The 2015 Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur Championships have reached the quarter-final stage after the opening rounds of matches were played at the Commonwealth Golf Club on Monday 14 December.
On a fine and sunny day, with a gusting southerly wind making scoring difficult, the 32 men and 16 women qualifiers commenced their quest for the coveted Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur titles, both of which date back over 100 years.
However the respective men’s and women’s leading qualifiers enjoyed fluctuating fortunes. After trailing during the opening nine, women’s No. 1 Rebecca Kay from Coolangatta safely progressed to the quarter finals with a five and three win over Royal Melbourne junior Zara Woodbridge.
Kay, the newly crowned Port Phillip Women’s Amateur Champion, will now meet Hannah Green in the quarter-finals after the Western Australian accounted for last year’s runner-up, Hannele Mikkola from Victoria Golf Club, six and four.
Other first round results saw mixed fortunes for a number of the leading women’s qualifiers. Number two qualifier, Amanda Tan from Singapore advanced with a two and one victory over Royal Melbourne’s Alizza Hetherington to set-up a quarter-final against Victoria’s Olivia Kline.
However the third and fourth qualifiers in Kingston Heath’s Dayle Marshall and Chizuru Ueda from The Lakes in New South Wales both went down in close matches on the 18th to Victoria’s Stephanie Bunque and Kilmore’s Jessica Pickwick respectively.
Number five qualifier, Dee-Dee Taylah Russell from Emerald Lakes on the Gold Coast also survived a scare against another talented youngster in Gabriela Ruffels from Victoria to win at the 18th while Peninsula-Kingswood’s Soo Bin Park progressed to the final eight with a two and one win over South Australian Kristalle Blum. Russell will meet Pickwick and Park will play Bunque in tomorrow’s quarter-finals.
With 32 players qualifying through from the Men’s Port Phillip Amateur, the opening round of the Men’s Victorian Amateur saw the leading eight men’s qualifiers all safely progress. However upsets were the order of the afternoon’s second round headed by 2015 Men’s Port Phillip Champion and leading qualifier Gregory Foo going down at the 18th to Matthew Lisk from The Grange.
Lisk will now meet Royal Perth’s Fred Lee after he safely made the final eight after a five and three win against Jordan Ayre from Royal Canberra. Victorian State team member and number two men’s qualifier, Brett Coletta also moved through with a sound three and two victory over Western Australian Kiran Day to now meet Commonwealth’s Cameron John in an anticipated quarter-final between two of Victoria’s best young men’s amateurs.
John, the current Victorian Boys Champion, survived a great second round match against Bonnie Doon’s Mitchell Gannon to win at the 20th. In other results, 2013 Victorian Amateur Champion Zach Murray from Commonwealth continued to make a strong return from injury to reach the quarter-finals after a four and three win against Victoria’s Konrad Ciupek.
Murray will meet Shepparton’s Kyle Michel after his three and two win over Royal Adelaide’s Patric Kroschel. Michel is one of Victoria’s most in-form amateur players having won the Men's Victorian Country Championship, the Queensland Men's Stroke Play and The Dunes Medal so far in 2015.
The other quarter final will see an all Metropolitan affair with Aiden Didone to meet David Micheluzzi. Didone progressed after a four and two win over number four qualifier Austin Bautista from New South Wales while Micheluzzi accounted for Kingston Heath’s Jack Murdoch three and two.
The Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur Quarter-Finals will be played over 18-holes at Kingston Heath commencing at 7.15am on Tuesday 15 December. The semi-finals will then be played over 18-holes in the afternoon from 12 noon.
The 2015 Men’s and Women’s Victorian Amateur Championship then culminates at Commonwealth Golf Club with the 36-hole finals on Wednesday 16 December. The morning rounds will commence at 8.00am with the afternoon rounds scheduled for 12.30pm.