Pratt dominating Lake Macquarie Am
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2010 Lake Macquarie Amateur | Round Three | 24 Jan 2010
Kieran Pratt moves into the final round of the Lake Macquarie Amateur with a eight stroke advantage over his nearest rival, Brendan Smith, and looks set to win another major Australian amateur title for this season.
Pratt has fired rounds of 65-71-63, to be at 17-under-par, with yesterday’s third round 9-under-par, 63, equalling the course record set by Jason Day in 2006.
This Australian season Pratt has been quick to establish himself as one of our top amateurs. Last November the 21-year-old won The Dunes Medal for his maiden National Trial event title and has followed that with wins in December at the Victorian Medal and the Victorian Amateur Championship.
The Victorian State player was narrowly defeated by Jason Scrivener at The Australian Cup last week, going down on the first play-off hole after the pair finished at 3-under-par for the tournament.
At the Australian Amateur Championship last March in Queensland, Pratt also made it through to the quarter-finals to have his progression at the National Championship cut short by eventual winner, Scott Arnold, 2&1.
Arnold won the Lake Macquarie Amateur last year with a 15-under-par total and a three stroke victory over Brendan Smith. Arnold has since turned professional and is based in Europe, Smith is currently the nearest player to Pratt going into today’s final round.
Yesterday’s 9-under-par, 63, by Pratt was a stellar round given the extreme conditions where the mercury was topping close to the 40’s. Pratt secured four birdies on the front nine and followed that with an eagle and three birdies on the back. Matthew Steiger, James Frazer and Jin Jeong all fired rounds of 6-under-par, 66, to be the next best rounds for the day.
“I’ve just been consistent with my game,” said Pratt following his first round.
“There not been anything particularly special with the way that I’ve been playing lately, just that I not making silly mistakes out there. Before, there would be some mistakes that would hurt my round. I’ve been able minimise these and the scores are reflecting that.”
Pratt moving into this Australian season knew that his game had the edge to compete and win major amateur event just that he’d came up short, with chances of victory slipping from his grasp after been so close on numerous occasions. He’d finished runner-up to Scott Arnold at the 2008 Riversdale Cup and was runner-up at the 2007 Victorian Amateur to Leighton Lyle.
Victory at The Dunes Medal changed that for Pratt and it has been for the better and at the Lake Macquarie Amateur, Pratt is on the verge of adding to his collection of main Australian amateur events to four this season.
Should he be holding the Lake Macquarie Amateur trophy this evening, his efforts will not only have him on a trophy that bares the names of Peter O’Malley (1986), Stephen Leaney (1992), Geoff Ogilvy (1997), Brett Rumford (1998), Nick Dougherty (2001), Chris Campbell (2002), Jarrod Lyle (2003-4), Marc Leishman (2005) and more recently, Danny Lee (2008), he will have also equalled Daniel Nisbet’s tally of four main Australian amateur wins in a single season set last year.