Victorian Men's & Women's Amateur Championships

11 December 2017

The Victorian Men’s & Women’s Amateur Championships are the most prestigious amateur events on the Golf Victoria’s calendar. First played in 1894 (Women) & 1899 (Men), both Championships are well over a century old.

The Championships are played in two stages. First Stage consists of 72 holes stroke play which is played in conjunction with the Port Phillip Open Amateur. The top 32 men and 16 women will then advance to the match-play knockout component (Second Stage).

The Victorian Amateur qualifying rounds have been held as part of the Port Phillip Amateur since 2008 for men and 2012 for women while this is the fifth year that the Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur match play rounds have been contested concurrently.

Victorian Men's Amateur Championship
The 2017 Championship represents 117 years since the inaugural title and is the 107th time the event has been contested.

The Men’s event has now produced 68 separate winners including players such as Ivo Whitton, Harry Williams, five time British Open Champion Peter Thomson; Australia’s first British Amateur Champion Doug Bachli; founder of the Cobra Golf Company Tom Crow and noted professionals Mike Clayton, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley and Marcus Fraser.

Honour Roll

Victorian Women’s Amateur Championship
The first event, played in 1894, was won by Eveline McKenzie. Eveline was also the state champion in 1895, 1896 and 1898. In its formative years, this Championship also carried with it the Championship of Australia. But on the formation of the Australian Golf Union, the two events became separate.

The women’s event boast winners such as Mona MacLeod, Susie & Shirley Tolhurst, Burtta Cheney, Margaret Masters, Sandra McCaw, Lindy Goggin, Jane Lock, Louise Briers, Jane Crafter, Stacey Keating and more recently Su-Hyun Oh.

Honour Roll

Player Information

Eligibility: Top 32 Men & 16 Women from the 2017 Port Phillip Open Amateur

The 2017 Victorian Men's and Women's Amateur Championships will be played from Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 December at Kingston Heath Golf Club and Commonwealth Golf Club.

News & Results

MENS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHPLAY
Men's Matchplay Grid

WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHPLAY
Women's Matchplay Grid

Photo Gallery

2016 Vic Am Champions
L-R: Dylan Perry (The Vintage, NSW) & Alizza Hetherington (Royal Melbourne)

Wednesday 14 December - 36 Hole Finals
Alizza Hetherington from Royal Melbourne and The Vintage’s Dylan Perry have won the respective 2016 Women’s and Men’s Victorian Amateur Championships after the 36-hole finals were both uniquely decided in sudden-death at the Woodlands Golf Club on Wednesday 14 December.

Under overcast skies but with a brisk south-westerly breeze making scoring challenging on the superbly presented Woodlands layout, 16-year-old Hetherington defeated Queensland teenager Rebecca Kay at the 37th in a quality display of ball striking, not to mention mental strength from both players across the duration of an enthralling day. Similarly in the men’s final, the talented 21-year-old Perry overcame slow starts in both rounds to outlast John Lyras from the St Michaels Golf Club in Sydney at the 41st.

The morning eighteen of the women’s final saw Hetherington seemingly take an unassailable lead in the 36-hole contest. Steady par golf over the opening nine saw the former Northern Territorian get to a two-hole lead which she extended over the back-nine. A birdie four at the 10th saw the lead increase to three-holes before Kay fought back to take the 12th after Hetherington found sand off the tee. Some indifferent play by Kay at the 14th and 15th saw the margin slip to four-holes before a further birdie at the par-five 18th let the current Victorian Junior Girls Champion go to lunch with a five-hole lead.

After a birdie at the fourth, Hetherington had increased her lead to six-holes and an early finish seemed likely. However, Kay showed wonderful resilience to stage a remarkable fightback. Indifferent play from Hetherington saw the Queensland teen win the third and fourth before a birdie at the sixth cut the deficit to three holes.

