It’s not often that a draw is celebrated like a win.
But that’s exactly what happened for Dubbo’s Ella Murray and her NSW CHS and All Schools Golf team at the recent School Sports Australia Golf championships at Coffs Harbours’ Bonville Golf Resort.
The girls led going into the final day of competition, needing to halve or win over Victoria to claim the title.
They halved, making it an unexpected victory for the relatively inexperienced side.
“We were all new, every person in the team hadn’t played at [the championships] before and the other teams were pretty experienced,” Murray said.
“But we went well!”
The boys’ team finished second.
At 13 years old, Murray was the youngest player on the side by at least three years, and the only girl not from Sydney or Newcastle.
But that didn’t prevent her from making waves at the tournament, including being one of only two juniors at the event to get a hole-in-one.
She was not altogether pleased with her performance during the stroke play, held on the first day of the four-day competition.
But the 13-year-old dropped just one game, with one draw, on the subsequent three days of match play.
A win over Queensland on day three, after Queensland halved against Victoria, put NSW ahead and all they had to do was hold on.
“It was a really good experience, just being able to play on good courses and against people who were off-scratch, really good players,” Murray said.
“I didn’t play great, I probably wasn’t hitting the ball as well as I could but it was still working out alright.”
Murray knows exactly where she needs to improve, and is in good hands with coach, Dubbo golf pro Craig Mears.
She also trains with the Jack Newton Junior Golf academy, where she has been able to access professional physical workouts, mental training and progress testing, as well as the Western Region Academy of Sport.
She is determined to qualify for the NSW Women’s Open when it’s held at the Dubbo Golf Club in 2020.
“I probably just need to tighten up my short play and get my irons within 15, 10 foot.
I definitely think by then I should be able to qualify and I think it would be a really good experience playing the top amateurs from NSW and all around Australia.Ella Murray
“It would be really good – the home course advantage would be good.”
The NSW Women’s Open of golf is expected to be played at the Dubbo Golf Club in March, 2020 following an announcement last month.