Date: September 30, 2015
Author: Tom Fee in Hong Kong

No worries for defending champ

A weight of expectation sits on the shoulders of South Australian golfer Anthony Murdaca, as he prepares to defend his Asia-Pacific Amateur title in Hong Kong, and earn a return trip to the U.S. Masters.

But when it comes to describing his Masters experience earlier in the year, the English language pulls up short.

“I have no words for it,” said Murdaca while facing the media on the eve of tomorrow’s opening round.

“The whole week was just really cool.”

After everything went so smoothly in Royal Melbourne last year, this week's Asia-Pacific Amateur has already thrown Murdaca a curveball. With heat in the mid thirties, 100% humidity, and a demanding hilly layout, Murdaca was forced to abandon yesterday’s practice round early.

But like all good champions, the South Australian has been able to get off the mat and play unimpeded through his second trip around the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club.

“I’m pretty close to 100%,” said Murdaca.

“I think I’m slowly getting used to the heat, I’m trying to hydrate and get the nutrition going as best as I can.”

With a professional career on the horizon, this is likely to be Murdaca’s last amateur event, unless he earns a second Masters invite as an amateur through winning this week.

Either way, Murdaca will leave his amateur career playing an event curated by the Masters Tournament, or by playing the Masters itself, and he’s thankful to have such a close affinity with the event.

“It’s really helped me grow as a person, and as a golfer. I can play in tournaments now and not feel that extra bit of nerves — it’s really helpful knowing all that I can achieve and what I can do.”