Lake Macquarie: An International Affair
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2008 Lake Macquarie Amateur | Preview | 23 Jan 2008
Securing the Lake Macquarie Amateur Championship title will do no damage to your credentials as an emerging player, and judging from this year’s list of entrants, the event has developed a special attraction with many of the world’s best amateurs.
Over ten different nations will be represented this week at Belmont, including South Africa, United Kingdom, South Korea, France, Sweden and Asia, when the four round stroke play tournament starts tomorrow. It’s shaping up to be one of the biggest and best, in the championship’s fifty-year history
“The Lake Macquarie Amateur is huge and being the first big event of the year, we all want to get off to a flying start and see if we can make national teams,” remarked Daniel Beckmann, the 2007 Federal Amateur champion who’s playing in his first Lake Macquarie Amateur.
The timing of this year’s Lake Macquarie Amateur has special significance by being the first national selection trial event in the year. The Eisenhower Team will be selected for the World Amateur Championships, to be held at Royal Adelaide and The Grange in South Australia this October.
National squad players, as well as players on the fringe, are acutely aware the selectors will be watching their performances, as well as the importance of playing consistently in these events, to justify team selection.
“These national selection events take on a different perspective this year, with selection for the Eisenhower team up for grabs,” commented Rohan Blizard, our current Australian Amateur Champion and top ranked world amateur.
“You want to perform consistently and get some top-five finishes under your belt early and show you are worthy for selection in the team.”
This year’s starting line-up at Belmont includes both the seasoned and the new crop of Australian amateur male golfers, as well and a number of international representatives, most notably, the 17-year-old Kiwi superstar, Danny Lee and former British Amateur Champion, Gary Wolstenholme.
Some, like Tim Stewart, Scott Arnold, Michael Foster, Ray Beaufils, have being playing at Belmont for some time, but are yet to secure the title.
The Lake Macquarie Amateur is considered by many as one of the “top three” amateur championships in Australia, with the Australian Amateur Championship being the title most sought after, followed by either the Riversdale Cup or Lake Macquarie Amateur.