Date: October 26, 2014
Author: Martin Blake @ Royal Melbourne

Murdaca wins Asia-Pacific Amateur, punches Augusta ticket

ralia's Antonio Murdaca is headed for the 2015 Masters tournament and the Open Championship qualifying this year after he gave another masterclass in taming Royal Melbourne to win the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship today.

Murdaca, 19, from Adelaide, became the first Australian winner of the prestigious tournament, closing out with a steady one-under par 71 that left him seven shots clear of the field, the biggest margin in tournament history.

Starting the final round eight shots ahead, the two-time Australian junior champion set two alarms to make sure he did not miss the bus to the course, and then woke before the first of them anyway.

It was a burden to bear, and then when play started, he saw his lead shrink to five shots through nine holes when he took bogeys at the seventh and ninth, when Japanese player Mikumu Horikawa was threatening.

It was the only time he felt any pressure, but Murdaca immediately responded with a 20-foot birdie on the tough, par-four 10th hole, then two pure shots at the par-five 14th hole set up another birdie to get his advantage back to seven shots.