Stage Set at Australian Amateur
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2011 Australian Amateur Championship | Matchplay Round Two | 22 Mar 2011
The Australian Amateur Championship is down to the final eight players with a truly international field doing battle at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne.
The Australian contingent has Bryden MacPherson, Tim Hart, Matt Stieger and Brad Moules in the mix with New Zealander’s, Ben Campbell, Matthew Perry and Ryan Fox making the number. England’s David Coupland, runner up in the Stroke Championship to Cameron Smith is also in the top-8.
Number 1 seed and Australian Amateur Stroke champion, Cameron Smith, was able to progressed to the second round after accounting for Anthony Huston 1-up in their opening round, only to fall short of the mark in his afternoon encounter against the 2009 Australian Amateur Stroke champion, Bryden MacPherson.
US based MacPherson had earlier accounted for Zhiqun Lam, 1-up, and was able to draw on his wealth of experience to defeat Smith, 1-up, in their second round match after a slow start which had given Smith the upper hand.
“I made birdie on the last to clinch the match,” said MacPherson.
“I was slow out of the box this morning and opened with some bogeys to be 3-down through four, but managed to get the score back. On the 16th, I was able to get it to about four feet and make the putt and that got me back into the match and I won it on the 18th with a birdie.”
MacPherson will meet Matthew Perry in tomorrow’s quarter-final after Perry accounted for Brody Ninyette, 6&5, in their second round encounter. Ranked 62nd in the World, MacPherson last year in the US secured tied 3rd result in the prized Dogwood Invitational, where he’s being based at the University of Georgia playing the tough US collegiate system.
“The is a calendar event for me,” says MacPherson regarding the Australian Amateur championship.
“I’ve had good preparation leading into this event having played three collegiate tournament back in the US and last week played well in Las Vegas around a tough layout. My short game has improved tremendously over the last twelve months in the US and this has helped me this week around Victoria.”
Last year MacPherson made the semi-finals at this event and he’ll be looking to go one better to make Wednesday’s 36-hole final in an event that’s dear to his heart.
“I’d love to win this event,” he says.
“At present, I’m taking one match at a time and staying in the zone. There’s a lot of golf left before the final, yet I’d love to be playing to win your national title. This is something every player wants to achieve, to win their national title as it is very special.”
Tim Hart continues to have another final run in a main amateur event accounting for Lindsay Wilson, 1-up, in their first round encounter and was then pushed to the wire in his afternoon against Marika Batibasaga, which Hart eventually winning their second round match on the 20th hole.
“My game was a bit scrappy out there,” said Hart.
“What kept me in was my short game and that finally got me across the line.”
Hart is set to play Matt Stieger after Stieger accounted for New Zealand’s, Vince McCall, 5&4.
Ben Campbell continues to fire at these championships and will meet Brad Moles after Moles defeated Mitch Davis, 2&1, and Campbell accounted for Nathan Holman, winner last week at the Riversdale Cup, 3&2.
Campbell’s game looks solid and he brings into these championships plenty of form with no less that five top-5 finishes in main Australian events.
“I had two good matches out there,” said Campbell runner-up last year in this event to Matt Jager.
“I effectively managed to keep any bogeys off my card and played solid. I’m driving and chipping well and feel my games good enough to hopefully take this title out and finally get a win in Australia.”
Another New Zealander, Ryan Fox, continues to perform well in Australian events and will meet England’s, David Coupland, in the quarter final after Fox brought Luke Humphries’ tournament to a close with a 3&1 second round victory. Coupland had earlier defeated Geoff Drakeford, 3&2, in his second round match and Tom Bond, 3&1 in his first round encounter.