Young gun stuns
By TONY WHITE firstname.lastname@example.org
MACLEAN golf star Luke Henwood has beaten a high-class field to win the North Coast Amateur Golf Championships in Coffs Harbour.
The 20-year-old scored a stunning come-from-behind victory in the 54-hole event against NSW and Queensland's best amateur golfers last weekend.
And Henwood achieved the result using for the first time a brand new set of Cleveland golf clubs.
It was his first major win in a Varden event.
"I was really happy winning, we had a few celebrations after," Henwood said.
"It was my first big win in a Varden event.
"It's quiet amazing looking at some of the past winners of this (NCA). Greg Norman and a lot of other touring pros have won this tournament. I can't believe my name is on the trophy too."
The tournament was played over 27-holes each day.
On day one Henwood shot a one under 105 to trail the leaders by a single stroke.
On day two, coming into the final 18-holes, he trailled by four shots after a double bogey on his first nine, following a lost ball, cost him dearly.
Henwood then shot 64 from the 10th to 27th to create a new course record which is still to be ratified.
He finished the 27-holes in five under 101 for a combined 54-hole total of 206 (70, 72, 64) to beat close friend, Logan Toms, who like Henwood, has recently joined Moore Park in Sydney to represent that club's No1 Pennants team.
"It's funny I kind of did it fairly easy on the final day," Henwood said.
"I didn't even realise I'd shot 64. A guy came up to me later and said they (officials) are checking your score.
"At first I thought I'd filled the card out wrong, but he said you might have a new course record.
"I wasn't expecting to win. I was using new clubs for the first time and there were a lot of really good golfers. The NSW and Queensland amateur teams played."
Henwood played in the final group on Sunday and around 80 people tracked his progress as the youngster burned up the course.
"That (the crowd) was pretty neat," he said. "When I was four off the lead I didn't think I had a chance, but fortunately the leaders blew up and Logan (Toms) finished really well to get second.
"On the first day I didn't hit it really well, I was still getting used to the new clubs but I putted good.
"On the last day I just hit everything well.
"Luckily everything worked for me."
Henwood, a polite, likeable character with a fine demeanour on and off the golf course, heads to Sydney on Monday attempting to qualify for the NSW Open at Eastlakes.
The scratch marker is considered one of the brightest young amateurs in NSW and astute judges predict he has the ability to even- tually make the professional ranks.