#AusAm history beckons class field

Matias Sanchez
Shae Wools-Cobb (left) congratulates Matias Sanchez on his epic final-hole #AusAm win in Melbourne last year.

The call of history - and lure of future key exemptions - has beckoned more than 80 international and 220 Aussies to Perth for next week’s Australian Amateur Championships, presented by Swinging Skirts.

Some have unfinished business, one is backing up work completed last year, while most will arrive at Lake Karrinyup and Wanneroo simply trying to follow some of the greats of years past.

The fields, featuring players from Canada, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Scotland, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States, will tee it up against Australia’s best from Tuesday through Sunday.

Stroke play qualifying over 36 holes will narrow the fields to the leading 64 men and 32 women who then contest elimination match play from Thursday.

In the women’s draw, 2016 runner-up and world No.39 A-Yean Cho will be among the favourites, as will Australian junior champion Grace Kim (NSW), Queen Sirikit Cup team member Alizza Hetherington (Vic) and 2017 Japan Amateur champion Yuka Yasuda.

In the men’s field, defending champion Matias Sanchez (Vic) is in great form having been low amateur at the recent Australian Open in Sydney, while last year’s runner-up and hometown hero Min Woo Lee (WA) will hope to go one better in 2018.

World No.15 and Walker Cup team member Matthew Jordan should be a strong contender, as will fellow Englishmen Jake Burnage, David Hague, Gian-Marco Petrozzi.

Canada national team members Hugo Bernard, Joey Savoie and Josh Whalen will also hope to etch their names on the trophy, as will Australia’s other leading hopefuls, Dylan Perry (NSW), Charlie Dann (Qld), Shae Wools-Cobb (Qld) and David Micheluzzi (Vic).

Once again, state and international teams will contest the Ross Herbert National and International Teams Trophies, played in conjunction with the two qualifying rounds.

The Amateur Championships are Australia’s oldest golfing events, dating back to 1894.

Past winners include Michael Clayton, Michael Campbell, Mat Goggin, Brett Rumford, Kristie Smith and Nikki Campbell, and more recently Cameron Smith, newly crowned Australian Open champion Cameron Davis, former world No.1 Lydia Ko, Minjee Lee and current world No.12 Hye-Jin Choi, who won in 2017.

With both champions receiving exemptions into their respective Australian Opens, they are the most prized titles in Australian amateur golf.

Entry is free with play commencing at 7am (AWST) on Tuesday, 16 January.


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