Raseta claims NSW Amateur Championship
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2008 New South Wales Amateur Championship | Grand Final | 10 Feb 2008
Michael Raseta has won a rain affected NSW Amateur Championship, defeating Tim Hart, 4&2. Raseta will join an illustrious list of former champions, including Peter O’Malley, Lucas Parsons and New Zealander, Michael Campbell, in an event considered by many to be one of the prized Australian amateur crowns.
The Championship had been plagued all week by rain, forcing tournament officials to modify the format, by reducing both the qualifying section to only two rounds and match-play encounters, except the final, to just 18 holes.
Its Raseta’s first major title and in making the final, the 22-year-old accounted for some of the world’s best amateurs, including Gary Wolstenholme, a dual British Amateur Champion, ranked 10th in the world under the Scratch Players World amateur ranking and Rohan Blizard, the current Australian Amateur Champion and 5th ranked amateur in the World.
Raseta hopes today’s victory will be the springboard towards better performances in the future.
“I’ve high expectations as to what I want to achieve,” commented Raseta, on his way to celebrate his win at his home club, Mona Vale Golf Club in Sydney’s northern beaches.
“For some time I’ve been playing well, but just have not been able to get a result. This is just what I needed to build my game and take it further.”
Raseta’s supporters had ventured for the 36-hole final at Ryde-Parramatta Golf Club in large numbers to support their favorite amateur, who was matched against a less experienced opponent, 18-year-old Tim Hart, from Indooroopilly in Queensland.
“I’ve never played him in match-play before, but I’ve played with Tim in other amateur tournaments,” remarked Raseta.
“It was a bit of a sloppy final, and we both got off to a slow start. I managed after the first 18 to be 1-up, and then slid a few crucial putts in. I’m wrapped and hope this is the kick-start for better things for me.”
The NSW Amateur Championship title adds to an already impressive list of amateur victories for Raseta, including winning the NSW Cup and being a dual winner of the Concord Cup, both important Vardon titles within the New South Wales amateur schedule.
It’s a title Raseta is sure to cherish, as the first major win seems to have a special place in players’ heart, and the victory also gives him plenty of confidence for his next major amateur event, the Tasmanian Open, later this month.