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2015 Victoria Amateur finalists decided
<br>L-R: David Micheluzzi, Stephanie Bunque, <br>Hannah Green & Cameron John.<br><i>Golf Australia photo</i>

L-R: David Micheluzzi, Stephanie Bunque,
Hannah Green & Cameron John.
Golf Australia photo
In sparkling sunshine and under a cloudless sky for most of the day on the superbly presented Kingston Heath layout, ideal conditions were presented to players for the quarter and semi- finals of Victorian golf’s most prestigious amateur titles.

After accounting for Metropolitan club mate Aiden Didone in their morning quarter-final, Victorian State Team member Micheluzzi finally ended the superb run of Royal Perth 16-year-old Fred Lee in the semi-finals with a sound five and three victory. 19-year-old Micheluzzi played steadily throughout the day and was two-under par when the semi-final concluded at the 15th. A runner-up at this year’s New South Wales Amateur Championship and a current member of the Victorian Institute of Sport Golf Program, Micheluzzi will be looking to become the 68th winner of the prestigious Men’s Victorian Amateur Championship.

In the other half of the men’s draw and after qualifying seventh, 16-year-old John overcame Victorian State team member Brett Coletta from Sandhurst on the 18th in a high quality morning encounter before playing solidly all afternoon to defeat fellow Commonwealth member Zach Murray four and three in their semi-final.

John burst out of the blocks against Murray racing to a five-hole lead after the opening six played thanks to birdies at the first, second and fourth and par golf at the others. While the 2013 Men’s Victorian Amateur Champion steadied to reduce the margin to three holes with birdies at the par- five seventh and 398-metre eighth, John regained control with birdies at the ninth and 10th go back to five-up.

John’s only bogey for the semi-final at the 509 metre par-five 12th saw Murray cut the margin to four-holes before pars on the 13th and 14th were enough for this year’s winner of both the Victorian Junior Masters and Victorian Boys Championship to progress to the final. However tomorrow’s final won’t be the talented junior’s first in open competition having also won the 120th Argentine Amateur Championship during November.

The 2015 Victorian Amateur Women’s final puts Australia’s number two ranked woman amateur Hannah Green in an enthralling showdown with the talented 18-year-old Stephanie Bunque. A runner-up to Lydia Ko at this year’s New Zealand Women’s Open, Green was in stellar form in defeating leading women’s qualifier Rebecca Kay two and one in the morning quarter-final, which included going through the opening nine in three under par. Celebrating her 19th birthday later this week, Green was then four-under in powering through her afternoon semi-final seven and six against Queensland’s Dee-Dee Taylah Russell.

Bunque’s path to the final was also impressive with a morning quarter-final win over Peninsula- Kingswood’s Soo Bin Park three and one before an enthralling semi-final against fellow 18-year-old and club mate Olivia Kline in the afternoon. Team mates as well in this year’s winning Victorian Girls Team, Bunque held a narrow margin against Kline for much of the afternoon after a par secured an early lead at the second.

A par to Kline momentarily squared the match at the fifth before Bunque parred the sixth to regain the lead and the increase the margin to two-holes with a birdie at the short par-three 10th. Kline is a wonderful competitor and responded immediately with a win at the 11th before Bunque birdied again at the 12th. Kline took the 13th and then squared the match with a birdie four at the 14th.

The see-sawing match continued as Bunque won the 15th after both players struggled with the right greenside bunker before Kline won the 16th with a par to level proceedings once again. After both players found the 17th green in regulation, Bunque’s birdie try from 10 metres touched the hole but somehow failed to drop and saw the pair deadlocked heading down the final hole. After both players found the right rough from the tee, Bunque recovered the better in finishing just short of the green while Kline found the right green side bunker.

Bunque then played the key shot of the semi-final with a deft chip to a metre while Kline overshot the green with her difficult long bunker shot. Despite Kline chipping back inside a metre, Bunque solidly stroked home her par putt to take out a great semi-final.

A winner of this year’s South Australian Women’s Amateur and undefeated in this year’s Australian Girls Interstate Teams matches, Bunque will provide tough opposition to her Western Australian rival in their quest to win Victoria’s premier Women’s Amateur crown.

View results for Victorian Amateur Championship

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