Time to master the big events

The Riverine Herald - - SPORT -

BLAIR Christie is in fine form as time ticks down to­wards the start of the Aus­tralian Master of the Ama­teurs.

At the 2019 South Aus­tralian Boys Ju­nior Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship in Ade­laide this week, Christie took out 13th place against a strong field of the best ju­nior ama­teurs from around the coun­try.

That event was won by Carter Meal­ing of Joon­dalup, Western Aus­tralia, who was 11 shots clear of Christie’s own score of 223 over three rounds.

Yes­ter­day and to­day Christie will be com­pet­ing in the South Aus­tralian Ju­nior Masters — a four-round event over two days where the 50 best young golfers from Aus­tralia com­pete.

Then it is onto fi­nal prepa­ra­tions for the big­gest test of his young ca­reer — the Aus­tralian Masters.

Christie said he felt good about his prepa­ra­tions, de­spite not hav­ing reached in­side the top 10 for a while.

‘‘Be­ing in South Aus­tralia now, they are com­ing thick and fast re­ally — I fin­ished the ju­nior am­a­teur cham­pi­onships (Tuesday) and tied for 13th,’’ he said.

‘‘There I played a lot bet­ter than I have re­cently, and that was an Aus­tralian ma­jor event. I feel a lot more con­fi­dent about my game, and if I play well I can def­i­nitely go close to winning (the ju­nior masters).

‘‘(To­day) is the fi­nal day and then it’s onto the Aussie Am­a­teur. That’ll be two rounds, against the best ama­teurs from around Aus­tralia, as well as the best from the US, Korea, New Zealand; every­where ba­si­cally.’’

No­table past play­ers and win­ners of the Aus­tralian Master of the Ama­teurs in­clude Aus­tralia’s own Ja­son Day (2006), Amer­i­can Rickie Fowler (2009), English­man Tommy Fleet­wood (2010) and Amer­i­can Rus­sell Hen­ley (2010).

‘‘It’s the big­gest tour­na­ment in Aus­tralia re­ally,’’ Christie said.

‘‘Un­til I travel over­seas for tour­na­ments it’ll be the big­gest one I ever play in.

‘‘If I get in some good form then Golf Aus­tralia may be able to send me over­seas for a tour­na­ment, but I imag­ine that wouldn’t be for some time.’’

AL­MOST THERE: The time is tick­ing too fast for Blair Christie’s lik­ing, with the Aus­tralian Master of the Ama­teurs tour­na­ment just days away.

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