Further concessions by Hetherington at the seventh and the ninth and a Kay birdie at the par-five 10th levelled the playing field. A four at the short 11th was then enough for Kay to take a one hole lead. In the face of losing such a large lead, Hetherington steadied and after halving the 12th with a par, squared the match with a birdie at the par-four 13th. Kay then won the 14th with a par before Hetherington took the difficult par-five 15th playing back into the stiffening wind with the regulation figure.

The 16th was halved in fours as the talented young players had clearly risen to the occasion and were providing the growing gallery with a match to remember. Hetherington then seemed to have victory back in her grasp after holing a long downhill birdie putt at the 17th to regain the lead for the first time since the ninth. With the 18th also playing into the wind, a rock-solid par to Kay after Hetherington came up short of the green with her approach took the match back to square one and both players headed up to the par-four first again for a sudden death decider.

And what a deciding hole it turned out to be. After both players found the fairway from the tee, Kay was first to play and put her approach around seven metres from the hole. Having well and truly regrouped from losing a large lead, Hetherington then played the key shot with her 52-degree wedge, getting the approach inside Kay’s to two metres from the hole. After Kay’s birdie putt slid by, Hetherington stepped up and holed for birdie and the Championship. Having moved to Melbourne from Darwin a little over two years ago, Hetherington now holds the rare achievement of being both the current Victorian Women’s Amateur Champion as well as the Victorian Junior Girls Champion sharing this feat with some of the greats of Victorian women’s golf including Jane Lock, Louise Briers and tied youngest at 16 years of age with Misun Cho.

The men’s final saw Australia’s number two ranked male player in Dylan Perry get off to a slow start against fellow New South Welshman John Lyras. After the pair halved the opening hole in birdies, Lyras birdied again at the par-five second to gain a brief advantage before a dropped shot at the tricky third saw scores level. A further Lyras birdie at the short par-four fourth saw him lead again before Perry responded with a birdie at the sixth to square proceedings.

Some indifferent play followed from both players including Perry taking a double-bogey at the difficult long-par three eighth and a triple-bogey at the ninth to see Lyras hold a one-hole advantage after the opening nine. Perry levelled the final again after winning the 379-metre 14th with a par before gaining a mini-break in winning the 15th and 16th following Lyras struggling on both to get to a two-hole lead. Pars to both players over the closing holes saw Perry, who won this year’s Queensland Men’s Amateur title, maintain that advantage after the morning eighteen.

Solid ball striking, steady putting and par golf was order of the afternoon as Lyras reduced Perry’s advantage to just one-hole heading into the final nine. When the New South Wales State player (Perry) bogeyed the 10th, the final was level and after Lyras took the 12th and 13th with pars to go to two-up, Perry undoubtedly seemed in trouble. Like all good players when faced with adversity, he responded with the only birdie of the afternoon at the 379-metre par four 14th and then squared the contest with a five back into the breeze at the 15th.

Despite both players continuing with the impressive ball striking, neither could force the decisive sub-par blow on the greens in the swirling south-easterly. After both parred the 18th, Perry and Lyras also ventured into sudden death. As the tension continued to rise, neither player yielded with the first four sudden death holes all halved with pars.

The deciding moment in the longest men’s final of recent memory then came at the 168-metre par three fifth and 41st hole of the match. Playing first, Perry played yet another solid gripped down six-iron to around ten metres from the hole before Lyras just missed the green to the left with his seven-iron. A sound sand recovery came out to just over two-metres before Perry lagged down to a conceded par. Faced with the par saver to keep the final alive, Lyras missed for Perry to became the proud winner of the 2016 Men’s Victorian Amateur Championship.

The Victorian Men’s & Women’s Amateur Championships are the most prestigious amateur events on the Golf Victoria’s calendar. First played in 1894 (Women) & 1899 (Men), both Championships are well over a century old.

The Men’s event has now produced 69 separate winners including players such as Ivo Whitton, Harry Williams, five-time British Open Champion Peter Thomson; Australia’s first British Amateur Champion Doug Bachli; founder of the Cobra Golf Company Tom Crow and noted professionals Mike Clayton Robert Allenby Stuart Appleby, Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley and Marcus Fraser.

