Blizard stands alone at Aussie
BY Anthony Powter | Australasian PGA Tour | 2007 Australian Open | Round Three | 15 Dec 2007
Rohan Blizard has played exceptionally well, both in Australia and overseas, this season and it’s reflected in his current world amateur ranking. In a period of twelve months, the 23-year-old has steadily climbed from 19th, to be the 7th best amateur in the world and our highest ranked amateur.
Blizard’s efforts at the Australian Open Championship this week have also done no damage to his world standing as the only amateur, from the fourteen who started, to make the weekend.
“I was feeling good during the practice round earlier this week, but to make the cut at the Aussie Open is something special,” remarked Blizard, who is the current Australian Amateur Champion and playing in just his second Australian Open.
Blizard is taking his solo achievement this week in his stride, eager to experience the tournament “feel” with the crowd interaction, as well as the opportunity to play against the professionals.
“Over the weekend I’ll aim to get as high up as possible in the field, but it’s all about enjoying the experience for me, both with the crowds and the feel of playing a major tournament like the Australian Open,” commented Blizard yesterday on the practice fairway.
“Sure at the bigger amateur events, especially in America, you get some galleries, but it will be nothing like what we should get here over the weekend and as an amateur you want to experience this feeling.”
Blizard plays out of New South Wales Golf Club in Sydney, where he won his Australian amateur title in March. During the last twelve months he’s won the 2007 Tasmanian Open and the week after he claimed the Australian Amateur title, he finished second at the Mandurah Eastern Amateur, a national selection trial event.
On the international scene, Blizard made the 3rd round of the match play format at the 2007 British Amateur and finished a creditable 4th at The Players Amateur, in what’s regarded as a one of the major American amateur championships.
The top accolade as Australia’s best amateur is becoming a strong contest between Blizard and Tim Stewart. Matthew Griffin is also knocking on the door, especially after recent stellar international performances in Argentina, where the Victorian finished 6th in the individual section at the Southern Cross Cup.
Stewart was unfortunate not to be joining Blizard for the weekend, after finishing two shots outside of the cut, along with Griffin and South Australian Chris Austin. Queenslander Scott Smith was more unfortunate than his colleagues, missing the weekend by a shot.
The result leaves Blizard as the lone amateur at this Australian Open and reinforces his standing within the amateur ranks as one of our best prospects.
“It’s certainly going to be different out there, most probably with the mental element when you stand over your shot and are trying to please the crowd,” remarked Blizard, as he headed to the practice green.
As Blizard walks the fairways of The Australian Golf Club this morning, he does so knowing that he’ll receive the Amateur Medal for the Championship and deservedly so.
“Sure it would have been good to have other amateur guys out there competing, but that’s they way it’s fallen and I’m just glad to be in it, come the weekend.”