Classy amateurs roll into Lake Macquarie
BY Bruce Young | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2012 Lake Macquarie Amateur | Preview | 24 Jan 2012
The 72 hole Greater Bulding Society’s Men’s Lake Macquarie Amateur Championship gets underway this Thursday at the Belmont Golf Club just south of Newcastle in New South Wales, the event the third of four significant international amateur events in Australia over a one month period.
Two weeks ago Victorian Nathan Homan won the Australian Master of the Amateurs at Royal Melbourne and last week the Australian Amateur Championship was won by Germany’s Marcel Schneider. Next week the NSW Amateur will be played on golf courses along Sydney’s northern beaches.
Both Holman and Schneider are currently entered in this week’s field as is the runner-up in each of those earlier events, Daniel Nisbet of Caboolture.
The final field for this week will be decided following the completion of Pre Qualifying for the event on Wednesday when 130 or so players will attempt to earn one of the 60 positions available via qualifying in the field of 168.
The Belmont Golf Club’s layout lies adjacent to the Pacific Ocean and was originally built in 1952.
The event will be played over 72 holes with a cut to the top 80 and ties on Friday evening before the final 36 holes are played over Saturday and Sunday.
West Australian Brady Watt is the defending champion having defeated Queensland’s Cameron Smith and brilliant South Australian junior Anthony Murdaca by four shots in last year’s event.
Other leading ranked Australian amateurs, Jake Higginbottom (who has played much of his amateur golf in this region) Matthew Steiger and leading qualifier for last week’s Australian Amateur, Cameron Smith, are lining up along with the typically high class field that this event has become synonymous with in recent years.
Other recent winners of the event are Kieran Pratt (2010) Scott Arnold (2009), Danny Lee (2008), Blake McGrory (2007), Adam Gee (2006) and Marc Leishman (2005).
A total of 36 overseas players have entered. They include two from Finland, 6 from Germany, 5 from Ireland, 13 from New Zealand, 9 from the UK and one from Scotland.
The only issue tournament organisers are perhaps not prepared for is the potential for rain over each of the four tournament days although that is only a forecast at this stage.
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