The women’s event boast winners such as Mona MacLeod, Susie & Shirley Tolhurst, Burtta Cheney, Margaret Masters, Sandra McCaw, Lindy Goggin, Jane Lock, Louise Briers, Jane Crafter, Stacey Keating and more recently Su-Hyun Oh.

The Victorian Amateur qualifying rounds have been held as part of the Port Phillip Amateur since 2008 for men and 2012 for women while this is the fifth year that the Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur match play rounds have been contested concurrently.

Golf Victoria extends sincere thanks to Kingston Heath and Commonwealth for hosting the 2016 Port Phillip Amateur and to Woodlands for staging the match play rounds of the 2016 Victorian Amateur. All three courses were presented in superb condition with all players and officials greatly appreciating the commitment which each afforded the respective Championships.

Hetherington
Women's finalist - Alizza Hetherington

Tuesday 13 December - Quarter & Semi-Finals
Royal Melbourne’s Alizza Hetherington will meet Queensland’s Rebecca Kay, whilst New South Wales duo Dylan Perry & John Lyras will face off in the respective Women’s & Men’s Victorian Amateur Finals to be played at Woodlands Golf Club on Wednesday 14 December over 36-holes.

In warm, overcast but extremely windy conditions for most of the day on the superbly presented Woodlands layout, challenging conditions were presented to players for the quarter and semi-finals of Victorian golf’s most prestigious amateur titles.

After accounting for number one seed & newly crowned Men’s Port Phillip Champion David Micheluzzi in their morning quarter final match 1up, current Queensland Amateur Champion Perry was stretched again to the 18th hole in the afternoon semi-final match against current US Junior Champion Min Woo Lee. The tense semi-final match was back & forth throughout the afternoon, with Australia’s No. 4 ranked Perry holding his nerve down the 18th to emerge victorious by a margin of 2up.

Qualifying in 26th position, St Michael’s John Lyras has been the quiet achiever of this year’s Men’s championship. Playing steady and consistent golf throughout the event, Lyras continued his golden run, with a hard-fought win at the 19th hole over Darcy Brereton (Royal Melbourne) in the quarter finals followed by an impressive 3/1 win over Frazer Droop (Yarrawonga).

Lyras held a comfortable advantage throughout most of the semi-final match with Droop, before a late comeback by the recent Dunes Medal winner took the match to the 17th. Lyras held his nerve to stave off a gallant Droop and book a place in this year’s Men’s final.

The 2016 Victorian Amateur Women’s final puts Australia’s No. 5 & No. 15 ranked Women amateurs Alizza Hetherington (Royal Melbourne) & Queensland’s Rebecca Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed) in an enthralling showdown. The two talented young stars had comfortable victories at the quarter final stage, but encountered much tighter matches at the semi-final stage.

Hetherington was out of the blocks fast against fellow Victorian Olivia Kline in their quarter final battle, with Hetherington seizing the early advantage over the opening nine holes. Hetherington’s strong start to the match proved too big a margin for Kline to overcome, with the match decided 5&4 setting up a showdown between Hetherington & number one seed Elizabeth Elmassian.

The Hetherington/Elmassian match up was a showdown between two of the strong performers of the opening rounds and the match did not disappoint. Elmassian held a slight advantage in the early stages, before a strong run of holes over the back end of the front nine by Hetherington saw the match all square at the turn.

The match remained tight throughout the back nine and was destined to be decided over the final few holes. Elmassian held a one up advantage heading down the par-5 18th but found trouble over the back of the green after her second shot. Hetherington played the hole superbly, with nerves of steel she drained a ten-foot birdie putt to take the match to extra holes.

With both players having played a combined twelve rounds the previous four days, the extra holes came down to a battle of attrition, particularly given today’s match was played during hot conditions. Holes, 19, 20 & 21 were halved, before the recent Victorian Junior Girls Champion sealed a fantastic victory with a win at the 22nd hole putting an end to Elmassian’s quest for the stroke play qualifying & Women’s Victorian Amateur dual titles.

