Date: January 15, 2016
Author: Dave Tease, Golf NSW

Golf NSW Quartet primed for Amateur glory

Golf NSW HP squad members, room mates, wannabe models, and now fellow quarter finalists – Harrison Endycott and Travis Smyth have found form at the right time at Australian Amateur Championship at Metropolitan Golf Club.

And if the wins keep coming, they'll meet in the men's final on Sunday.

Avondale Golf Club’s Endycott got his day rolling with a 21st hole win in his morning match against Kiwi Ryan Chisnell. He went on and made short work of his afternoon opponent Lawrence Ting of Taiwan, walking away with a 5/4 win.

“Quarter finals, best I’ve ever gone!” Hendycott laughed.

I’m just taking it day to day and going to continue to keep it real simple.”

As the for the weekend ahead Endycott isn't too phased. He's happy to be there and seemingly channelling something akin to Buddhist Zen philosophy when it comes to making the semi final then the final.

“I’ll stick to my thing and do what I do, and whatever it is, it is,” he said.

St. Michael's Golf Club member Travis Smyth was impressive in his morning match, getting in front early and always keeping the pressure on his opponent Blake Collyer, eventually winning comfortably 3/2. His afternoon match against the Lakes Golf Club’s Josh Armstrong however seemed to be a bit more of a struggle.

“I felt great this morning, I hit it great. But I came out this afternoon and lost my first three holes,” said Smyth.

It took an inspired run of eagle/par/birdie/par and eagle to turn a 3-hole deficit into a 1-hole lead for Smyth. Birdies at the 13th and 14th helping along the way as well. Armstrong made Smyth job tough however and the match went to the 18th with Smyth winning 1-up.

“Josh is a really good player and we ground it out to the last hole.”

Confidence isn’t something that Smyth lacks at times and with momentum swinging his way, he’s looking forward to his next opponent, Scotland's Grant Forrest.

“I’m playing well now, and I’m pretty keen to knock him out now too,” Smyth grinned.

Bonnie Doon Golf Club’s Austin Bautista had a gripping day on the course, dispensing with the well credentialed David Micheluzzi in his morning match 4/3 before facing local Victorian and gallery favourite Brett Coletta in the afternoon; Bautista prevailing with a walk off birdie to win 1-up.

The afternoon result made all the more memorable for Bautista with the  20-foot birdie putt, effectively silencing the gallery that followed the match.

“20 foot, straight in the middle, I just boxed it!…Man I let out a huge C’MON! and gave myself the biggest fist pump. That putt meant a lot. It was massive for me,” Bautista said.

The Coletta win seemed a bit of a dream for Bautista. He was well aware it was Coletta’s face all over the promotion poster for the event.

“I said to my Dad, it seems almost like a dream to beat a guy Like Coletta.”

Bautista has certainly come of age in recent months, winning the Federal Amateur Championship and qualifying for his maiden appearance in the Australian Open last November.

He puts his recent improvement to making a personal commitment to becoming a better golfer. Whatever he seems to have said to himself certainly looks like its beginning to pay off.

“I just made a commitment to myself to be a better golfer, to work harder and practice harder. I’m hoping the payoff will be this weeken,.” he added.

A commitment it seems that extends to doing everything himself on the course. Bautista has pulled his own bag all this week and doesn’t intend to call for a caddie any time soon.

“Dad’s been raking the bunkers for me, that's all he does. I’m pulling my own bag, doing it myself. That’s’ all I need right now,” he laughed.

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In the Women's Amateur, Celina Yuan continues to march forward in the Championship title, taking out her match against Victorian Gabriela Ruffels 4/3. The incredibly strong Korean contingent however seem to be well-equipped to take the Championship, with Yuan and Western Australia's Hannah Green the only two Australians left in the field.