Australian Amateur all set to go
BY Bruce Young | Amateur Golf Tour | 2013 Australian Amateur Championship | Preview | 13 Jan 2013
The Australian Amateur Championships begin this Tuesday at the Commonwealth and Woodlands Golf Clubs in Melbourne’s sandbelt both the men’s and women’s championships being played at the same venues.
The leading 64 male qualifiers will advance to Match Play at the Commonwealth Golf Club while the leading 32 females will face off in the head to head phase of the event.
288 players are confirmed to tee it up on Tuesday chasing Australia’s most significant amateur crown and a title that can provide the stepping stone to a career in professional golf.
New Zealand golf’s superstar Lydia Ko is the defending champion in the Women’s Amateur and given that following her victory in 2012 she would go on to win the US Amateur Championship and win the LPGA Tour’s Canadian Open then it is fair to assume she will start as the favourite and the likely winner.
The defending men’s champion would have been Germany’s Marcel Schneider but having turned professional since he will not be in the field. Neither will last year’s runner-up Daniel Nisbet who is also now in the paid ranks.
Players expected to do well this week in the men’s division therefore include Brady Watt, Cameron Smith, Taylor MacDonald, Brett Drewitt, French Polynesia’s Teremoana Beaucousin and last week’s Master of the Amateur winner Viraat Badhwar.
One player who would have been a consideration this week is the highly credentialed Nathan Holman who by not getting his entry in on time has missed out on what may well be his last opportunity to play his national amateur championship.
The full men’s field may be seen here
The women’s event is expected to be dominated by Lydia Ko but the recent 13 shot victory of Su-Hyu Oh at the lake Macquarie Amateur championship and West Australian Minjee Lee’s outstanding form internationally last year stands those players in good stead along with Grace Lennon, Ellen Davies Graham and Hayley Bettencourt.
Ko, Lee and Oh are currently the 1st, 2nd and 5th world ranked players in the female amateur game.
Also in the field is the 34 year old Floridian Meghan Stasi who is one of the United States’ most accomplished amateurs. In 2012 she won her 4th US Mid Amateur Championship. The full women’s list may be seen here
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