MELBOURNE, Australia (Jan. 10, 2014) -- Steady golf has won the day … and the Green Jacket for 21 year old Queenslander Simon Viitakangas, who won the 2014 Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
The event matched over 50 elite amateur golfers from 10 countries and they were severely tested by the elements across the four rounds. Today was the hottest, in the low 30’s and the new champion said the strength of the wind made it the most challenging. After rounds of two under in each of the first three days, he was on track for another 70 today before dropping two shots.
Simon has been playing the game since he was 12 when he was inspired by his Finnish father and New Zealand born mother to pick up the clubs. In 2012 he took out the Port Phillip Amateur and was runner up in the Gary Player Classic, but today’s is his biggest win and he paid tribute to the high standard of this event.
He is very excited about the exemptions that come with the win, including The British Amateur, the Porter Cup, Players Amateur, Dogwood Invitational and the Canadian Men’s Amateur.
Viitakangas plans to play as many amateur events as he can this year and hopes to enter the Australian PGA tour school at the end of the year.
Melbourne golfer Todd Sinnott who had a share of the overnight lead with Viitakangas, finished in second place. Four bogeys on his front nine today, when the conditions were at their toughest, made the 21 year old’s task that much more difficult. The wind was a major factor in today’s higher scores; the round of the day, two under, belonged to another local Lucas Herbert, and he finished in third place.
American Cameron Wilson returned the best score of the internationals in this field: a three over today his worst for the tournament. He finished one shot ahead of fellow American Max Buckley and three other Australians Cory Crawford, Daniel Hoeve and Taylor MacDonald.
It has been a good day for the Australians, who have taken out the World Cup run in conjunction with this event. Eight countries entered teams: New Zealand, England and the US shared second place followed by Mexico, China, Japan and Chinese Taipei
Viitakangas will be presented with the Green Jacket during a presentation dinner at the RACV Club Sin Melbourne tonight.
The Australian Master of the Amateurs is the highest ranked Amateur Championship in Australia ranked in the top 20 in the world by the R and A.