Date: April 13, 2008

World-class field to contest Srixon Australian Amateur in Adelaide

The Srixon Australian Amateur Championships are set to go in Adelaide as three courses prepare to host Australia&aposs and some of the world&aposs finest amateur players in a carnival of golf over the coming week. Almost 400 players are in South Australia to compete for the oldest championship in Australian golf, as well as exemptions into the 2008 Australian Open and 2009 Women&aposs Australian Open. The women begin their journey at Glenelg Golf Club today in the first of four rounds of stroke play. The men start on Monday when they will play one round at either Royal Adelaide or The Grange Golf Clubs before alternating on Tuesday. The leading 100 players plus ties will then contest the final two rounds of men&aposs stroke play at Royal Adelaide. The top 32 players from both the men and the women&aposs stroke play will lock horns in seeded match play until there is just one man and woman left standing on Sunday afternoon as Srixon Australian Amateur Champions. Australia&aposs top-ranked amateur Rohan Blizard is back to defend his title but will be faced with an extraordinarily difficult task as some of the world&aposs best players are in town ahead of October&aposs World Amateur Team Championships. This prestigious international event will be co-hosted by Royal Adelaide and The Grange Golf Clubs later this year, so many nations have opted to send their leading players to get a first-hand look at the courses and conditions. A total of 23 countries will be represented this week including strong international contingents from England, Ireland, France, Norway, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand. Among this talented field is the number one R&A ranked amateur in the world, Daniel Willett of England. The 20 year-old is the current Spanish Amateur Champion and will seek to become the first Englishman to win the crown since Warren Bennett in 1994. The women&aposs side of the draw has an equally impressive cast led by players from the Golf Australia AIS/National Squad as well as teams representing England, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and a host of other nations, just as focused on winning the title. Leading amateur at the 2008 Women&aposs Australia Open and ANZ Ladies Masters, Kristie Smith will be hoping to challenge, as will compatriots Stephanie Na, Clare Choi and Julia Boland who recently represented Australia against England in “The Ashes” last week. The field that has assembled in Adelaide for the Srixon Australian Amateur Championships is one of the strongest ever, so the competition will be fierce on the way to crowning the 2008 champions and awarding Australian Open exemptions for the winners of both the men&aposs and women&aposs stroke and match play. Golf Australia will be offering comprehensive live scoring throughout the week of the Srixon Australian Amateur Championships to keep you up to date with the action as it unfolds in Adelaide, wherever in the world you may be. Click here to access the live scoring home page