If you want to see the depth of talent in Australian golf anxiously awaiting a return to competition, look no further than the State Challenge.
A six-time European Tour winner, a boom South Australian amateur and emerging female professional all held strong against a collection of the best from Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.
While Covid-19 may have hindered Jack Thompson’s immediate plans to turn professional, the world No.67 amateur proved he has the talent to compete at the top level. The 2020 Isuzu Queensland Open runner-up and low amateur edged out fierce competition at Glenelg to take the South Australian State Challenge with a comfortable eight-shot margin.
The 22-year-old said “it feels good” to get one up on some of the state’s best, with consistent scoring the key to his victory.
“I didn’t think too much about them being pros,” said Thompson, who finished 11 under. “I just tried to play to my own game. Looking back now, it’s nice to know.
“Hopefully when events come back, I’ll be good to go.”
Local knowledge also came in handy for amateur Jack Buchanan, recording an ace on the par-three 14th.
In Queensland, Karis Davidson never relinquished her lead throughout the 108-hole tournament, pulling ahead by eight shots to win at Coolangatta Tweed Heads.
The 22-year-old shot a blistering eight-under-par 64 to squash any late advances, cashing in on her four previous sub-par rounds to run away with the title.
Southport amateur Elvis Smylie and professionals Shae Wools-Cobb and David Gleeson finished in a tie for second on 345.
Brett Rumford’s birthday celebrations might be a little bigger tonight as the 43-year-old left the WA field in his wake by a commanding 10 strokes.
The short game master produced five rounds of 67 plus a 73 to claim the title at Lake Karrinyup, with amateur Connor McKinney in second on 345. Hannah Green was the best placed female a further shot back.
The State Challenge – a joint initiative by Golf Australia, the PGA of Australia and the ALPG – was born as a contest for elite amateurs with a handful of local professionals invited to bolster the experience and to stay rust-free before they return to global tours. Participating states (Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia) each hosted three 36-hole stroke play events for fields comprising nine professionals and nine amateurs (12 men and 6 women).
To view the full State Challenge results click here.