Women's Division winner Yuka Yasuda (L)
and Men's Division winner David David Micheluzzi (R)
(Australian Master of the Amateurs Photo)
MELBOURNE, Australia (January 12, 2018) - David Micheluzzi
was untouchable during the last two days of the Australian Master of the Amateurs and as a result he ran away from the rest of the field and won the biggest title of his career.
Just like the tournament's namesake in Augusta, Georgia, the winner gets to don a green jacket, and Micheluzzi certainly earned his at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, another world-class venue (like Augusta National) designed by Alister Mackenzie.
A 21-year-old playing in his hometown of Melbourne, Micheluzzi started with rounds of 72-69, and after two rounds he was six shots off the pace. However, in the third round he fired a 6-under 65 to take the lead, and then outdid himself in the final round with a near-flawless 7-under 64 to finish 14 under and five shots clear of the field.
In Friday's final round, Micheluzzi started with four nerve settling pars before getting to work with a birdie on the 5th, an eagle on the par-5 7th and another birdie on the 9th to turn in 4-under 31 and 11 under overall.
With the finish line now in sight, Micheluzzi kept the pedal to the medal, birdieing 10 and 11 to make it three straight overall and despite a bogey on the 13th he was able to rebound with 15th and 17th hole birdies pull away from the field.
Before breaking through this year, Micheluzzi had shown well at the Australian Master of the Amateurs, finishing inside the top-20 each of the least three years, including an 8th place finish in 2016. He had a solid 2017 season that included a runner-up finish at the Dunes Medal, a third-place finish at the Scottish Open Amateur, and a 5th place finish in an Australian Tour professional event.
Fellow Australian Darcy Brereton, playing on his home course of Royal Melbourne, led after rounds one and two started the last round one back. But even with a closing 68 he had to settle for a second-place showing at 9 under alongside Shintaro Ban of UNLV, who had the round of the tournament, an 8-under 63 that included two eagles.
Min Woo Lee, Australia's highest-ranked amateur and a former U.S. Junior champion, moved up to fourth place at 2 under with a final-round 67, Philip Knowles of North Florida finished fifth at 1 under.
16-year-old Canon Claycomb (Bowling Green, KY), who contended for much of the championship, slipped on Friday to a 76 but still had a respectable 6th-place finish.
University of Illinois teammates Nick Hardy and Dylan Meyer both had top-10 finishes at 3 and 4 over respectively.
Reigning Australian Amateur champ Matias Sanchez ended up 9-over and in 24th place.
Last year's Master of the Amateurs champion Charlie Dann of Australia finished 12-over in 34th place.
For the first time in the championship's history, a Women's Championship was contested.
In the Women's Division, Yuka Yasuda (Japan) finished 3 over and as the winner by five shots over Julienne Soo (Australia) who was 8 over.
The 17 year old, who last year won the Japanese Women’s Amateur Championship, says she found it difficult coming from a Japanese winter to the heat of summer in Melbourne. But she managed to seize control of the event with a 65 on day three that included seven birdies.
Robyn Choi (Australia) rounded out the top-three at 11 over.
Two Americans finished in the top 10: Mariel Galdiano (UCLA/Pearl City, HI) who finished 7th and Haley Moore (Arizona/Escondido, CA) who finished 9th.
ABOUT THE Master of the Amateurs
The Master of the Amateurs, a 72-hole medal play
Championship played in Melbourne, Australia,
has rapidly become one of the
elite championships in amateur golf. Like The
Masters, the champion
receives a Green Jacket. Contestants
participate in the first round of the
championship with professional golfers in a
unique Am-Pro Invitational.
The Master of the Amateurs winner gets an
invitation to the Players Amateur and Porter
Cup in the U.S. Likewise the winners of those
two tournaments receive invitations to the
next Master of the Amateurs tournament.
A qualifying round (see tournament
website for date and handicap requirement)
three non-exempt players to earn invitations
into the prestigious field.
A women's division featuring 21 elite female
has been added starting with the 2018 tournament.
View Complete Tournament Information