Date: March 28, 2007
Author: Alistair Hogg

Preview: Quarter-Finals

By Alistair Hogg at NSWGC Sixteen competitors will start the day but only four will be left standing come sunset. Its quarter and semi-final day at the Australian Amateur Championships. The day gets underway with the clash between Australian Justin Roach and Lloyd Saltman. The Scot has had a tremendous week so far, finishing third in the stroke play and passing through to the mate play quarter finals with ease. In yesterday&aposs second round, Saltman triumphed over British R&A world number one amateur Jamie Moul 3/2 and will look to carry his red hot form into this morning&aposs quarter final. Roach produced one of the upsets of the tournament yesterday by defeating Rick Kulacz. The New South Welshman recovered from a deficit late in the round to force an extra hole which he went on to win, ousting the National Squad member from the championships. The second match features promising West Australian Matt Jager up against Brit Steve Lewton. The Englishman survived a couple of close matches to reach the quarter-finals, including a 1up victory over countryman David Horsey in the first round. Jager has also had a close call but made the final eight by defeating stroke play runner-up Scott Arnold 1up on Tuesday. Earlier that day he accounted for Ben Parker 3/1. In what is shaping as the match of the day, National Squad team mates Rohan Blizard and Rudi Bezuidenhuot square off against each other for a berth in this afternoon&aposs semi-finals. Blizard, a New South Wales Golf Club member is proving the worth of local knowledge having notched the most comprehensive victory yet. The local trounced Kiwi Troy Rophia 6/5 yesterday to set a quarter-final date with his team mate. Bezuidenhuot progressed after beating Kiwi Danny Lee 2/1 and plucky South Australian, Jordan Sherratt 1up. The New South Welshman is hitting form at the right time and shot the best single round score in the stroke play with a blistering 63 on Friday. Finally in the men&aposs, Leigh Deagan will look to continue his run when he plays Queenslander Daniel Nisbet. Deagan caused the shock of the opening day when he defeated stroke play champion Andrew Dodt on the 19th hole and then proceeded to beat Kevin Lee to progress to the quarter-finals. Nisbet overcame Tze Huang Choo in the first round before overcoming National Squad member Ray Beaufils 3/2 in the second round. Helen Oh and Sheree Hasson will get the women&aposs action underway when they square off in their quarter-final. Oh enters the tournament as defending champion and is wearing her winner&aposs medallion from last year around her neck for good luck. So far it has worked a charm as she won her opening matches convincingly and will look to qualify for the final today. National Squad Emma Bennett has been unstoppable so far and faces Queenslander Cecilia Na in today&aposs quarter-final. The Victorian won both her matches 3/2 and is one of just two remaining National Squad members standing. The other is Stephanie Na who plays Stacey Keating for a berth in the semi-finals. Na and Bennett enter the tournament having come straight from the Philippines where they represented Australia at the Queen Sirikit Cup. The girls finished fifth but gained valuable playing time and experience against the world&aposs best and will be ones to watch over the coming days. Keating is a Victorian starlet who is brimming with confidence and potential. She got her big break by qualifying for February&aposs MFS Women&aposs Australian Open and has put herself in a great position to stamp her authority as one of Australia&aposs leading female amateurs. In the final match of the morning, Rebecca Flood faces Sunny Park. Flood eliminated top seed Sarah Oh in Tuesday&aposs second round while it was a walk in the Park for Sunny who ousted National Squad member Frances Bondad 3/2. The winners of this morning&aposs quarter-finals will play their semi-finals this afternoon. The four players left standing at the close of play will face off in the men&aposs and women&aposs 36-hole final on Thursday. Click here to view LIVE SCORING