GALLERY: Junior golfers brave the elements at Open
GOLF: After months of dry conditions the big wet proved to be a baptism of fire for junior golfers at the 2018 BITS Junior Golf Open on Saturday.
Wet conditions on the eve of the tournament almost led to its cancellation, but it was a rewarding experience for the golfers who braved the elements at Boyne Island Tannum Sands Golf Course.
Tournament organiser Bill Blake expected 65 juniors to take part although the weather reduced that figure to 50 once the players teed off.
"It was very ordinary in the morning and they teed off in very heavy rain," Blake said.
"We were lucky because around the third hole at 9am it cleared and stayed overcast for most of the day so we managed to get through the day.
"The course was only just playable."
Categories ranged from five to 18 years with modified holes depending on age.
Juniors can play in divisions from three, six, nine, 13 and 18 holes for both boys and girls.
Blake said about 40 per cent of the competitors were girls, an encouraging sign of the times.
"There's a fairly good representation in junior golf with girls especially in the younger divisions," he said.
"We'd hoped to get up to 70 juniors at the event... (The weather) did hamper and put some of the kids off."
Accustomed to rock-hard and dry fairways over the past months, some juniors had to adapt their playing style to the damp conditions.
"They were up for the challenge and some of the scores were a little higher than in drier conditions," Blake said.
"Especially some of the younger ones in the three and six-hole events, struggled with the amount of water on the course - the ball stops dead when they hit it.
"They all played in the same conditions so it was fair across the board."
Jake Swaffield from Yeppoon was the 18-hole A-Grade boys winner and Rockhampton's Caitlyn Cox took out the 18-hole A-Grade girls.
BITS Junior Golf Club was named Central Queensland junior Club of the Year.
Gladstone Region Winners
- 13-hole Girls: Hope Gaffey (Calliope)
- 9-hole Boys: Aiden Gooderham (BITS)
- 9-hole Girls: Paris Fraser (BITS)
- 6-hole Boys: Zander Setiawan (Gladstone)
- 6-hole Girls: Charli Blake (BITS)
- 3-hole Boys: Will Goodman-Jones (BITS)
- 3-hole Girls: Chelsey Delaney (BITS).