By Tony White
MacLean golf star Luke Henwood has attracted the attention of State selectors after making the final 32 at the NSW Amateur Golf Championships.
Over four gruelling rounds at various venues against a 280-strong field of the best amateurs in Australia and 91 internationals, Henwood made the cut to take part in the final matchplay series at Elanora Heights golf course yesterday.
Unfortunately for Henwood, he was beaten on the second-last hole of his 36-hole match by Irishman Sean McTerran.
"It was disappointing to lose but he is one of the top Irish amateurs," Henwood said.
"I played pretty well but missed a couple of important putts.
"It was a close match throughout.
"He got three-up with four holes to play then I won the next two before he won on the second-last hole."
However, the 19-year-old's confidence has been buoyed after being named in a 12-man NSW colts squad for an inter-state event in Western Australia later this year.
"They (officials) said they'd been looking at my scores and how I've been playing," Henwood said.
"They are going to fly me down to Sydney every few weeks for practise sessions and coaching.
"It's great to be picked, very exciting."
Henwood, who holds the course record at Iluka, Maclean and Yamba, returns home this week to practise for his next assignment, the inter-district series at Byron Bay on February 19 and 20.
Henwood is a member of the Northern Rivers colts team.
Yamba star and good friend Daniel Kelly will represent Northern Rivers in the juniors.
Henwood's next major tournament is the 100th Australian Amateur Championships at Royal Melbourne from March 17 to 23.
"That's the big one," Henwood said.
"I'll be doing my best."
First played in 1894, the Australian Amateur Championship is the oldest major championship in Australia.
The event has provided a stepping stone to international success for the likes of Michael Campbell, Greg Chalmers, and Mathew Goggin, now major forces in the world of professional golf.