Date: April 19, 2008

Final contenders set for Srixon Australian Amateur finals

The four finalists of the 2008 Srixon Australian Amateur Championships are preparing for Sunday&aposs thrilling 36-hole finale after a pulsating day of quarter and semi-final action at Royal Adelaide Golf Club. Michael Foster and Anders Kristiansen will play for the men&aposs crown while Kristie Smith and compatriot Stacey Keating will go head to head for the women&aposs. Australia&aposs last man standing booked his spot in the decider thanks to a solid 3/2 win over Englishman Dale Whitnell in the semi-final and a 3/1 win over Shaun Malone in the morning&aposs quarter final. The semi-final was neck and neck for most of the front nine before Foster strung together several birdies to edge in front and book a match against Kristiansen who is competing in this prestigious final at the tender age of 17. The Norwegian started his day with what appeared to be a comfortable win over Neil Chaudhuri but despite leading 4up with six to play, the plucky Englishman took it all the way to the 18th where his charge ran out of puff. It was a contrasting story in the afternoon for Kristiansen who had a nightmare start against giant killer Danny Lee. The New Zealander had already claimed the scalps of Tim Stewart, world number one Daniel Willett and Matthew Griffin and soon found himself 3up through the opening four holes. Not to be one to go down without a fight, Kristiansen lifted up a gear and started his charge, narrowing the gap, drawing level eventually seizing the lead with a par on the 11th. A shell-shocked Lee tried to keep pace, but Kristiansen was on a roll and wasn&apost about to let this opportunity slip, winning 1up and clinching a berth in the decider. Lee&aposs quarter-final match was not without drama either as Griffin mounted a stirring comeback to almost snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The New Zealander was in scintillating form early and found himself 5up through the first six holes, but the Victorian kept his head up and came back to remarkably square the match on 14. Even thought he would eventually lose 1down, Griffin did himself plenty of favours with a gutsy display. The women&aposs final will be an all-Australian affair between Smith and Keating after they each fought out tough afternoon semi-finals. Smith lost the first hole against Kerry Smith of England, but went on to claim three of the next four and stamp her ascendancy on the match. Even though the Englishwoman battled hard, she was unable to draw level as the West Australian won through to the final and somewhat gained revenge on her opponent for losing to her at last week&aposs Ashes event in Melbourne. Her challenger will be Victorian Stacey Keating who was responsible for the shock upset of the day when she beat local favourite and number one seed Stephanie Na 2/1. Obviously spurred on by the courageous win, Keating went out in the afternoon and came from behind to beat Whitney Hillier 1up to set up the meeting with Smith and undoubtedly the biggest moment of her young golfing career to date. Both 36-hole finals can be tracked with live scores and text commentary throughout Sunday at