Date: July 05, 2007

Aussies amateur international update

With most of the Aussie amateurs now halfway through their international tour, there have been many positive signs and solid results posted on leaderboards throughout the UK and United States. Tim Stewart heads the pack with his sterling effort at the British Amateur in June. The 22-year old worked his way through the pack of challengers to reach the final against American Drew Weaver. Despite trailing by six-holes with six to play, Stewart launched a stunning comeback, claiming the next four holes before the penultimate hole was halved to hand the American the title. Although he was unable to take the final step, Stewart did himself and his country proud by reaching the final of the prestigious event. No Australian has won the event since 1954 and it was a credit to Stewart that he was almost able to break the long-standing drought. It was a solid event overall for the Aussies with Rohan Blizard, Andrew Dodt making the third round and Rick Kulacz going on to reach the quarter-final. In the Women&aposs British Amateur at The Alwoodley Golf Club in Leeds, Emma Bennett performed well to reach the third round. The Victorian was unstoppable throughout the early rounds but fell to Breanne Loucks of Wales 4&2. Stacey Keating qualified through to the second round while Kate Combes was ousted in the first. Although not as successful as the men in the Amateur, the Aussie girls have had unprecedented success on their travels so far. Combes finished second at the St Rule Trophy while Bennett claimed the Astor Salver and also the Bridget Jackson Bowl in a playoff. Not one to be left out, Keating set about starting her silverware collection with wins at the Irish Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship and the Pleasington Putter in Manchester, with Bree Arthur finishing second and Clare Choi and Bennett finishing tied for sixth. The girls now on their way across the Atlantic for events in the United States however Keating will return home to Australia. Having finished their UK tournaments earlier, the men have already been in the US for a week. Jamie Arnold was the best of the Aussies at the Dogwood Invitational finishing at even-par but still well back in the field. Ray Beaufils was a further stroke back and Richie Gallichan finished at five-over the card, rounding out the only Australians to play all four rounds. The Rice Planters Invitational has brought better news for the men however with the round one leader board resembling an amateur tournament back home. Josh Younger leads the field at nine-under after a blistering 63, Victorian Leigh Deagan is second at five-under, Scott Arnold is third at four-under while Rudi Bezuidenhout, Michael Foster and Matthew Griffin are three-under the card to break the American stranglehold on their local events. Meanwhile, Matthew Giles has continued his solid form at the Toyota World Junior Championships in Japan, finishing second to Kiwi Samuel Shin at the US Junior Championship qualifying at Stanford University Golf Course in California. Giles carded 68 and 69 for a total of three-under which means he will now travel to Missouri for the US Junior Championship from July 23 after defending his World Junior Championship at Torrey Pines. To keep informed of all Aussie amateur news, stay tuned to