Date: January 20, 2018
Author: Mark Hayes

Micheluzzi left to fly Aussie flag

MATCH PLAY DRAW & LIVE SCORES (Thurs – Sun):     Men    Women

QUALIFYING SCORES (Tues – Wed):    Men   Women

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David Micheluzzi has been the dominant force at Lake Karrinyup this week – and he’s hoping it will last one more day at the Australian Amateur Championship, presented by Swinging Skirts.

Micheluzzi, of Victoria, was finally taken full distance in his quarter-final win this morning over Daiki Imano, but flexed his muscle this afternoon with a powerhouse 5&3 win over Queensland’s Shae Wools-Cobb.

Remarkably, he has finished three of his five matches to date on the 15th green, so imperious has been his form.

And in taking down 2017 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship contender Wools-Cobb, he franked the form that had him arrive in Perth a favourite after back-to-back wins in Victoria in the past six weeks.

“I played really well and my short game was on – the second match was awesome, even though my full game wasn’t there,” Micheluzzi said.

“I’ve had a pretty good tournament, so hopefully I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing.”

To earn the spoils as Australian Amateur champion, including a start at the 2018 Australian Open, the 21-year-old must beat rising Japanese star Keita Nakajima.

Nakajima, just 17, praised his South Australian coach Gareth Jones after his impressive 2&1 victory over New Zealand’s Jordan Woodall, which ended with a quality birdie on the 17th to quell the Kiwi’s late rally.

“My course management has been good,” said Nakajima, who said he’d taken a shine to Lake Karrinyup on his first visit.

“It’s a good course. I like it.”

The women’s final will also feature a Japanese player with the ultra-consistent Suzuka Yamaguchi to tackle pre-tournament favourite Ayean Cho, of Korea.

Cho, the medallist and also runner-up two years ago when beaten by countrywoman Min-ji Park at Metropolitan, was again impressive in beating Taiwan’s Han Hsuan Yu 4&3 after a 6&5 romp in her earlier quarter-final.

But in Yamaguchi, 17, the second seed and already having played a US Women’s Open, she won’t have it all her own way in the final.