Another three gun amateurs have qualified for the Emirates Australian Open at Royal Sydney this week, including Sydney star Travis Smyth for the first time.
For the 21-year-old Smyth, it was third time lucky. He shot four-under par at the Carnarvon Golf Club in the west of Sydney today but was not convinced it would be good enough; he had produced the same score in the previous two years at qualifying, and missed out both times.
Now he will play in the country's most prestigious tournament in front of a home crowd.
"Third time lucky,'' he told Golf Australia afterward. "I played well today, but it could have been anything. I wasn't sure it would be enough. But I can't wait to get out and tee it up with the big dogs.''
Smyth, who hails from near Shellharbour, south of Wollongong, plays out of St Michael's Golf Club and is a member of the New South Wales state squad, as well as captain of his state's amateur team. He is a winner of the Riversdale Cup and made the final of the Australian amateur championship this year. Recently he has been battling the after-effects of illness from a trip to Japan when he picked up food poisoning and lost eight kilograms, but he is feeling fine now. "I'll be a little nervous, but more excited to get out there and try to prove myself against the top players,'' he said.
He joins Golf Australia squad member Zach Murray from Victoria and NSW state team member Austin Bautista in the final field of 156 players. Eight players were added to the field today through qualifying.
The top amateurs already in the field included Harrison Endycott (NSW), Brett Coletta (Victoria) and Minwoo Lee (WA).
Ryde-Parramatta (2 qualifiers):
1. Benjamin Clementson
2. Maverick Antcliff
* 1st Qualifying alternate: Dylan Perry (Am)
1. Zach Murray (Am)
2. Travis Smyth (Am)
3. Austin Bautista (Am)
* 2nd Qualifying alternate: Jordan Mullaney
1. Adam Burdett
2. Toby Williams
3. Leigh McKechnie
* 3rd Qualifying alternate: Jimmy Gunn