Date: November 27, 2014
Author: Christian Puccini / Golf SA

SA teen Antonio Murdaca – grateful for the experience

/> Antonio Murdaca in action at the 2013 Emirates Australian Open at Royal Sydney

The past month for 19 year old star amateur Antonio Murdaca must have been somewhat surreal.

Murdaca has had big tournament wins in the past, including winning the 2010 Australian Junior Championships as a 15 year old and backing up again in 2013 and winning the 2012 Greg Norman Junior and the 2012 Toyota World Junior Team Championship.

However, winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship as the ninth-ranked of 10 Australians playing in the field is his coming of age moment.

Murdaca won by seven shots, not only booking a ticket to the Masters at Augusta National in April 2015, but also into the final stage of qualifying for the Open Championship at St Andrews next year.

The 19-year-old then went on to a media merry-go-round that saw him appearing on various radio stations along with Channel Seven’s Sunrise and being interviewed by numerous journalists.

That, along with receiving a tweet from Greg Norman saying “Let’s make it happen (playing a round), maybe before your April showing at Augusta. DM me” would be enough to railroad any teenager, but not Murdaca.

Murdaca did miss the cut at his following two starts; at the WA Goldfields PGA Championship 80-72 (+8) and at last week’s Australian Masters 74-73 (+3) but don’t expect that to continue.

“Last week wasn’t too bad, I hit a few bad shots, but I was hitting it decent, so the games there, I’ll just try and not hit as many bad shots I guess.”

The National Squad member, will once again have his coach Gareth Jones on the bag this week, which Ian Baker Finch suggested at the Asian Amateur was a five stroke advantage to Murdaca.

“It’s been pretty good, obviously a bit hard to live up to the expectations every tournament after you win a big one, but it’s going to be pretty cool to play. I’m pretty excited, it’s going to be an awesome experience just like last week was and a good week would be great” Murdaca said.

“I’m just going to play one shot at a time, like I did over in Melbourne and would be happy with a good finish at the end of the week”

“It’s going to be a good field, a good test of your game at the Aussie, it’s going to be awesome.

“I’ll try and post a couple of good scores and hopefully be right at the top.” Murdaca added.

Murdaca is another stablemate of Nick Cullen at The Grange Golf Club.

“Nick’s had a tough year, so I’m really happy he won, he played awesome and did deserve it, this will give him a few starts so hopefully his career moves on from here and it’s another turning point for him.”

With some local players in career best form the spotlight is being shared which is great exposure for the whole South Australian golfing community.

“It’s awesome, it’s good promoting South Australia, we’ve got Spargo who was up there, Cullen who won, my previous event, we’re starting to get our state out there which is pretty cool.”

Murdaca’s first round commences at 8.20am on Thursday.

For all news including live scoring throughout The Emirates Australian Open – click here for the Official website

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