Kevin Yuan medals, earns Australian Amateur Top-Seed
Kevin Yuan watches a drive during round two Australian Amateur action <br>(Golf Australia Photo)
Kevin Yuan watches a drive during round two Australian Amateur action
(Golf Australia Photo)

VICTORIA, Australia (January 18, 2017) -- Serial contender Kevin Yuan has put himself in a strong position again after a fighting 69 at Yarra Yarra earned him medallist honors at the Australian Amateur Championship, presented by Swinging Skirts.

The Sydneysider, a semifinalist in 2015 and the first round stroke play leader from a year ago, opened Wednesday's second round with a stunning chip-in eagle on the first at Yarra Yarra and then hung on for a wild 69 on a day of high winds. The final day of stroke play qualifying had a little bit of everything from difficult scoring conditions to a crazy playoff to determine the final 64 to reach the beginning of match play on Thursday.

His 4-under total after two rounds was enough to keep Perth’s Min Woo Lee at bay by a stroke, with one of the overnight leaders, Kiwi Ryan Chisnall, joining Central Coast's Kieren Jones in a share of third one stroke further back.

Lee held or shared for much of his second round and after reaching 4-under through 12 holes he sat at 6-under overall, but three late bogeys cost him a shot at being medallist and left him at 3-under.

Jones backed up his 69 at Yarra Yarra yesterday with another 1-under total (71) at nearby Kingswood to finish 2-under alongside Chisnall who battled the worst of the winds and fought hard for a plucky 73.

However, most of the drama fell late in the evening when 20 men set out for 18 spots in a playoff among those who finished at 7-over.

As five groups of four played the 17th hole, it wasn’t until the fourth group that a score worse than a bogey was recorded on the par-four.

But in quick succession, Japan’s Gaku Tsukamoto and Chris Crabtree took double, as his fellow Queenslander Lawry Flynn picked up when his putt for six slid by.

That left Tsukamoto and Crabtree dueling it out and the Queenslander missed his big chance on the 18th when a 3m birdie putt singed the left edge.

Back down the 17th, Tsukamoto made a brilliant birdie after his drive went way right on to the 18th fairway and it proved enough despite Crabtree’s stellar up and down for par kept his hopes alive momentarily.

Earlier, Italian Federico Zucchetti eagled the par- five ninth en route to the best score of the first two days at Yarra Yarra – his 68 lifting him safely up to 1- over.

World No. 6 Scott Gregory, of England, advanced at 2-over, despite a 75 on Wednesday.

Australia’s top-ranked players both advanced despite not having their A-games, with Sydney’s Travis Smyth one of those to make par in the playoff, while his good mate and fellow New South Welshman Harrison Endycott finished at 6-over.

An impressive late rally by Charlie Dann enabled the Queenslander to eventually cruise through at 3-over after his 69.

The match play phase begins tomorrow morning with the Round of 64 to be played.

Results For Australian Men's Amateur Championship
WinAustraliaMatias SanchezAustralia1200
Runner-upAustraliaMin Woo LeeAustralia900
SemifinalsAustraliaKevin YuanAustralia700
SemifinalsScotlandRobert MacIntyreScotland700
QuarterfinalsWalesEvan GriffithWales500

View full results for Australian Men's Amateur Championship

ABOUT THE Australian Men's Amateur

The Australian Men's and Women's Amateur Championships are Australia's oldest Amateur Golf Championships, with both having been played since 1894.

Players contest 36-holes stroke play qualifying, with the leading 64 men qualifying for elimination match play. The initial field size is 216 men.

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