Date: March 30, 2014
Author: Christian Puccini / Golf SA

Elite Amateurs set for Golf SA Classic & Rene Erichsen

Elite Amateurs all set for Golf SA Classic & Rene Erichsen Salver MEN&aposS A record field of 114 men will contest the 2014 Golf SA Men’sAmateur Classic and 30 women with compete for the Women’s Rene Erichsen Salver, South Australia s premier Amateur Golf Championships. Played concurrently from Thursday 3 April to Sunday 6 April at Glenelg Golf Club, the 72 hole events which have national ranking status, have again attracted a stellar field of local and interstate talent. The men’s field features 12 of the top 20 ranked Australian players. Of the 114 men’s entrants, the quality of the field is highlighted by 79 players currently holding a Golf Australia handicap of scratch or better, with Ben Eccles from Victoria Golf Club (VIC) the lowest marker off an impressive +4.4. Eccles who is 13th ranked nationally, missed the cut by 1 stroke last year, but is better placed to progress to the weekend in 2014. A total of 55 local South Australian players will do battle against 59 interstate visitors, with 25 players from New South Wales, 15 Queensland, 11 Victoria, 4 Western Australia, 3 Tasmania and 1 from Malaysia. Local hopes will rest with two-time National Junior Champion, Anthony Murdaca from The Grange Golf Club. 18 year old Murdaca, who finished tied 45th in the Australian Open in December and fired a 6-under low round of 66 on moving day, has all the weapons to tackle the challenging Glenelg layout. Jack Williams, also from The Grange, will be another contender after claiming the SA Amateur Championship for a second time. I can t wait for the next tournament, the Golf SA Amateur Classic. My confidence is pretty high and I m pretty happy with my form and want to win a leading national rankling event. Williams said after winning the State Championship on 23rd March. Any local victory will be hard fought however, with Australia s number one ranked player (70 in the world) Todd Sinnott from Metropolitan Golf Club (VIC) returning after finishing tied 22nd last year. The 22 year old has had a stellar start to 2014 with runner up finishes at both the Riversdale Cup and Master of the Amateurs, as well as reaching the semi-final of the Australian Amateur Championship. WA representative Jarryd Felton ranked 4 Nationally (34 in the world), is another in rare form having tasted National Ranking success already twice this year, winning the Tasmanian Open and NSW Amateur to go along with his victory in Mandurah in Sep 2013. Also likely to feature is National Squad member, Cameron Davis from NSW and 2014 Master of the Amateurs Champion Simon Viitakangas (QLD) ranked nationally 7th and 6th respectively. First played in 1985, the Classic has an impressive list of former winners including Brett Ogle (NSW, 1995), Peter O Malley (NSW, 1996), Stuart Appleby (Vic, 1992), Greg Chalmers (WA, 1994) and Brett Rumford (WA, 1996). For the Men&aposs Draw Click here WOMEN&aposS The 2014 Rene Erichsen Salver also boasts a quality line-up, with South Australian players accounting for one-third of this year s field of 30 players. 16 players currently hold handicaps of scratch or better with Shelly Shin from Concord Golf Club in NSW the lowest marker off a remarkable +5.0. Fifteen year old Shin, this year s Riversdale Cup Champion by 15 strokes, is ranked 9 in Australia and the third ranked junior girl behind 17 year old prodigies Minjee Lee and Su-Hyun Oh. Golf Australia has recognised Shin s prestigious talent by recently adding her to the Junior National Squad. Strong competition will come from 17 year old Hannah Green (WA) who is ranked third nationally and 73 in the world. Green is also a Junior National Squad member. Tasmanian Stroke Play champion and 8th ranked Elizabeth Elmassian (NSW), Haley Bettencourt (WA) ranked 5 nationally and Victorian representative player Jo Charlton (ranked 15th), will all be right in the mix. Last week s SA Amateur Champion Kono Matsumoto from Victoria is in hot form and now has the game and confidence to challenge in big tournaments. 2014 Lake Macquarie Champion Jenny Lee (Glenelg) and SA Amateur Runner Up Kristalle Blum (The Grange) are the two locals expected to deliver a strong showing. First played in 1967, the Salver has an impressive list of former winners including 5-time winner Jane Crafter, Anne-Marie Knight, Sarah Kemp and Minjee Lee in 2013. Lee will be unable to defend her title in Adelaide after accepting an invitation to compete in her first major, the LPGA&aposs Kraft Nabisco Championship. For the Women&aposs Draw Click here The Golf SA Amateur Classic and Rene Erichsen Salver will be played at Glenelg Golf Club from Thursday 3 April to Sunday 6 April. Play commences from 8am Thursday and Friday with a cut after 36 holes. The leading 60 men and 21 women plus ties, qualify for the 3rd and 4th rounds from 7.30am Saturday and Sunday. Entry is free. Spectators are welcome.