Date: January 13, 2014
Author: Golf Australia

International field set for Australian Amateur

Official hashtag: #AusAm A field featuring over 50 international players from USA, England, China, Wales, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Korea and New Zealand will tee it up against Australia s best in the 2014 Australian Men’sand Women’s Amateur Championships beginning next week in Adelaide. A total of 288 players will head to The Grange Golf Club in suburban Adelaide from 14-19 January vying for Australia&aposs oldest golf championships and a place in the respective 2014 Australian Opens. Qualifying is held over 36-holes with the leading 64 men and 32 women then contesting elimination match play. The World s Number 5 female golfer and defending Champion, Minjee Lee (WA), will go into the event as strong favourite, however fellow Australian and World No. 2 Su-Hyun Oh will also be a force to be reckoned with after an outstanding 12 months. The women&aposs field has been boosted by a strong international contingent including Spanish World No. 18 Natalia Escuriola and fellow Spaniard and 2013 British Amateur Runner-up Luna Sobron with both contesting the event for the first time. Defending New Zealand Amateur Champion Julianne Alvarez will also be a contender along with New Zealand team mate Munchin Keh. The Men’sChampionship will crown a new champion with the defending Champion Cameron Smith (Qld) having turned professional. Grange Golf Club member and 2013 Australian Junior Champion, Anthony Murdaca will be among the favourites with a home course advantage, while National Squad members Taylor MacDonald (Qld) and Ryan Ruffels (Vic), who made headlines at the Emirates Australian Open, will also be in the mix. One of the great stories of the men&aposs championship is the entry of 13 year-old Chinese player Wocheng Ye who last May became the youngest player in European Tour history to qualify for a professional event at the Volvo China Open when he was 12 years, 242 days old. World Number 5 male golfer, Chang Woo Lee from Korea will be a lead contender along with 16 year-old Zencheng Dou from China who is an outstanding talent with a number of top finishes in 2013 including winner of the China Amateur Golf Champions and 4th place in the Asia-Pacific Amateur. 2013 Asia-Pacific Amateur runner-up, Shohei Hagegawa from Japan will also be looking to take the trophy off-shore along with his Japanese team mates Daichi Sato and Kazuki Higa. New Zealand also brings their top talents including 2013 Lake Macquarie Champion Josh Munn, and 2012 New Zealand Stroke Play and Amateur Champion Vaughn McCall. English Players, Harry Casey and Ryan Evans and Welsh Players Jack Bush and Craig Melding, will also take their place in the field with the hope to take the trophy overseas. The Grange is a highly regarded golfing complex with both the East and West Course ranked among the top courses in Australia. In recent years both courses have been totally redeveloped with the East Course reopened in 2012 following a total reconstruction by Greg Norman Golf Course Design. Once again, State and International Teams will contest the Ross Herbert National and International Teams Trophies, played in conjunction with the two qualifying rounds. The Amateur Championships are Australia s oldest golfing events, dating back to 1894. Past winners include Michael Clayton, Michael Campbell, Matt Goggin, Brett Rumford, Kristie Smith, and Nikki Campbell, and with both champions receiving exemptions into the Australian Open, they are the most prized titles in Australian amateur golf. Entry is free for spectators with play commencing at 7.30 am on Tuesday 14 January. CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE Tuesday 14 January: Round 1 Qualifying The Grange Golf Club (East & West Course) Wednesday 15 January: Round 2 Qualifying – The Grange Golf Club (East & West Course) Thursday 16 January: Round 1 – Match Play (32 matches) – The Grange Golf Club (East Course) Friday 17 January: AM: Round 2 – Match Play (16 matches); PM: Round 3 – Match Play (8 matches) – The Grange Golf Club (East Course) Saturday 18 January: AM: Quarter-Finals (4 matches); PM: Semi-Finals (2 matches) – The Grange Golf Club (East Course) Sunday 19 January: Final (36-holes) – The Grange Golf Club (East Course)