Reanna masters opponents
By Chris Brown
SOUTH Gippsland’s junior golfing champ has won another tournament.
Reanna Matthews was victorious at the Victorian Junior Master Championships (girls) earlier this month by eight shots.
It’s one of the state’s biggest junior golfing events.
The Waverley Golf Club in Melbourne hosted it on January 4, 5 and 6.
The 16-year-old Leongatha resident competed against other girls from the junior state squad.
“The first day I shot 74, which was alright and I was leading by one,” Reanna said.
“On the second day I shot 79 then on the third day I had 79 in the morning and I had 75 in the afternoon and I won by eight shots.”
Ladies par for the course is 73.
It was a big improvement on her 2009 effort in the same event.
“It was really windy last year and I didn’t know the course and it was really hot,” Reanna said.
Training with coach Darren Cole has also improved Reanna’s game.
“Instead of going up to the ball and thinking, I’m going to smash it, you think about what your coach tells you,” she said.
“It’s hard in golf because there’s a lot of technical stuff and he’s made me aware of it.”
Leongatha Golf Club is Reanna’s home club and she is also a member of Commonwealth Golf Club at South Oakleigh.
The summer school holidays allow Reanna more time to practice and enter tournaments in Melbourne.
“When I’m not playing in Melbourne I come home and chill out, then I go to Leongatha and practice,” she said.
The Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College student has plenty to work towards over the next few months.
She aims to improve her swing, shoot some good scores, win tournaments and be selected for the state team again.
Ultimately she’d like to become a professional golf player.
But if that doesn’t happen she’d like to be involved in the sport as a coach or similar.
Reanna tries to receive instruction from her coach as often as she can, whether that is at the Melbourne Golf Academy in Moorabbin or the Gippsland Sports Academy at Yallourn.
Darren said Reanna keeps getting better.
“Her golf swing keeps improving and she’s learning how to compete better,” he said.
Currently the focus is on the mechanics of Reanna’s swing and her short game.
Working with physiotherapists to develop her strength is also part of the plan to boost her golf performance.
Darren has been coaching Reanna for about four years.
“She just has that ability to want to keep getting better and that’s all you can ask for in a young golfer,” Darren said.
“.As she keeps playing more competitions she’s learning how to compete better and score better.
“It’s all part of the maturing process and she’ll only get better as she keeps playing more and more tournaments.”
Darren said Reanna is a fair way off turning professional at this stage.
“A lot of people have the ability (to turn pro), but it is about working hard enough to secure the opportunities to make that happen,” he said.
“I’m happy with her progress.”
The next major tournament for Reanna is the Victorian Amateur Championship event for ladies in February.
It will be at the Keysborough Golf Club.
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