Foreigners claim Aussie Amateur titles

BY Bruce Young | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2012 Australian Amateur Championship | Wrap | 22 Jan 2012

A 14 year old New Zealander, Lydia Ko, and 21 year old German, Marcel Schenider, are the Women’s and Men’s Australian Amateur Champions after the finals of both events were completed at the Woodlands Golf Club in Melbourne today.

The respective finals were contrasting affairs with the result of the women’s final hardly in doubt from very early on in the day while the men’s would be a cliff-hanger with the eventual winner never ahead all day until he birdied the first extra hole of a playoff for the title.

Auckland golfer, Lydia Ko, already established as the number one amateur in women’s golf worldwide, has added the Australian Amateur Championship to the Australian Strokeplay and New Zealand Amateur titles she already holds with a resounding 4&3 victory over Victoria’s Breanna Elliott.

Ko went one up with a par at her very first hole of the day and never gave up that lead, taking a 6 up advantage to lunch after 18 holes and a 7 up lead through 21 holes of the 36 hole final.

Ko would lose some ground over the closing stages but she had done more than enough prior to that, eventually winning at the 15th hole of the afternoon round.

“It feels pretty amazing and it feels great that I came further than I did last year so I’m pretty proud of myself,” the amazing 14 year old said.

“All the people that were supporting me – all the boys and girls and our manager, I think because of them I got this far. Especially when you’re in a different country and having people cheering for you is just great.”

The Men’s final was a much closer fought affair with Germany’s Marcel Schneider defeating Queenslander Daniel Nisbet at the 37th hole after Nisbet led 4 up through 25 holes.

The turnaround began for the German when he birdied the 26th hole and the margin was three. With only four holes to play in the match Nisbet’s 2 up lead still looked a tough hurdle for Schneider to overcome but the German would birdie two of the last four holes and the first extra hole however to take the title.

“It’s great, unbelievable – it’s my first big success,” said the man from Stuttgart.

“This ranks really, really high in my career so far. I played the BMW International on the European Tour last year and this is up there with that.”

Schneider said the Woodlands’ layout reminded him of home.

“I like courses with all the old trees around them and we have a few in Germany with difficult narrow fairways and perfect greens.”

“It was a great match and I was always down. I started really badly and was always two down, three down, four down, three down and I said keep going and worked out when I had my chance. I told myself to stay focused and hit the greens and make putts – the putter was good this week” Schneider said.

Schneider is the first German to win the title and the first international player since Norway’s Anders Kristiansen in 2008.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


    Read all of Bruce's articles »




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