourites for the n Boys Amateur Championships to be held at Gosnells Golf Club in Perth, starting next week. Picture: Golf NSWCOACH Ryan Smith is expecting a huge six months for Charlestown wonder boy Jye Pickin –literally.
Picken, 17, has undergone a major growth spurt. He now stands 188cm tall and has added muscle to his wiry frame.
“He has grown enormously in the last six months and really filled out,” Smith said. “He is hitting the ball so much further than he ever has which requires some changes with technique. He has picked up at least 30 metres with the driver. That equates to the other clubs as well. We have worked on getting some control back on the ball and not trying to hit it as hard.He is getting used to his body. The next six months will be huge for him. He is really going to mature and do well.”
Pickin, who is a member of the Golf NSW high performance squad, is preparing for the n Boys Amateur championships in Perth next week.
He will then lead NSW, which includes Branxton’s Corey Lamb, inthe Junior Interstate Series.
The Macquarie College year-12 student finished seventh at the n Amateur in 2016 and is confident of a strong result in his last year as a junior.
“My game is in good shape,” he said. “I have grown quite a bit which has helped with my distance. Hopefully I can play well in the stroke rounds and be seeded high for the match play.”
Pickin travels to Sydney each Tuesday to train with thehigh performance squad.
“All the stuff I have been doing with Golf NSW has been great, mainlyadjusting my fitness around golf and getting a consistent pattern in my swing to make it more reliable,” he said.
CHAMPION: Deirdre Brander with the trophy for winning the NSW senior amateur championships in Nambucca Heads. Picture: Golf NSW
* Newcastle’sDeirdre Brander has added another NSW senioramateurchampionship to her long list of achievements. Brander upset No.1 seed Jacqui Morgan (Monash), winning 2-up on the 18thhole in the final at Nambucca Golf Course last Wednesday.
Morgan, winner for the last four years, fired rounds of 77, 74to win the stroke section and earn top seed. Brander (77, 80) was seeded second and accounted for Nikki Haines (Moore Park) in the semi-final.
Brander then holed her nerve, draining a series of clutch putts before sealing the win at the last. Her previous wins were in 1999, 2007, 2009 and 2013.
Ann Holecek (Horizons) won division two, beating Jenny Kerr (4 and 3).
Jenny Frost (Nelson Bay), after finishing sixth in the stroke, went down in the semi-final of the 55-59 years match play.Jill Blenkey (Newcastle) made the semis in the 60-64 years and Melita Watson (Hunter Valley) also made the final four in the 70 yearsdivision.
* Entries are open for the Newcastle District schoolboys championships to be played at Belmont on April 20 and the Junior Pennants.