A field featuring over 50 international players from Canada, USA, England, Ireland, Japan, Canada, Singapore, Fiji and New Zealand will tee it up against Australia s best in the 2012 Australian Men’sand Women’s Amateur Championships. The new look event, which sees qualifying over 36-holes with the leading 64 men and 32 women then contesting elimination match play, will be played on Melbourne s sandbelt at Woodlands and Huntingdale Golf Clubs from 17-22 January. The 2011 champions, Ashlee Dewhurst (Tas) and Matt Stieger (NSW) will be back to defend their titles, while last year s runners up, Minjee Lee (WA) and Ben Campbell (NZL) will be hoping to go one better in 2012. Campbell will be looking to make it third time lucky having been the runner up in the 2010 and 2011 Championships. Campbell s fellow compatriots from New Zealand, World Number 1 Lydia Ko and World Number 3 Cecilia Cho will be two of the favourites in the women’s event, alongside Singapore s Charlotte Thomas who is coming off a win in the Victorian Amateur in December. 2011 Australian Girls Amateur Champion Cathleen Santoso (NSW) and Victoria s Su Oh, the youngest player to ever contest the Australian Women’s Open will also feature. Three of the top six ranked female Japanese players will also contest the event. The men’s field is just as impressive, with 2011 Australian Stroke Play and Junior Champion Cameron Smith (Qld) and Jake Higginbottom (NSW) sure to feature. Higginbottom has come off a great year after finishing runner up in the 2011 NSW Open, tied 22nd in the NZ Open, and tied 21st in the NSW PGA Championship. The men’s international contingent will feature English National Team Members Neil Raymond, Ben Loughrey and Ashley Chesters, while the Irish National Squad will make an appearance in Australia for the first time in a decade. Taihei Sato will fly the flag for Japan. The youngest player in the field is 13 year old Ryan Ruffels from Victoria Golf Club who plays off a Scratch handicap, whilst the oldest player in the field is 49 year old Russell O Callgahan from Mount Lawley Golf Club in WA. The golf is sure to be impressive, with players competing on two of Australia s best courses. Woodlands Golf Club is the primary host and will host the qualifying rounds and the match play rounds, and with it coming off holding the revived Women’s Victorian Open, players will be treated to a great venue. Huntingdale Golf Club will host the qualifying rounds, and with its history as the Australian Masters venue, it is sure to pose a challenge for many players. 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, Matt Goggin, Brett Rumford, Kristie Smith, and Nikki Campbell. Entry is free for spectators. Click Here for further information regarding the Men&aposs and Women&aposs Amateur Championships.