Date: May 14, 2007
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Australia set to defend Four Nations Cup

The two most recent Australian Amateur Champions will headline a strong national team that has been selected for the Men&aposs Four Nations tournament to be played at Barwon Heads Golf Club, 22-25 May. Rohan Blizard (2007 winner) and Tim Stewart (2006 winner), both from NSW will be joined in Victoria by team mates Rick Kulacz (WA), Andrew Dodt (QLD), Jamie Arnold (NSW) and Matthew Griffin (VIC). The squad will compete in foursomes and singles match play against New Zealand, Japan and Canada. The tournament not only gives the Australian men a chance to avenge the defeat they received at the hands of New Zealand in the Trans Tasman Cup, but it also hands them an opportunity to prove themselves against some of the world&aposs best young players. The Australians are defending champions having won the event in 2005 but they will face a healthy challenge from their rivals including New Zealand who is yet to win a Four Nations title. Australia&aposs dominance of the event is evident on the honour roll with all but two of the championships going the way of the green and gold and if recent form is any indication, Australia is a good chance to claim the spoils once more. Rohan Blizard is riding a wave of confidence having claimed the Australian Amateur Championship at New South Wales Golf Club in March. The 22-year-old looked strong throughout and even accounted for Kiwi Troy Ropiha 6/5 in the second round. Tim Stewart won the prestigious event the year before and also claimed the 2007 Riversdale Cup in Melbourne. The NSW state team member plays out of Monash Country Club and always relishes the chance to represent his country. Rick Kulacz will go into the tournament on the back of a strong win at the 2007 SAGA Invitational. The consistent West Australian beat home a strong field at Glenelg Golf Club to win the medal by one-stroke. Matthew Griffin finished equal-third and will be thrilled to be making his National Team debut in his home state. Andrew Dodt is the Australian Amateur Stroke Play Champion and finished runner-up in the New Zealand equivalent last month. He shot a blistering final round 68 but fell one-stroke shy of taking the event to a playoff. Nevertheless, the resilient Queenslander will be tough to handle for any opponent that faces him at Barwon Heads in May. Jamie Arnold was another strong performer in New Zealand this week. The New South Welshman finished four-under to take a share of fourth position and easily qualify for the match play. Arnold won his first encounter against Kiwi Sean Kells but was ousted by Australian Champion and team mate, Rohan Blizard. The six-man team will join up in Melbourne in prior to the Four Nations commencing at Barwon Heads, 90 minutes south-west of the city on May 22. The team is coached by Peter Knight and will be managed by Barry Shepherd. AUSTRALIAN TEAM Jamie Arnold, 23, New South Wales Rohan Blizard, 22, New South Wales Andrew Dodt, 21, Queensland Matthew Griffin, 23, Victoria Rick Kulacz, 21, Western Australia Tim Stewart, 22, New South Wales Peter Knight (coach) Barry Shepherd (manager) SCHEDULE Tuesday 22 May: Practice round and opening ceremony Wednesday 23 May: First Round – Foursomes Matches (3) AM, Singles Matches (6) PM Thursday 24 May: Second Round – Foursomes Matches (3) AM, Singles Matches (6) PM Friday 25 May: Third Round – Foursomes Matches (3) AM, Singles Matches (6) PM