Best ever am­a­teur field set to ‘Mas­ter’ Royal Mel­bourne

Inside Golf - - News - Richard fell­ner

AUS­TRALIA’S high­est-rated Am­a­teur golf event, the Aus­tralian Mas­ter of the Ama­teurs, will take cen­tre stage this month, with the world’s top elite am­a­teur golfers bat­tling it out for the cov­eted green jacket.

The event is among the top-rated R&A am­a­teur events in the world – com­pa­ra­ble in rep­u­ta­tion to the US Am­a­teur and the Bri­tish Am­a­teur — and has helped launch the ca­reers of top golfers like Ja­son Day, Brendan Jones, Rickie Fowler (US), Jin Jeong (S. Kor) and Tom Lewis (UK).

For fans, it rep­re­sents an un­par­al­leled op­por­tu­nity to see to­mor­row’s su­per­stars be­fore they be­come fa­mous. Imag­ine walk­ing the fair­ways of Royal Mel­bourne– with no bound­ary ropes – along­side “the next Phil Mick­el­son or Rory Mcil­roy”, po­litely chat­ting with them and get­ting their au­to­graph at the be­gin­ning of their ca­reer!

Last year, young Queens­lan­der Tar­quin Mac­manus stormed home amid rough con­di­tions to win the event, fin­ish­ing the four rounds with a 12-un­der-par to­tal of 276, which was a record score for the event, pip­ping Ja­son Day’s top score of 281 in 2006.

This year, play­ers like Kelly Kraft (US Am­a­teur Cham­pion), Corbin Mills (World #8 Am­a­teur) and China’s 13-year-old Guan Tian-lang (Aaron Bad­de­ley In­ter­na­tional Ju­nior Golf Cham­pi­onship Boy’s Win­ner) will join over 50 of world’s top-rated ama­teurs from coun­tries like Ger­many, The US, China, Fiji, Ja­pan, The UK, Mex­ico, Sin­ga­pore, New Zealand, Van­u­atu and Aus­tralia. Many of these elite ama­teurs are on the cusp of turn­ing pro­fes­sional, so their level of play will be some­thing to be­hold.

The event has grown sig­nif­i­cantly over the 16 years of its ex­is­tence – due to the tire­less de­ter­mi­na­tion and ef­forts of founders Peter and An­gela Mann who, along with their grow­ing team of as­sis­tants, have turned the event into Aus­tralia’s Num­ber 1-rated Am­a­teur event, at­tract­ing big­name cor­po­rate spon­sors in­clud­ing VISY, Srixon, Bolle, Bush­nell, Toy­ota, RACV, Wool­worths, Yamaha, Sch­weppes, Air Pa­cific, Crown Lager, Calvin Klein, Tourism Vic­to­ria, Canon, Graeme Miller Wines, Pow­er­house Pro­duc­tions, bcre­ative, So­lu­tion Red, A. Royale Cor­po­rate, SSG Sig­nage, Radis­son Ho­tel & Suites (Syd­ney) and NEC. You don’t get spon­sors of that mag­ni­tude with­out a top-notch event and world-class play­ers. Hav­ing cov­ered this event ex­ten­sively over the years, I can at­test that it is one of the best-run events I’ve seen.

The play­ers, too, recog­nise the qual­ity of the event, with some re­mark­ing that they are “treated like a PGA Tour Pro­fes­sional” when they at­tend, with the lav­ish Open­ing Cer­e­mony, Gala Din­ners and the highly-re­garded Srixon Am­Pro In­vi­ta­tional, which puts the Ama­teurs in the spot­light along­side Aus­tralian pro­fes­sion­als, guests and spon­sors.

The event will be played at The Royal Mel­bourne Golf Club from Tues­day 10th–fri­day 13th. The course is sure to be in spec­tac­u­lar con­di­tion, hav­ing re­cently hosted The Pres­i­dents Cup, and cur­rently be­ing pre­pared for the Lpga-sanc­tioned ISPS Handa Women’s Aus­tralian Open.

Spec­ta­tors are wel­come, and there is no ad­mis­sion fee. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.mas­terofthea­ma­

US Am­a­teur Cham­pion Kelly Kraft will join the world’s best ama­teurs at this month’s Aus­tralian Mas­ter of the Ama­teurs. In­set: 2011 cham­pion Tar­quin Mac­manus (Pho­tos: An­thony Powter and USGA/JOHN Mum­mert)

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