Date: May 01, 2008

Smith and Kristianson crowned amateur champions

Up and coming Australian star Kristie Smith and 17-year old Norwegian phenomenon Anders Kristiansen have won the men&aposs and women&aposs 2008 Srixon Australian Amateur Championships on an enthralling final day at Royal Adelaide Golf Club. After a long and strenuous week of action at three of Adelaide&aposs top golf clubs, the pair played in their respective 36-hole finals having survived 72 holes of stroke play and four rounds of match play. Smith had a resounding 9/8 win over Stacey Keating of Victoria while Kristiansen defeated West Australian Michael Foster 7/6 in a match that was more even than the scorecard might have suggested. Kristiansen took the first hole of the day with a birdie three and other than picking up another hole on the fifth, the men were neck and neck throughout the morning round. The Norwegian went to lunch 2up and didn&apost start to pull away until a streak of birdies between the fifth and ninth ignited his round and suddenly gave him a 4up lead. Foster played very solid golf, but Kristiansen was absolutely unflappable, eventually winning 7/6 on the 30th hole when his Australian opponent was unable to get up and down on the tricky par three. It is a tremendous feat for any player to win the Srixon Australian Amateur, let alone at just 17 years of age. His mother didn&apost get a wink of sleep at home in Norway as she remained glued to Golf Australia&aposs live scoring throughout the early hours of the morning. For his win, Kristiansen has earned an exemption into the 2008 Australian Open to be held at Royal Sydney and may also return as part of the Norwegian team for the World Amateur Team Championships to be co-hosted by Royal Adelaide and The Grange Golf Clubs in October. Smith&aposs win over Keating was a little more emphatic and perhaps spells out the sheer talent and determination of Australian golf&aposs newest young hopeful. After collecting the Leading Amateur medals at the Women&aposs Australian Open and Ladies Masters, Smith can now add the Srixon Australian Amateur to her growing list of achievements. The pair traded blows early in the day before the West Australian made her move on the back nine, winning five consecutive holes between the eighth and 12th. There was little Keating could do to withstand the relentless precision and pressure applied by Smith while her father, former golf professional Wayne Smith proudly watched on as caddy. Smith senior won the 1983 men&aposs Australian Amateur Championship at Commonwealth Golf Club in Victoria and was on hand to play a key role in his daughter&aposs breakthrough to create some Australian golfing history over two decades later. Golf Australia sincerely thanks Royal Adelaide and The Grange Golf Club, in particular their respective General Managers Andrew Gay and Barry Linke for their hospitality over the past week. Thank you also to Glenelg Golf Club and acting General Manager David Brand for hosting the women&aposs stroke play earlier in the week. Click here for a full summary of the Srixon Australian Amateur Finals