Kiran Day has punched his ticket to the biggest week of his golfing life, qualifying for next month’s US Amateur Championship in California.
The West Australian state team captain snatched one of the three places up for grabs at the qualification event at Bayonet Golf Club, near Pebble Beach, on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old finished the two-round event at four under to finish in a tie for second place with Noah Norton, who coincidentally was the man to end Min Woo Lee’s US Junior Amateur title defence early last week.
Now both Lee and Day will turn the focus of attention to the US Amateur Championship as they look to follow in the footsteps of Curtis Luck, whose victory at the event last year catapulted his name on to the global stage.
“I can't wait for Riviera and I've got two weeks to get everything fine-tuned before the biggest week of my career,” Day told GolfWA afterwards.
Day, like Luck, is a Cottesloe member and set the groundwork for his qualification with a first-round four-under 67 which left him two shots clear of the field.
Day admitted that he “hit it awesome” during his morning round when he carded seven birdies.
He twice strung together three birdies in succession to surge into the lead that proved important as afternoon conditions became harder.
Day found himself two over through eight holes of his second round, but steadied on the back of a 45-foot birdie putt at the par-four third.
It proved a decisive moment as he picked up a couple more strokes in the next four holes to ensure he could not be caught with an even-par second-round 71 to book his place at The Riviera Country Club at Pacific Palisades from 14-20 August.
Day’s qualification ensured two more West Aussies would return to the US Amateur Championship 12 months after Luck defeated American Brad Dalke 6&4 at Oakland Hill Country Club.
At other qualifying locations, the Hunter Valley's Dylan Perry and Melbourne pair Karl Vilips and Blake Collyer also advanced.