U.S. Amateur winner Curtis Luck headlines amateurs at Australian Open
15 Nov 2016
by Sam Dostaler of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Australian Open Championship, The Australian Golf Club, Curtis Luck Rankings

ROSE BAY, Australia (November 15, 2016) -- 13 amateurs, including three via Monday qualifying, will be joining the professionals this week at the Australian Open being held at Royal Sydney Golf Club. The group is headlined by U.S. Amateur winner Curtis Luck and last weeks New South Wales Open runner-up Brett Coletta.

The amateurs will be joining a talented professional field that includes the likes of Jordan Spieth and Australian's Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy. Unfortunately Australian and defending champion Matt Jones had to withdraw in an effort to keep his full PGA Tour playing rights.

In 2015 the low amateur was Australian Ryan Ruffels who tied for 22nd.

Amateurs in the Field

Harrison Endycott (Australia)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 1

Throughout the year Endycott has recorded five Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking event victories while also finishing in a tie for second at The Players Amateur. The biggest win of Endycott's 2016 campaign was his comeback victory in July at the Porter Cup. Endycott was also a part of the World Team Amateur winning Australian side.

Curtis Luck (Australia)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 4

Luck had designs on turning professional during the latter part of the 2016 season but those plans changed when he won the U.S. Amateur in August. With the victory Luck earned entries into the 2017 Masters and U.S. Open and as a result he decided to put his plans of playing professionally on hold. Since winning at Oakland Hills Country Club Luck has added the Asia-Pacific Amateur trophy to his ever growing collection.

Luck, who finished second in the individual standings, was also part of the Australian team that won the World Amateur Team title in record setting fashion.

Connor Syme (Scotland)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 7

2016 has been an impressive year for Syme as he has earned points in 16 Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Rankings events. At the British Amateur Syme earned medalist honors while also picking up fifth place finishes at the European Amateur and Scottish Open Amateur. Syme made a run to the semifinals at the Scottish Amateur Championship as well.

Syme will enter the Australian Open fresh off a tie for 20th at the New South Wales Open.

Travis Smyth (Australia)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 18

Smyth joined the Australian Open field after his strong play in Monday qualifying. The best finish in a 2016 Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking event for Smyth came at the Australian Men's Amateur where he finished runner-up. Overall Smyth has recored seven top-10 finishes throughout the year, including a T4 at the Porter Cup.

Brett Coletta (Australia)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 37

Coletta has put together an impressive start to the Australian summer season. It started with a win at the Queensland Open where he became the first amateur since Stuart Appleby to win the title. The success continued last week at the New South Wales Open where after leading following the first round he finished tied for second at 20-under.

The 2016 season has also included four Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking event top-10 finishes with the best being a runner-up finish at the Asia-Pacific Amateur. Coletta led after both the second and third rounds before he was overtaken by the hard charging Luck in the final round.

In 2015 Coletta earned medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur.

Austin Bautista (Australia)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 55

After winning the Federal Open Amateur at the beginning of the month Bautista made his way into the field through Monday qualifying. The win at the Federal Open Amateur was Bautista's second Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking event win of the year after he also claimed the NSW Amateur in February. In total Bautista has six top-10 Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com finishes in 2016.

Zach Murray (Australia)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 176

After playing in Monday qualifying Murray was able to secure his spot in the Australian Open. Murray was the winner of the 2015 Australian Master of the Amateurs and also picked up a tied for second finish at this years Keperra Bowl.

Kazuki Higa (Japan)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 257

In 2016 Higa made a run at a pair of Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Rankings events placing second at the Japan Amateur Golf Championship and 10th at the Asia- Pacific Amateur. Higa has also had strong finishes at the Japan Open (T14) and Bridgestone Open (T18).

Daniel Hillier (New Zealand)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 330

This year has included four Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking event point earning finishes for Hillier. Thus far his best finish came in the form of a tie sixth at the New Zealand Stroke Play. Last year Hillier picked up his biggest career win at the New Zealand Amateur.

Hillier punched his ticket into the the Australian Open field by winning the Australian Junior Championship in April.

Min Woo Lee (Australia)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 558

Lee became better known globally this past summer by winning the U.S. Junior Amateur. In 2015 Lee won the 2015 West Australian Amateur.

Yuxin Lin (China)
Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Ranking: No. 1,218

Lin finished in a tie for 21st at the Asia-Pacific Amateur this year.

Zhihong Zhang (China)

Bai Zhengkai (China)

The 19-year-old made an appearance stateside in 2016 and finished tied for second at the PGA Golf Club Tournament one year after winning the 2015 edition. Zhengkai also finished 16th at the 2015 Junior PGA Championship.

ABOUT THE Australian Open

The Australian Open is Golf Australia's National Open Men's Championship, and is sanctioned by the Australian PGA Tour and forms part of the ONEASIA series of events. Many of Australia's top amateurs qualify for the event.

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