Date: January 25, 2018
Author: Mark Hayes

Micha soars into top 10

Victorian David Micheluzzi has ridden hot summer form all the way into the top 10 of the world amateur golf rankings.

Micheluzzi, 21, leapt to tenth and became the highest-ranked Australian for the first time with his runner-up finish in the Australian Amateur Championship, presented by Swinging Skirts, in Perth last week.

The entertaining right-hander, also off the back of wins in the Victorian Amateur and Australian Master of the Amateurs, edged past Western Australia’s Min Woo Lee, who fell in the round of 32 in Perth and was relegated to No.15 in the world.

But as if to frank the outstanding depth in Australian men’s amateur ranks, Dylan Perry rose a spot to No.23, Shae Wools-Cobb soared to No.36 and Zach Murray moved to No.51. Charlie Dann fell to No.73, but Blake Windred climbed to No.99, giving Australia seven players in the top 100.

With 2018 a year for the biennial World Amateur Teams Championship, the heat will be on throughout the next six months as the top three seek to defend the Eisenhower Trophy Australian won in Mexico in 2016. This year’s men’s tournament will run in early October at Carton House, near Dublin, Ireland.

The women’s rankings don’t make for such pleasant reading with only American-based Queenslander Kirsty Hodgkins in the top 50 at No.42. Cathleen Santoso (No.77) and Australian Junior champion Grace Kim (No.81) are also in the top 100.

The women’s WATC, for the Espirito Santo Trophy, will be held at the same Irish venue a week before the men’s, starting on 29 August. Australia last won that trophy in 2014.

It’s worth noting three spectacular rankings rises from the Australian Amateur Championship, with Lee’s conqueror and fellow West Australian Josh Greer, 16, soaring to No.3050, up almost 2200 spots by reaching the quarter-finals a week after he won the South Australian Junior Masters at Royal Adelaide.

#AusAm joint medallist Connor McKinney, 15, who wasn’t even ranked until he was runner-up to fellow WA junior Greer in Adelaide, soared another 1500 spots to No.3834 after his round of 32 exit at Lake Karrinyup.

And unheralded Queenslander Peter Lyon went up more than 1200 berths with his quarter-final run in Perth taking him to No.3571.