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.
Full matchplay results are available via the following links below:
Men's & Women's Matchplay Grid & Draw:
Men's Matchplay Grid – (as at the conclusion of the round of 4 matches)
Women's Matchplay Grid – (as at the conclusion of the round of 4 matches)
Further event information can be found on the tournament homepage.