Grace Kim has marched into the Women’s NSW Amateur final, while for Queensland’s Lisa Edgar, it is a first final and a day she has been waiting for for a long time.
Kim had a battle on her hands with the Kiwi Vivian Lu all afternoon.
After seemingly controlling early, Lu unleashed a run of four birdies to go from 3-dwn to 1-up in the middle of the round.
It took all of the Australian representative’s mettle to wrest back control, which she did with a conceded birdie and a couple of clutch putts late in the back nine. Kim sealed the deal with a 2&1 win on the 17th.
“Getting this far, I’m pretty happy with myself,” Kim said after the match.
Kim is looking to become the first NSW player to win the title since a 14-year-old Doey Choi prevailed back in 2014. She is aware of the significance of the championship and won’t be going in lightly.
“It is a personal goal to win my home state amateur.
“I rate it highly, it is up there,” she grinned.
Kim’s opponent tomorrow, Edgar, was thrilled to make the final after a tough battle with Korean Min A Yoon.
“It doesn’t feel quite real yet, but I’m sure it will sink in,” she smiled.
Edgar was taken to the 18th this afternoon by the big hitting Yoon, eventually winning 2-up.
She is well aware of the daunting reputation of her opponent in the final, and will take the match one step at a time.
“I know she (Kim) is a great player.
“I haven’t played with her before, so I’ll have to see how it goes tomorrow.
“I’ll just hit it down the middle and hopefully make some putts,” she smiled.
Brilliant Barbs through to second final in six days
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Nathan Barbieri will be making his second start in a major tournament final in six days after qualifying for the final of the NSW Amateur at Terrey Hills Golf and Country Club this afternoon.
And he did it the hard way.
After a see-saw battle with Canadian Josh Whalen where the lead changed several times, Barbieri looked to be home when he nailed a 25-foot eagle putt on the 16th to sneak ahead.
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The 18th hole, however, was his nemesis for the second time today, and after making a mess of his approach shot from the fairway bunker, the best Barbs could manage was a bogey to the Canadian’s two-putt par.
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The 19th proved to be far less controversial this time around, and when after Whalen barely managed to keep his second shot from the water on the left, Barbieri calmly striped a long iron to about 30 feet.
A two-putt from Barbieri was all that was required to claim the match and with it a place in the final.
“I have honestly played way too many holes today,” and exhausted Barbieri grinned.
“Both rounds I had them down pretty good, but I let it slip.
“Somehow I got the job done again,” said a very relieved Barbieri.
The Monash Country Club tyro has now played an incredible 15 rounds of golf over the last ten days, with four matches going to extra holes to decide the outcome.
“It’s a joke how tired I am,” he grinned. “But I’m in another final, so who cares?”
The NSW Amateur is a title that will feel particularly special to the 21-year-old should he win. He is surrounded by his family, has a good friend in Braith Anasta on his bag as caddy, and lots of support form his NSW state teammates.
“Home events are always big ones.
“I’m proud of how I’ve gone so far, and to get the ‘W’ would be awesome,” he smiled.
In-form Indian set to make his mark.
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Impressive Indian Kartik Sharma has been quietly going about his business at the NSW Amateur, and tomorrow he will get to see if he can pull off the biggest win of his young career.
The 18-year-old Indian National representative is in his first championship final, and already it is the best performance of his career.
“I thought I played pretty well today,” Kartik smiled. “The second half of the day was just trying to stay in it mentally.”
“It was very much all in the head for me, and I handled myself quite well.”
Kartik anticipated it was going to be a tough ask merely to get to the final, and a challenge he wasn’t afraid about.
“To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best they say.
“Competition doesn't frighten me.
So I’ll come back tomorrow and just play my game," he smiled.
On the to-do list before tomorrow’s 36-hole final for Kartik however, is to wash his shorts.
“The first thing I have to do tonight is washing my shorts because I don't have any more laundry,” he smiled.
Oh Jed! What a drama
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The cruellest of cruel blows was dealt to Jed Morgan this afternoon after the likeable Queenslander mistakenly hit his opponent Nathan Barbieri’s ball on the 19th hole of their quarter-final battle at the NSW Amateur Championship.
In a sad end to what was a thrilling contest, after Barbieri had missed a makeable five-footer on the 18th to win the match one up, the pair headed to the 19th.
With nerves frayed, both players pulled their tee shots hard and left into the trees. A search ensued, and Morgan was quick to identify the first ball found as his.
Almost three minutes later, a second ball, identified as Barbieri's, was found.
Morgan, with very few options, elected to chip his ball back to the fairway while Barbieri then punched his approach much further down the hole.
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When Morgan got to his ball and had a closer look, the realisation of something seriously wrong took effect. Calling for a rules official, thinking he may be back in the trees with a penalty, Morgan was delivered the stunning blow – automatic loss of hole and with it, loss of the match.
“Mate it was devastating, but at the same time whatever, really," Morgan lamented.
“I didn’t know really, I thought I might have to go play back play the shot again, but in match play that’s the way it goes.
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“Barbs and I are good mates. I’m not taking it too much on the chin. I’ll take it in my stride,” Morgan lamented after the match.
Golf NSW board member and Golf Australia National Referee Frank Gal said the Rule was clear.
“Rule 6.3c (1) the penalty for playing a wrong ball is the general penalty – in this case, loss of hole in match play. If the player and opponent play each others ball during the play of a hole, the first to make a stroke at a wrong ball gets the general penalty – loss of hole.”
“In this case, they knew who had played the wrong ball first, so at that point, he lost the hole,” Mr Gal said.
Grace Marches on into semi finals.
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Grace Marches on into Women’s semis.
Grace Kim is on the march and has dominated her match against her Queensland Opponent, Sarah Lee.
Kim was in sublime touch and never really troubled by lee, jumping out to a big early lead and coasting to the line with a 4 & 2 win.
St Michael's Stephanie Kyriacou couldn’t take a trick on the front nine turning three down against her opponent, Lisa Edgar. She fought back gamely and was tied by the 15th, but sadly her run came to an end when she lost the 18th to the plucky Queenslander.
Min A Yoon, who led the women’s strokeplay after day one, dominated Jessica Pickwick 5 & 3, and England’s Cara Gainer had no answers for Vivian Lu losing 4 & 2.
Men’s field whittled down to final four.
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Medallist Joey Savoie has been bundled out by England’s Benjamin Jones, and impressive Indian Kartik Sharma was too strong for Murwillumbah’s Lucas Higgins in morning action at the NSW Amateur.
Savoie looked to be ready to march on to the semi-finals. However, a disastrous final hole ended his chances. A wild tee shot onto the 10th then a couple of attempts to get clear more or less handed the match to the Englishman Jones.
Higgins got off to a bright start against the Indian Sharma, getting out to a two-up lead. A lost ball on eight was the start of the resurgence, and Higgins had no answers for him on the back nine, going down 3& 1.
Canada’s other representative, Josh Whalen, was far too strong for James Grierson, who had no answer for his opponent's consistency.
PLAY UNDER WAY ON DAY TWO of the #NSWAm
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Play has begun under overcast skies at Terrey Hills and Golf and Country Club this morning.
NSW trio Nathan Barbieri, James Grierson and Murwillumbah's Lucas Higgins are on course in the men's matches, while Grace Kim and Stephanie Kyriacou are out in the women's matches.
Stay tuned for score updates throughout the day at www.golfnsw.org on Facebook and Twitter