NZ Golf names National Academy and National Development Squads


New Zealand Golf has named five new players in its National Academy for the 2013 – 2014 season.

There are three newcomers in the Men’s Academy in Cameron Jones (Muriwai, North Harbour), Tyler Hodge (Levin, Manawatu-Wanganui) and Luke Toomey (Lochiel, Waikato).

While New Zealand Amateur champions from 2012 and 2013 respectively, Munchin Keh (Titirangi, Auckland) and Julianne Alvarez (Manor Park, Wellington), have been added to the women’s National Academy.  

Gregg Thorpe, the High Performance Manager at NZ Golf, believed that this group of five players has shown huge promise to earn their place in the elite group.

“They are all players who have performed superbly on the national scene and we are excited to welcome them to the National Academy,” said Thorpe.

“We are looking forward to seeing their game’s developing further within the academy as they take advantage of the opportunities and support offered to them.

“We believe these players have the ability to be successful on the international stage as New Zealand reps and in time become successful professionals. This is an important step in their development.”

The newcomers to the National Squad have proven their ability over the past season. Jones delivered a coming of age performance at Paraparaumu Beach when he shot a six under par 30 back nine to win the New Zealand Stroke Play Championship by two shots.

Hodge has been a consistent rep for New Zealand and was impressive in his senior debut this year with a stellar performance at the inaugural 10 Nations Cup in South Africa. Last year he became the first Kiwi to win both the NZ and Australian Age Group titles (under 19) in the same year.

Toomey has achieved his goal of grabbing the attention on the national selectors in 2013. The 21-year-old from the Lochiel Golf Club finished runner-up at the LawnMaster Classic and recently shot an incredible 11 under 61 to finish top of the qualifying for the NZ Amateur by 11 shots. He currently leads the NZ Order of Merit.

The women have been equally impressive. Keh won the NZ Amateur title in 2012 and went on to make a solid debut for NZ when she was picked to play the Espirito Santo Team’s Trophy in Turkey. Alvarez has been a consistent performer on the local scene and her improvement in her game was rewarded recently when she was crowned the New Zealand Amateur Champion at Manawatu.

There is also an exciting group of players coming through the system in the National Development Squad.

There are two new young Waikato men added to the feeder squad in Denzel Ieremia (St Andrews) and Nick Coxon (Narrows) who earn their places through consistent from on the national scene.

Three new women are added to the National Development Squad in Hanna Seifert (Lochiel, Waikato), Te Rongopai Clay (Titahi Bay, Wellington) and Lita Guo (North Shore, North Harbour). Seifert was impressive at the New Zealand Amateur where she made the final. Te Rongopai Clay has been a consistent performer for Wellington and won the New Zealand Age Group Championships at Mangawhai in 2012. Guo made her New Zealand debut recently at the Queen Sirikit Cup after her breakthrough win at the LawnMaster Classic.

The National Academy and National Development Squads will assemble for a camp on May 17 – 19 at the New Zealand Golf Academy at the St Peter’s College in Cambridge.


National Academy         


Vaughan McCall (Gore, Southland), Josh Munn (Manawatu, Manawatu –Wanganui), Sam An, (Titirangi, Auckland), Cameron Jones (Muriwai, North Harbour), Tyler Hodge (Levin, Manawatu-Wanganui), Luke Toomey (Lochiel, Waikato), Blair Riordan, (Takaka, Tasman)


Lydia Ko (Gulf Harbour, North Harbour), Munchin Keh (Titirangi, Auckland), Julianne Alvarez (Manor Park, Wellington), Chantelle Cassidy (Putaruru, Waikato)


National Development Squad  


Compton Pikari (Te Awamutu, Waikato), Peter Lee (Rotorua, Bay of Plenty), Nick Coxon (Narrows, Waikato), Trent Munn (Manawatu, Manawatu-Wanganui), Denzel Ieremia (St Andrews, Waikato)


Wenyung Keh (Pakuranga, Auckland), Lita Guo (North Shore, North Harbour), Hanna Seifert (Lochiel, Waikato), Te Rongopai Clay (Titahi Bay, Wellington).


Peter Thornton | New Zealand Golf
Media & PR Manager