The National U17 Eagles Championships was played earlier this week at Mangawhai Golf Course. There are 15 Eagles Societies throughout NZ with each Society sending a 3-person mixed team of boys & girls to compete in individual & team competitions. This tournament sees some of the best young golfers in NZ from this age bracket as well as providing up-and-coming young players who are showing great promise an opportunity to be introduced to a more competitive side of golf and to also meet and make new friends, develop camaraderie and enjoyment through the game of golf.
This year after the Canterbury Qualifying event in July, Etienne Collier (Avondale), Deanna Matthews (Waimairi Beach) & Cooper Moore (Clearwater) traveled up to represent the Eagles Society of Canterbury. The course was in stunning condition with very challenging greens which tested all of the 60 players competing. The best Canterbury performer was Cooper Moore who won the Overall Boys Gross trophy with rounds of 74,72,72 to win by three shots. Deanna finished in 25th with rounds of 78, 79, and 84 while Etienne finished in 28th with rounds of 79, 84 and 81.
There have been some great players who have won this event, numerous have joined the ranks of professional golf. Mathew Lane (1984) and Michael Campbell (1986) have gone on to win the NZ Open Championship in 1988 and 2000 respectively. Michael subsequently won the US Open in 2005. Craig Perks won the Players Championship in 2002. Most have represented their Province and some their Country in the Amateur ranks. Lisa Aldridge (1988) won the NZ Under 21 Championship in 1992 and Rene Fowler (1992) won the NZ Ladies Stroke Play in 1997. Both Lisa and Rene have won the Marilyn Smith Golfer of the year. Later years have seen winners such as Gareth Paddison (1997), Ryan Chisnall (2010), move into professional golf and Julianne Alvarez (2009 & 2010) Daniel Hillier (2013) and Amelia Garvey (2014) achieve in the amateur ranks.
The full results can be viewed - HERE.