PUTTING your name on a trophy besides the likes of Gavin Coles and Peter O'Malley is an exciting achievement for any young golfer.
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Cooper Starkey enjoyed that experience after taking out the 2022 Bathurst Junior Championships title.
Starkey, 14, one of the city's rising stars, earned the crown courtesy of achieving the best score of any under 18s player across the three rounds of the Bathurst Golf Club Championships.
Bathurst Golf Club general manager Brad Constable said it's been a delight to watch Starkey develop his game.
"Coop's a definite up-and-comer. He's got his handicap down now to 5.3," he said.
"He plays in a lot of tournaments, like the Jack Newton Junior Golf events, and gets around to those a lot. It's a great sign when you see that from kids because it means they want to get out there and test themselves on other courses.
"Him and his parents are willing to travel for events. He's keen, wants to develop his game and play against the best kids around.
"It's easy enough for a young golfer to come through and play on their own course, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that, but it's great when they want to face the best of the best."
Starkey excelled on his home course in the Bathurst championships with his rounds of 76, 79 and 73 (with one round lost to rain).
It's a major victory in what's sure to be many more to come.
"With his handicap down to five he's certainly trending in the right direction," Constable said.
"He's a five at 14 so, for argument's sake, if he does find himself near scratch at 16 then he'd be well ahead of the curve.
"Coop's been a member here since 2015 and has been developing his golf well from a young age. He's been involved with the Western Region Academy of Sport for a while now as well."
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