Casino’s Riley Taylor was runner-up in the junior title at the Northern Rivers District Golf Association Championships. This picture from last year shows him receiving a junior champion trophy from Casino Golf Club president, Malcolm Olive, left, and Greg Martin.
Casino’s Riley Taylor was runner-up in the junior title at the Northern Rivers District Golf Association Championships. This picture from last year shows him receiving a junior champion trophy from Casino Golf Club president, Malcolm Olive, left, and Greg Martin. Steve Cselka, www.evansheadit.co

Teen cool under pressure

HE may not have come out on top this time but Casino's Riley Taylor has shown once again he can keep his cool on the greens.

The 14-year-old lost out in a dramatic play-off to Murwillumbah's Lucas Higgins for the junior title at this year's Northern Rivers District Golf Association Championships.

Casino High School student Riley bounced back from a six-over-par score on the front nine at the challenging Ocean Shores Golf Club course to force the decider, which was contested in near darkness on Sunday evening.

Although he eventually lost out to fellow promising player Lucas on the second extra hole, Riley was happy with his efforts.

"If it's not your day, then I guess you move on," he said.

"It was pretty tough to play at the end. We were struggling to see the ball.

"I wasn't actually hitting it that bad on the front nine. I knew if I could stick with it, I would have a chance.

"I think I was one of only four players to break 80 for the day, so I'm happy with that."

Right-hander Riley, who plays off one, has built a reputation as one of the region's best young talents.

The Year 9 student had only played the course once before in his fledgling career, but a solid even par back nine saw him finish with a score of 78.

"It took me a while to get a grip on the greens," he said. "They were playing pretty fast.

"I've had a couple of 65s recently and I'm playing quite well at the moment.

"I'm really enjoying my golf."

It was a memorable day at the Orana Rd club, with some of the best players from across the north coast in action.

The tournament featured senior and both junior events, with players battling for about $4000 in trophies and prizes up for grabs.

Coolangatta-Tweed Heads representative Damien Jordan took top spot in the competition, firing a three-under-par 69.

Another Coolangatta-Tweed player, Dave Morrison, took out the seniors' title.



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