Equally, Kay encountered a dog fight in the form of fellow Queensland state team representative Karis Davidson. The match between the two also reached the turn at all square, before Kay put the foot on the gas over the opening holes of the back nine to gain a two-hole advantage. Davidson would not lie down and fought hard to keep her hopes alive of a maiden appearance in a Women’s Victorian Amateur championship match. In the end, Kay drew on her big match experience, keeping Davidson at bay for a 2/1 win to book a meeting with Hetherington to decide this year’s Women’s champion.

The stage is now set for two thrilling 36-hole finals, with both Perry & Hetherington looking to add a second state amateur title to their trophy cabinets this year. Hetherington is looking to capture an historic Victorian Junior Girls & Women’s Amateur double. Both Kay and Lyras have been two of the form players over the entirety of the match play rounds & will head into tomorrow’s finals full of confidence.

The 2016 Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur Championship finals will commence at 8.00am (Women) and 8.10am (Men) on Wednesday 14 December at Woodlands. The afternoon rounds are scheduled from 12:30pm.

Day Two Pic Vic Am
David Micheluzzi during the round of 16

Monday 12 December - Rounds 1&2
The 2016 Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur Championships have reached the quarter-final stage after the opening rounds of matches were played at Woodlands Golf Club on Monday 12 December. On a beautiful fine and sunny day with a gentle southerly wind, players enjoyed ideal scoring conditions in the quest for the coveted Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur titles both of which date back over 100 years.

The respective men’s and women’s leading qualifiers survived the opening rounds to progress to the quarter final stage. Women’s No. 1 Elizabeth Elmassian (The Australian NSW) safely progressed to the quarter finals with a five and four win over Hannele Mikkola (Victoria).

Men’s number one seed David Micheluzzi (Metropolitan) defeated Commonwealth’s Richard Cahill 2/1 in the round of 32, before surviving a tense battle in the afternoon match with fellow club mate Aiden Didone coming back from two down with four holes to play to win at the 19th.

Elmassian, the newly crowned Port Phillip Women’s Amateur Champion, will now meet Victoria’s Kono Matsumoto in the quarter-finals after Matsumoto accounted for fellow club mate and 2015 Women’s Victorian Amateur runner-up Stephanie Bunque. Other first round results saw most leading qualifiers safely progress including Royal Melbourne’s Alizza Hetherington, Victoria’s Olivia Kline and 2015 Port Phillip Women’s Champion Queensland’s Rebecca Kay.

With 32 players qualifying through from the Men’s Port Phillip Amateur, the Men’s Championship saw two rounds played on the opening day with New South Wales visitor John Lyras becoming the day’s surprise packet. The St Michael’s member disposed of 2014 Victorian Amateur Champion Zach Murray 1up before defeating local favourite Jack Deftereos-Brennan (Woodlands) in the round of 16.

Lyras will now meet Royal Melbourne’s Darcy Brereton in the quarter-finals, after Brereton defeated Heidelberg’s Toby Walker 7/5 in the round of 16 and survived a tight morning match with current Queensland state team representative Charlie Dann.

A major casualty in the men’s competitions on the first day was current Ivo Whitton Champion Kyle Michel, who went down 5/3 in the first round to Royal Melbourne’s Aaron Southern. In other results, Victorian State Team member and defending champion Cameron John is still well in the mix, along with Frazer Droop (Yarrawonga), current US Junior Champion Min Woo Lee (Royal Fremantle WA) and New South Wales state team representative Dylan Perry.

The Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur Quarter-Finals will be played over 18-holes at Woodlands commencing at 7.15am on Tuesday 13 December. The semi-finals will then be played over 18-holes in the afternoon from 12 noon.

The 2016 Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur Championship then culminates with the 36-hole finals on Wednesday 14 December at Woodlands. The morning rounds will commence at 7.30am with the afternoon rounds scheduled for 12:30pm.

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