Growth spurt: Junior 6s Invitational expands in 2020


Australia’s best young talent will have the opportunity to play their way into more of this country’s top tournaments after the announcement of an expanded Junior 6s Invitational series in 2020.

The brainchild of former Australian touring professional Ewan Porter, the Junior 6s Invitational launched in 2019 with Hayden Hopewell and Belinda Ji claiming the inaugural boys and girls titles respectively at Cronulla Golf Club.

Part of their reward for winning was entry into Australian professional events, an invitation Hopewell utilised to full effect by finishing tied for 10th at the PGA Tour of Australasia’s Gippsland Super 6 tournament and top 30 at the Emirates Australian Open along with making the cut at the AV Jennings NSW Open.

Now sponsored by adidas Golf and with ongoing support from Golf NSW, the PGA of Australia and Australian Ladies Professional Golf, the adidas Golf Junior 6s Invitational Race to Cronulla will see the best amateur golfers, 18 and under, male and female, from around the globe competing against one another, a world-first in amateur golf.

Having collected data from both men’s and women’s major professional golf tours around the world, women will play a golf course 86 per cent of the total yardage for men at each venue throughout the series with three qualifying events to be held in New South Wales and one each in Victoria and Queensland.

The Queensland qualifying event will be held at Emerald Lakes Golf Club on the Gold Coast and, in another world-first initiative for amateur golf, the 6s matchplay conducted under lights.

The overall boys’ and girls’ points race winner will be crowned after the two-day National Final at Cronulla Golf Club on October 6, along with the Norm Porter Memorial Boys and Girls champions and the Junior 6s National Final Match Play Winners.

“From the outset I wanted this to provide young golfers with a pathway to professional events and it’s exciting to see those opportunities expand in just our second year to a level that’s unrivalled in any amateur tournament in the Southern Hemisphere,” Porter said.

“Our inaugural boys champion Hayden Hopewell showed just how talented these kids are by finishing top 10 at the Gippsland Super 6 and then top 30 at the Australian Open.

“I’ve got no doubt that as we expand the series and provide access for even more kids we will see that pool of talent become even deeper and expose them to what it takes to succeed in professional golf.

“Given what we saw in our first year, let’s just say I’m glad I’m not still out there trying to keep up with these incredible young golfers.”

Open to male and female golfers 18 years or younger as at October 5, 2020 with a handicap of 6 or less, the National Final will feature fields of 36 boys and 36 girls. The winners of each qualifying series and the top 25 points getters from qualifying events not otherwise exempt gain entry and will be joined by five national/international invitees and the top boy and girl from Cronulla Golf Club.

For more information and registration details visit junior6sinvitational.com.au.


Headlines at a glance