An Ashes rematch looms at Lake Macquarie
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2006 Lake Macquarie Amateur | 28 Jan 2006
Day Three Photo Gallery – Lake Macquarie Amateur
An Ashes type series is unfolding at the 2006 Greater Building Society Lake Macquarie Amateur Championship with England’s Adam Gee holding the narrowest of leads over Australian Mitchell Brown. The tournament has certainly being an international affair with English team members nudging out the locals at the completion of each day’s play so far.
English Golf Union Elite members have continued to maintained their presence on the leaderboard for all three days with Jamie Moul holding the joint lead for the first two days only to see team mate Adam Gee shoot a 66 on the third day to lead the prestigious amateur championship from Australia’s Mitchell Brown by two shots.
Gee sits twelve under par with Mitchell Brown at ten under. Michael Raseta from Mona Vale shares third position with former NSW Medal winner Richard Gallichan.
Both Raseta and Gallicahn shot the lights out of the Belmont layout, with Raseta at one stage getting to 12 under, the work of some seven birdies in his round.
“I had it going there for a while but the last five holes got me. Coming home I was hurting despite having seven straight birdies earlier.”
Raseta finished with a 68, leaving him to ponder what it could have been. The fact is he is well placed four behind the leader and now out of the limelight. Another birdie blitz tomorrow for Raseta and anything could happen.
There was also absolutely nothing wrong with Richard Gallichan’s performance today and it was in marked contrast to the previous day, reflecting the frustrating nature of the game of golf. A 76 one day followed by a 65 the next. Gallichan has now come from extinction to be in the final group and it will be interesting to see what he can produce tomorrow.
Adam Gee however is primed for victory. He was in control during the difficult stages of the last five holes at Belmont and looks relax on foreign soil.
“I hit quite a lot of greens today which was quite handy and drove the ball quite a bit straighter. When I needed to step up and make a birdie I rolled the ball well. I did not put myself into too much danger off the tee, which is a big key around hear.”
“I made a great putt on 8 from fifteen feet to make par and birdied 9,11,12,13 and went from there.”
“I will try and play nice golf tomorrow and take advantage of the par 5’s and see what happens. Holes like 15 can be dangerous and on 16 you must get a birdie, not to do so and you give a shot back to the field.”
Gee hails from London, playing out of Leatherhead, a parkland course just off the M25 not far from the English capital. At 25 he’s a seasoned amateur and has tasted victory before in winning the Berkshire Trophy. With Mitchell Brown only two off the pace and eager to claim the crown that has so far evaded him over the last few years, Gee is acutely aware there are a few Aussies hot on his tail.
For Mitchell Brown, the Lake Macquarie Amateur Championship is one event that has evaded him. He has been close on more than one occasion and you feel if the putts fall for him, the Championship is there for his taking. Brown’s game is looking solid and he is exhibiting accuracy with the driver:
“I drove the ball well today, the best I’ve done all week. If I can get the ball rolling I’ll score. With the last five holes you can make a decent score. The 15th is tough, but 16 in a must birdie hole. If you fail to get a birdie on 16 you simply lose a shot to the field. In fact all par 5’s hear a birdie opportunities and you have to take advantage of this if you are win.”
Sitting only two behind Gee, Brown is sure to press Gee and obtain the Championship title that has evaded him to date. It promises to be a great contest.
We are now at the business end of the tournament and given that only eight players are within four shots of the lead, the championship is still wide open. With the likes of Jason Day and Richard Gallichan lurking just off the leaders anything could happen.
The problem is, like the Ashes series, it appears it will be another English victory in the making.
Photo – Anthony Powter