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Masterton golf on a high

Kerry Mountcastle hitting off at last year’s Eisenhower Cup tournament in Ireland. PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

Three picked for Wellington squad after Duncan Cup win
Deserving of selection

GOLF

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Winning the Duncan Cup has propelled three of Masterton Golf Club’s players to representative honours.

Kerry Mountcastle, Sam Forrester and Owen Lloyd have been named in the Wellington squad after their win over Judgeford in the cup final last Saturday.

But for one of the trio the immediate focus is America.

The US Amateur Championship is in Mountcastle’s sights as he heads off for nearly two months of intensive golf in America.

The 23-year old will jet to the US on June 1 to play in six amateur tournaments, culminating in a qualifying event for the US Amateur, widely considered to be one of the world’s leading amateur tournaments.

Kerry Mountcastle.

Mountcastle will play tournaments in Georgia, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas and Arkansas before the 36-hole qualifying tournament at the Chenal Country Club, Little Rock, Arkansas on July 22.

He is not sure how many players will qualify but expects he would need to finish in the top few to progress to the championship to be played at the Pinehurst Club in North Carolina from August 12-18.

Danny Lee became the only New Zealander to win the tournament in 2008 when it was played at Pinehurst.

Mountcastle, 431 in the world amateur rankings, said turning professional was the long-term goal.
“We’ll see how this trip goes and then I will try to make the Asia-Pacific Amateurs in China and the Nomura Cup [Asia-Pacific teams event] in Hong Kong and look at it after that.”

Mountcastle, who represented New Zealand in last year’s Eisenhower Cup played in Ireland, has also been included in the New Zealand Academy Tier Two Programme to prepare players for international and professional play.

Mountcastle, Forrester, and Lloyd are in the 16-man Wellington squad to prepare for a series of fixtures starting with a traditional clash with Hawke’s Bay at the end of June and ending with the national interprovincial championship in November.

Forrester, and Lloyd were in outstanding form throughout the interclub season and team manager-coach Joel Macklin said on Wednesday their selections was deserved.

“Owen was unbeaten in singles play for the entire competition, and Sam was unbeaten in singles during the round robin. It shows that if you get the results the players get the recognition.”

For Forrester, who turned 33 on Tuesday, his selection was an extra birthday present.

“It was pretty cool, I guess. I’ve been taking my golf a bit more seriously and the Duncan Cup was motivation and I had a good season.”

Forrester was a promising junior and was selected for Wellington Under-19 squads before putting golf on the backburner to concentrate on university.

After returning to Masterton and focusing on his golf, he won the 2018 Wairarapa Open. Despite his success, he is not looking too far ahead.

“I’m putting a bit more work into my golf. I still have to prove myself. My ambitions are not as lofty as Kerry’s and we’ll see how it goes.”

Forrester and Mountcastle were full of praise for their Duncan Cup team-mates.

“It was great to be a part of that. We get along so well, everyone worked so hard, and Kerry was so inspirational. The Duncan Cup win is so very special.”

Mountcastle, who won the Carrus Tauranga Open last year, rated the victory as one of his highlights.

“The Duncan Cup is not easy to win. It was very special, they are a special group of guys, and it’s right up there with winning the national interprovincials.”

He is also thrilled with his teammates’ selection.

“It’s awesome. It shows where Masterton is getting to and the golf that we’re playing for these guys to be selected – they really deserve it.”

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