IT WAS the most exciting experience of their young lives, and Invincibles Tour members Bailey Arnott and Justice Bosio (pictured: Justice Bosio, Elvis Smylie, Aaron Baddeley, Bailey Arnott and Cassie Porter) certainly made the most of their trip to the United States to compete in the final Aaron Baddeley International Junior Golf Championship. The trip was made………….
Possible by the financial support of The Invincibles and Mahon Transport, and Bailey and Justice were quick to acknowledge the support of those two organisations, and everybody else who made their dream come true.
The two young golfers represented the Invincibles, their parents and their country with distinction, playing exceptional golf and displaying the poise, confidence and good manners that has become a hallmark of members of the Invincibles Tour.
Bailey recalls that he felt anxious as he waited at Brisbane Airport for the 12-hour flight to Los Angeles. “It wasn’t worry or doubt,” he said, “because I know I had done the work, but it was more anticipation to finally get a taste of the US for myself.”
Five movies and an hour’s sleep later, they arrived, with other Australian representatives, at Los Angeles at 6am. Jet lag and lack of sleep caught up with them on the two-hour drive to San Diego, and they slept almost the entire journey.
After a day of fine-tuning, practice and rest, the first official practice day began with a clinic conducted by Aaron Baddeley.
“He talked us through his game, life on tour and what it takes to compete at the highest level.” Bailey said. “Then we had a chat to Aaron, had a few photos taken, and played a practice round.”
The big day – the first round of the 72-hole tournament - dawned clear and cool next day. A slightly nervous Bailey stepped on to the first tee at 9am to be greeted by the announcer saying, “Next to the tee, from Australia, Bailey Arnott.” Inspired, Bailey bombed his 2 iron up the middle of the fairway. “I played a fairly solid opening round, with only a few minor errors, and signed for a respectable 1-over 73, leaving me in about 10th place,” he said.
Bailey and Justice said they loved the American style of life. “We were spoilt with amazing food, awesome service, great golf and really good people,” Bailey said. “I was having a blast, but I would have to say the toughest thing about the whole trip was getting over the jet-lag in the first few days.”
On the third day Bailey was paired with the 14th ranked amateur in the world, Arkshay Bhatia, who had represented the US in the Junior Ryder Cup earlier in the year as their No 1 player.
“It was a great experience, as I realised I wasn’t too far away from his level. He just had a little more polish on his short game.” Bailey shot a one over-par 73, leaving him in the top 10.
The final day was cold and wet, and things didn’t go Bailey’s way. He had a frustrating quadruple bogey seven on the par 3, eighth hole, followed by a double bogey late in the day, and signed for 80. He dropped down the leader board to finish 23rd, shooting rounds of 73, 76, 73 and 80 for a 14-over-par total of 302.
Bailey’s room-mate, fellow Australian Elvis Smylie finished runner-up in the tournament, only one stroke behind young American, Kento Yamawaki.
“All in all, I played very solid all week,” he said. “I stuck to the game plan, fought hard and had plenty of fun. The whole experience was priceless.
“I learned heaps about what it takes to be successful in the States and it gave me a little more motivation to want to get back there in the near future.”
“It’s made me realise anything is possible, and patience, hard work and persistence is everything to achieve your dreams.
Justice Bosio said she was stunned by the beauty of the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, San Diego.
“The course was amazing,” she said. “The conditions on the golf course were perfect and the scenery was beautiful.”
She said the tournament had been an amazing experience. “From playing in such a beautiful environment to meeting and playing with other players from different countries – it was just amazing.
“The course was totally different to any course I have ever played on and I look forward to playing on many more overseas courses,” she said.
Justice shot rounds of 80, 80, 78 and a fine par 73 for a 19-over-par total of 311 and 14th place in the girls’ division.
Fellow Invincibles Tour member Cassie Porter was fifth (74, 72, 72, 73: 281) to further enhance her fast developing and well-respected reputation on the world stage and as a great competitor and role model for all our young girls coming up through The Invincibles Tour on the Sunshine Coast and South East Queensland.
To be in the running for opportunities such as Justice and Bailey experienced, is as simple as becoming a member of The Invincibles Tour.
Who will be the lucky couple in 2019?
Article by Peter Owen
Our Juniors Savour The Moment At Baddely International