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Champion Refocuses For Trans Tasman Cup Golf

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

30 April 2008 - New national amateur golf champion Dana Kim will need to refocus as the New Zealand team take on Australia in the second annual Trans Tasman Cup in Wellington starting tomorrow.

The 19 year old from Christchurch is part of the 16-strong New Zealand team for the international contest that combines all four current trophies for junior and senior men and women's teams.

While New Zealand won three of the four competitions last year but were pipped on total points for the Trans Tasman Cup by one point at Canberra.

Kim and the women's runner-up Zoe Brake (Whakatane) are both looking forward to joining the New Zealand team for a practice round at the Royal Wellington Golf Club in Heretaunga today ahead of the Trans Tasman Cup on Thursday and Friday.

Yesterday Kim beat Brake 7 and 5 int he 36 hole final for the New Zealand Amateur Championship at Paraparaumu Beach.

"I am looking forward to that. I really want to beat the Aussies," Kim said.

The Australians, who arrived in Wellington yesterday, decided to bypass the New Zealand Amateur Championships to prepare specifically for the Trans Tasman.

"I can see what they've done," said New Zealand Golf High Performance manager, David Graham. "The time was very tight between the Australian Amateur, the New Zealand Amateur and the Trans Tasman but in saying that we have some players ,who while arguably are a little bit tired, are striking some very good form as a result of the competition.

"If we can keep that momentum rolling we have the advantage over (the Australian) players who have been 10 days out of competitive golf now."

Graham said the approach will be to focus on the quality of the golf this week.

"Our objective is to win every match. To achieve this we have to play the golf course rather than the opponent, particularly in the foursomes where we have been concentrating on putting good combinations together."

He believes the wet weather and local knowledge will be a significant help.

"We have an advantage in that our players have been around the course quite a bit. It's a tough golf course and we think our knowledge of key parts of the course should help us.

"The wet weather is probably an advantage for us too because we are so used to playing soft greens and while that's often a challenge for us when we go overseas, in this case I think our players will be a lot more comfortable."

The New Zealand camp will welcome back world No 6 ranked amateur Danny Lee, who has jetted back from Spain where he played for Asia Pacific against Europe in the Michael Bonallack Cup this week.

"We have to be a little bit careful not to treat Danny like Superman. But it was his initiative that he wanted to come back and play for his country. Every time he tees it up he has very high expectations of himself so we won't be putting any more pressure on him than he already does himself."

New Zealand's other player in the European event, James Gill is not playing as he is on scholarship at St Andrews University, but neither of the two Australians Rohan Blizard and Tim Stewart has flown back for the Trans Tasman Cup.

They still have a strong and experienced team with the men headed by current the outstanding Josh Younger and Australian No 1 ranked player Matt Griffin - second and third respectively in the Rice Planters Championship in the USA last year, one of the world's best amateur tournaments.

The senior women's team is also very strong, led by Western Australian Kristie Smith, who featured in some outstanding performances in the US last year, and the inform Julia Boland (NSW) who won both the Lake Macquarie and Riversdale international tournaments this year.

The teams will contest foursomes in the morning and singles in the afternoon on both Thursday and Friday.

The teams are:

Australia: Senior men: Scott Arnold (NSW), Matt Griffin (Vic), Jason Scrivener (WA), Josh Younger (Vic). Junior men: Tim Hart (Qld), Bryden Macpherson (Vic), Daniel Nisbet (Qld), Brendan Smith (NSW). Senior women: Julia Boland (NSW), Clare Choi (Vic), Stephanie Na (SA), Kristie Smith (WA). Junior women: Whitney Hillier (WA), Samantha Holt (SA), Ashley Ona (NSW), Jessica Speechley (WA).

New Zealand: Senior men: Danny Lee (Bay of Plenty), Nick Gillespie (Hawkes Bay), Daniel Pearce (Canterbury), Jared Pender (Bay of Plenty). Junior men: Peter Spearman-Burn (Wellington), Ben Campbell (Wellington), Landyn Edwards (Bay of Plenty), Seve Ha (Auckland). Coach: Kevin Smith. Manager: Murray Martin.

Senior women: Penny Smith (Bay of Plenty), Dana Kim (Canterbury), Larissa Eruera (Auckland), Caroline Bon (Northland). Junior women: Zoe Brake (Bay of Plenty), Emily Perry (Waikato), Hayley Clinning (Auckland), Lisa Wright (Tasman). Coach: Susan Farron. Manager: David Graham.

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