Date: November 22, 2019
Author: Mark Hayes

Young guns to strut stuff in Sydney

Many Australian golf fans will get their first tournament look at young sensation Jack Trent at the Emirates Australian Open.

Trent, of Queensland, burst to national prominence in early October when he finished top 30 in his debut on the PGA Tour in the Shriners Open in Las Vegas.

Having left Australia at a young age to further his golf in Nevada, it was the first time many had seen of this prodigious young talent, who turned 21 just this week.

Now he – and a swag of other promising young golfers – will get their chance against a world-class field at The Australian from 5-8 December.

Alongside fellow Queenslander Lawry Flynn, Trent earnt one of the starts given out to amateurs by Golf Australia, while there's an array of other talent who have arrived via different avenues.

World No.1 amateur Takumi Kanaya, of Japan, returns to the national championship having finished in a tie for 17th at The Lakes last year.

Victorian Lukas Michel is a confirmed starter for his first Aussie Open having won his way into two major championships in 2020 courtesy of his US Mid-Amateur Championship triumph.

Queenslander Elvis Smylie will cap a huge year with his debut against the world's best courtesy of his Australian Junior Championship victory, while Ireland's Conor Purcell returns after his Australian Amateur celebrations in January.

Japanese amateur Kento Yamawaki earns a start courtesy of his win in the Aaron Baddeley International Junior, while Taiwan's Chun-An Yu returns for the first time since his win in the Australian Master of the Amateurs.

And then there are the rising professionals on the Australian scene.

Lucas Herbert, who led for parts of the 2017 Australian Open at the same venue, heads a cast of Golf Australia rookie professionals including Travis Smyth, Min Woo Lee, Zach Murray, Dylan Perry, Jake McLeod, Anthony Quayle, David Micheluzzi and, at one of his home clubs, Blake Windred.

It's enough to whet the appetite of expectation from Golf Australia's high performance general manager, Brad James.

"Whether they're new professionals or emerging amateurs, we hope the starts all these young athletes have earnt provides them an opportunity to showcase their games against a large list of the world's best," James said.

"We've seen in recent years some really established global players shine as a result of their success in Sydney.

"So we'd like to think that one or more of these youngsters can follow suit.

"To be the world's best, that we all hope they can be, you've got to beat the world's best sooner or later.

"There's no better time than to take that next step in your own back yard with a big crowd yelling your name."

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