Pratt smashes records at Lake Macquarie
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2010 Lake Macquarie Amateur | Round Four | 24 Jan 2010
There was no stopping Kieran Pratt at the Lake Macquarie Amateur as the 21-year-old finished the championship with a 21-under-par total for a massive eleven stroke victory over Brendan Smith and in the process securing the tournament record previously set at 20-under by Peter O’Malley and Danny Lee.
Pratt displayed peerless golf throughout his rounds of 65-71-63-68, with yesterday’s third round 63 equalling the course record set by Jason Day in 2006.
Two records from one event, testament to the fine play exhibited by Pratt during the tournament.
Starting the final round with an overnight eight stroke margin, Pratt never looked out of control as he claimed his fourth main Australian amateur title from just six events.
“I came here thinking that I could win,” said Pratt.
“I never thought that I would win by that much of a margin. My plan was to try and win a few of these events before going overseas later in the year. This is a fantastic result and a very special win for me.”
In becoming the country’s hottest amateur, Pratt attributes his recent purple patch run as staring with The Dunes Medal last November.
“That was important for me at The Dunes, as it was my first main amateur event,” he says.
“Winning the Lake Macquarie Amateur is equally special, but each has their own special place in my mind. I’ll just keep focusing upon these events and trying to win as many as I can.”
It is only three months into the Australian season and already Pratt has made his mark as arguably our most promising amateur to emerge this year. Since winning The Dunes Medal, Pratt has followed that with wins in December at the Victorian Medal and the Victorian Amateur Championship.
He’s shone above all of our main established amateurs and sent a stern message that his competitive in any event he enters.
Today’s win and four in total has equalled Daniel Nisbet’s four wins from last season, however, Nisbet did win each of his titles in succession. That’s no discounting Pratt’s achievements for already this season, which have been nothing short of spectacular. We are sure to be seeing a lot more of Pratt both locally and internationally as he takes his game to the next level.
Only last week Pratt, a Victorian State player, was narrowly defeated by Jason Scrivener at The Australian Cup going down on the first play-off hole after the pair finished at 3-under-par for the tournament.
How much has changed for Pratt in a space of a short time.
“My goal for the remainder of the year is to play well in our other main events and later in the year overseas,” he says.
“Winning in the US is something that I really want to do. I’ve always knew that my game was there and now it’s all falling nicely into place.”
Brendan Smith, runner-up to Scott Arnold last year at this event, again secured a second place finish at this year’s Lake Macquarie Amateur finishing at 10-under-par, after rounds of 70-69-68-71, whilst Daniel Bringolf and Matthew Steiger finished in a tie for 3rd at 7-under-par.
Pratt’s victory this afternoon was impressive. He’s young, athletic and well disciplined, as demonstrated with classic course management throughout the tournament. Today, Pratt appeared to be operating in overdrive as he left the rest of the field chasing his wake.
It was classy stuff from the Victorian and the high water mark has been set as to what else Pratt will achieve this season. Not that it worries Pratt, as he sets his goals high.
Eisenhower team selection is certainly not out of the question and Pratt this season has already sent a stern message to National selectors that he’s arrived on the main amateur scene and should be noticed. It will be interesting to see the selector’s reaction in the coming months and whether any National team places fall Pratt’s way. With these results alone, you would think so.
You do not win four main amateur events from six starts unless you’re firing and in Pratt’s case he continues to fire on all cylinders and there appears to be no stopping him.
For the present, he savouring his win with the Lake Macquarie Amateur, a title that is rich in history. The rest will follow, especially should Pratt continue to play the way that he is, brilliantly, passionately and skilfully.