Chun-An Yu (MOTA/Twitter photo)
MELBOURNE, Australia (Jan. 11, 2019) – Chun-An Yu
left himself a lot of work to do in the final round of the Master of the Amateurs, but the Arizona State junior from Taiwan started chipping away at the gap early. Five birdies in his opening nine holes led to a final-round 67, which ultimately put him in a position to challenge third-round leader Keita Nakajima in sudden death. Three holes later, Yu came out on top.
Yu’s 67 was among the best scores of the day at Royal Melbourne. There were three final-round 66s down the leaderboard, but the players near the top struggled to break par. That allowed Yu to move up seven spots and into a tie for first.
Yu had started the week with rounds of 73-69-73. Japan’s Keita Nakajima
had been parked atop the leaderboard after three rounds with his 6 under total (66-74-70). When he shot a final-round 72, it kept him there.
The two went head to head for three extra holes, until Yu eventually won it. It’s a major victory for Yu, who qualified for the U.S. Open last summer and in 2017, made it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur. He has two career wins with the Sun Devils.
Nakajima’s runner-up finish is his second one of those at a major amateur event in the past few months. He also tied for second at the Asia-Pacific Amateur last fall.
Among the top five players on the leaderboard, Australian Blake Windred
was the only other one to score under par in the final round. A 2-under 70 moved him to 5 under and allowed him to climb three spots to third. Fellow Australian Andre Lautee
tied for fourth at 3 under with Oklahoma State sophomore Matthew Wolff
, who had bounced around the top of the leaderboard all week.
In the women’s division – in just its second year of existence – the final round was much more cut and dried. Australian Stephanie Kyriacou
also logged a come-from-behind victory, but was three shots ahead of runner-up Julienne Soo
after 72 holes. Kyriacou had rounds of 70-75-75-70 to finish at 2 over.
Kyriacou recently finished fourth at the Annika Invitational Australasia. She competed in the U.S. Girls’ Junior in July and made it to the Round of 16 in match play.
Soo, a fellow Australian and a senior at Oklahoma, stayed steady in the second-place position. Three more compatriots finished behind her in Grace Kim (third), Becky Kay (fourth) and Maddison Hinson-Tolchard (fourth).
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