Port Kembla's Thomas Heaton a winner at Jack Newton state titles

Thomas Heaton after winning the under 12 state title at Wollongong Golf Club. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Thomas Heaton after winning the under 12 state title at Wollongong Golf Club. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

The Jack Newton State junior golf championships came to a dramatic climax on Friday afternoon, after an unexpected playoff resulted in Zin Yo Garcia denying Shellharbour's Jack Kessell the under 17 scratch title.

Kessell completed the tournament four strokes behind leader Garcia, believing he had no chance of winning and left the course.

However Garcia dropped shots over the remaining holes, leaving him tied with Kessell on 287.

By the time Kessell arrived back at the course it was almost dark, and Garcia recovered to claim victory on the first playoff hole.

"I hit a decent tee shot," Kessell said.

"But my chip was pretty ordinary, and I just felt too rushed. He played well, and he sank a very good putt, but I'll be back."

Some of Australia's best junior golfers played in the tournament, jointly held at Wollongong and Shellharbour golf clubs.

The Championships were played over four rounds, with player's ages ranging from 12 to 17.

Overall winners were David Micheluzzi (Victoria) and Shelley Shin (NSW).

Tournament director Dale Hughes hailed the event a huge success.

"Both courses have been amazing," he said.

"The atmosphere has been great, and the quality of golf played over the four days has been unbelievable. We're already looking forward to coming back next year."

The Illawarra was also well represented in the championships, with Thomas Heaton from Port Kembla taking out the under 12 scratch.

Ben Aramayo from Wollongong and Stefanie Hall from Flinders were among the other standout from the Illawarra.

Heaton said he was pretty confident of doing well after shooting an impressive score of 74 on Wednesday, which helped him take a seven shot lead going into the final round.

Although he shot an 82 on the final day, he still won his age group by a comfortable 10 strokes.

"I'm stoked," Thomas beamed.

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