Keita Nakajima (Asia-Pacific Amateur photo)
MELBOURNE, Australia (Jan. 10, 2019) – Keita Nakajima
will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Australian Master of the Amateurs. It’s an admirable position for the top Japanese player, but also a precarious one with two top American college players on his heels plus Australian Andre Lautee
, who is just weeks removed from his Victorian Amateur victory.
Nakajima contended this fall for a spot at the Masters when he teed it up in the Asia-Pacific Amateur. He finished an eventual second, barely missing his shot to play for a green jacket at Augusta. The winner of the Master of the Amateurs, however, gets to don a green jacket for his performance. With another low round, Nakajima could get some redemption in that form.
Nakajima opened with 6-under 66 to set the pace at Royal Melbourne. He came back with 2-over 74 but rebounded with a third-round 70 that included birdies on his two opening holes and and an eagle at the par-5 15th.
Behind him, USC frontman Justin Suh
(No. 3 in the Golfweek
/AmateurGolf.com Rankings) gained ground with a third-round 66 that included just one hiccup: a bogey at the 17th. It followed opening rounds of 74-72 for Suh, who represented the U.S. at the World Amateur Team Championship last fall, and helped him get to 4 under.
Oklahoma State sophomore Matthew Wolff
, who won all three of his fall stroke-play starts with the Cowboys, is also at 4 under after rounds of 67-73-72. Lautee, 19, is the last player at that number.
Two more contenders are at 3 under. Australian Blake Windred
had a third-round 70 and but for bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18, he’d be higher on the leaderboard. Joey Savoie
is also tied for fifth at 3 under after three consecutive rounds of 71. Savoie, 24, is a top Canadian amateur who represented Canada at the World Amateur Team Championship, finished T-2 at the Canadian Men’s Amateur and also scored a spot in the RBC Canadian Open in 2018 (though he missed the cut).
New Zealander Daniel Hillier
, co-medalist at the U.S. Amateur, is solo seventh at 2 under (72-71-71) and defending champion David Micheluzzi
, from Australia, is part of a five-man tie for eighth at 1 under.
ABOUT THE Master of the Amateurs
The Master of the Amateurs, a 72-hole medal play
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 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.
View Complete Tournament Information