One of Australia’s most promising golfers, Antonio Murdaca, has turned professional.
Murdaca, 20, will tee up for money for the first time at the PGA Tour of Australasia’s Fiji International next week after a glittering amateur career, highlighted by his appearance at this year’s Masters Tournament.
The South Australian made his announcement after storming home to finish sixth with a stirring 64 in what turned out to be the final round of the typhoon-reduced Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Hong Kong at the weekend.
It was a fitting tournament at which to make the move – a year after the same event brought him to international prominence with victory at Royal Melbourne ensuring him a start at Augusta National.
“After a long and successful amateur career, I feel it’s time to make the next step,” Murdaca said.
“I am ready to turn professional and start the next leg of my ongoing golf journey. I am super excited to start in Fiji and can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.
“I’m really grateful for the combined efforts of Golf Australia, Golf South Australia, the PGA Tour of Australasia and my management team at ISM to help me get started so soon.”
Murdaca, who has signed with management company ISM, is one of only three players to have twice won the national junior championship including 2013 Masters hero Adam Scott.
Golf Australia high performance director Brad James said Murdaca has had a stellar amateur career and was ready to make the transition to pro ranks.
“He has all the tools required to be a successful international professional, as we all saw at Augusta National when he held his own in elite company for the first time,” James said.
Murdaca showed his aptitude at professional events early with a scintillating six-under-par third-round 66 playing alongside Robert Allenby in the 2013 Emirates Australian Open. He also made the cut at last year’s national championship.
The PGA of Australia looks forward to welcoming Murdaca to the pro ranks and watching him develop further as a player throughout his career.
“We have already seen in his forays into professional tournaments as an amateur that Antonio is an extremely talented player,” said Simon Butterly, general manager – tournament division for the PGA of Australia.
“He will join a talented crop of young players as the next generation of Australian Tour professionals. I look forward to watching him grow as a player on the PGA Tour of Australasia and establishing a long and successful career, starting at next week’s Fiji International.”
ISM chief executive officer Andrew "Chubby" Chandler hailed Murdaca's progress.
"Antonio has really grown as a player since I first met him at the Thailand Golf Championship last year," Chandler said.
"The whole experience of playing at Augusta will have done him a lot of good and we can’t wait to see how he deals with the next level.”