Ashton’s encouraged by Australian Tour exploits

Ashton Turner in action on his way to victory in the Darwen Salver. PHOTO: Leaderboard Photography EMN-151223-105808002
Ashton Turner in action on his way to victory in the Darwen Salver. PHOTO: Leaderboard Photography EMN-151223-105808002

Exciting young golfer Ashton Turner has started the year in encouraging form with some fine results on the Australian amateur circuit.

Ahead of the final leg of his Australian tour, Turner has recorded two top 20 finishes and reached the last 16 of a matchplay event.

The Alford golfer is Down Under with a four-strong England amateur men’s team to pick up international tournament experience and sharpen their skills for the English domestic season.

“It’s been going well out here,” he said. “I’ve been practising hard as well as playing so I’m ready for the season ahead.

“I’ve played very solid so far and had some good results, but I’m still looking for a win.

“The weather has been strange at times. It has been 44 degrees one day to then being in jumpers and waterproofs the next day.”

Turner opened his tour account with a fine 17th place finish at the Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship at Melbourne after a four-round total of six over.

But the 19-year-old was left wondering what might have been after a second round 80 undid all his good work on day one when he posted a solid one-under par 71.

He followed up by shooting one-over in round three, but left the best until last as a week-low score of 70 in the final 18 holes left him at six over to finish as the third Brit in the 78-strong field.

Only three players broke par as world number eight-ranked amateur Aaron Wise, of the United States, was the runaway winner with five-under.

Warming to the task, Turner then became the only Englishman to reach the last 16 of Australian Men’s Amateur Championships the following weekend in Victoria.

Turner and his English teammates first had to come through two qualifying rounds to reach the matchplay stages. He did so largely thanks to a superb four-under opening round of 68 which gave him a share of sixth place.

He carded 74 in the second qualifying round, but his total of 142 put him tied for ninth and through.

He dominated Liam Georgiadis in the opening round, sweeping aside his Australian opponent 6 and 5, but came unstuck against another Aussie Shae Wools-Cobb in the last 16, going down 3 and 2.

It was back to individual strokeplay at the Lake Macquarie Amateur in New South Wales and another excellent result of 14th overall from a 132-strong field.

He comfortably made the cut after opening rounds of 72 and two-under-par 70. Turner then built another even par round on day three, but saved the best until last with a scintillating final round.

He made six birdies and a bogey on the first 12 holes to race to a tournament total of seven-under, but a frustrating double bogey seven on the 16th dropped him back down the field.

His five-under total was seven strokes behind overall winner Harrison Endycott, of Australia, but only three shots off a top five finish.