Declan Corke and Jayden Bayless are taking aim for the State Schools Championships in Yeppoon from Sunday.
Declan Corke and Jayden Bayless are taking aim for the State Schools Championships in Yeppoon from Sunday. Nick Kossatch GLA150716GOLFERS

Gladstone boys on par for state championships at Yeppoon

GLADSTONE golfers Jayden Bayliss, Ryan Stitt and Declan Corke are up for a four-day challenge when they represent Capricornia in the State Schools Golf Championships at Yeppoon on Sunday.

While the worst of Central Queensland’s “big wet” is expected to be over, 10-year-old Declan says he hopes the greens will quicken up at Capricorn Resort Gold Club.

“I’d rather the greens to be dry and on that course I’ll use the short irons,” Declan said.

“My form is pretty good at the moment and I played in Calliope where I scored 86 and 87. “I’d be happy to shoot low 90s or high 80s at the championships, from which I hope to make the state team.”

The youngster has been under the expert guidance of Ben Fletcher, who coaches him once a week.

“We go through iron shots, putting and pretty much everything,” Declan said.

Jayden, 17, played in various amateur events in Australia and said the criteria for state selection was based not just on performance in the four-day event.

“The other part is you get selected on past results and your handicap,” Jayden said.

The course at Yeppoon poses its own challenges and is different from the course at Gladstone.

“The course is basically built into a forest with trees on both sides of the fairway,” Jayden said.

He will play in the Australian age division for 17 years and under-18 and has recently returned from the Northern Territory Mens Championships at Darwin.

“It was nice and warm and the No.1-ranked amateur golfer in Queensland, Shae Wools-Cobb, won in Darwin,” Jayden said.

What is also encouraging is that Wools-Cobb is mentored by Grant Field, who is Jayden’s coach.

“Grant also coaches Cameron Smith, who is also from Queensland, and he’s ranked 153rd in Australia and is on the US professional circuit,” Jayden said.



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