Amateur stars to light up Belmont

Study the best young women professionals in Australia and a common theme soon emerges.

And it’s the Lake Macquarie Women’s Amateur Golf Championships at Belmont each year.

Breanna Elliott 2011 Lake Macquarie Women’s Amateur winner – Breanna Elliott

Entries are already streaming in from all Australian states and overseas for the prestigious event at the fabled seaside links course where many of the world’s best professionals have cut their teeth.

Some of the early entries include Charlotte Thomas, from Singapore Island Club, who plays off a plus-two handicap, and Hayley Bettencourt, from the Mandurah Club in Western Australia.

The 2012 tournament has been moved to a new date to accommodate some of the big women’s tournaments and will now be played over four days from Tuesday, January 10 to Friday, January 13.

All our leading amateur players regard the Lake Macquarie tournament as the perfect lead-up to the Australian Championships in Melbourne.

Interest was high leading up to the 2011 tournament in which NSW amateur ace Julia Boland was striving to win her fourth consecutive Lake Macquarie title.

Unfortunately for Julia she started poorly with an opening-day 78 (six-over-par), which left her three behind Breanna Elliott (Yarrawonga Club) who began with a 75.

On the second day Julia fought back strongly with a one-under-par 71.

Breanna led on 148 while Julia and Courtney Massey were one back on 149. Boland and Elliott held fast on the third day, each carding 74 (one-over) while Massey fell back with four-over 77.

At the beginning of the fourth and final day visiting Kiwi Emily Perry wrested the lead away on two-over-par in difficult conditions.

Breanna was one back on three-over and Julia was still pressing at four-over.

Emily struck shrub trouble on the par-four 13th, leaving Breanna and Julia co-leaders on five-over and the exciting finish everyone was hoping for.

Breanna birdied the par-three 14th but Julia again came back with a birdie on the par-five 16th. Even pars on the par-four 17th saw the talented pair tee off at the final hole level on four-over-par over.

Breanna was safely on for two while Julia had to chip on for three.

It was almost matchplay as Breanna safely two-putted for par while Julia’s par putt slid narrowly by the hole.

Breanna became just the second Victorian, behind Vicki Uwland, to take the title.

Lake Macquarie Women’s Amateur Honour Roll

1998 Nadina Taylor
1999 Tamara Johns
2000 Rebecca Stevenson
2001 Vicki Uwland
2002 Sarah Kemp
2003 Katy Jarochowicz
2004 Sarah Oh
2005 Jenny Park
2006 Sarah Nicholson
2007 Shin Ae Ahn
2008 Julia Boland
2009 Julia Boland
2010 Julia Boland
2011 Breanna Elliott