Blake Windred (Golf Australia photo)
By Mark Hayes
MELBOURNE, Aus. (Jan. 18, 2019) – Four Aussies, four internationals.
That’s the upshot of a marathon second match-play day of the men’s Australian Amateur Championship at Woodlands as the quarterfinalists were set in remarkably disparate fashions.
Australia will be represented by Victorian Kyle Michel and three uber-impressive New South Welshmen, with Charlestown’s Blake Windred and his Monash mate Nathan Barbieri best representing the polar opposites of qualification on a day marred by a three-hour delay for an electrical storm.
Windred, the No.2 seed, was the only player in the morning field to complete his Round of 32 match before the 10am delay and even found time for a snooze in the 4.5-hour gap before his Round of 16 clash.
State teammate Barbieri, conversely, was the last match off the course after he was taken to 20 holes by impressive Canberran Harry Bolton in an epic Round of 32 clash.
After gobbling down some lunch, he was then the last match completed in the Round of 16 and it was approaching 8pm when he edged out gallant German Alex Herrman to progress, 3 and 2, after a full 36 holes and more than 12 hours on or around the course.
Barbieri will face Singaporean surprise packet Donovan Lee who was the second last winner off course having lit up for five consecutive birdies to start his match against 2017 champ Matias Sanchez, then hanging on to salute, 3 and 2.
Windred, who will next face German left-hander Jannik De Bruyn, is suddenly the highest ranked player in the field at world No. 25 after the latest in a series of upsets during the afternoon’s play.
New Zealand’s world No.19 Daniel Hillier was sent packing by Michel, who will next face Irishman Conor Purcell, who ended the title defence of Keita Nakajima in the morning, then toppled England’s Thomas Sloman, 3 and 2, in the afternoon.
German Michael Hirmer’s ended England’s other hope when with six birdies in his opening seven holes to set up a 2-and-1 victory over Michael Farr.
Alice Springs revelation Jake Hughes’ charge came to an end when he ran into Sydney buzzsaw Justin Warren, whose 6-and-4 victory was super impressive and a sign that he is indeed ready to take the professional plunge when he graduates college midyear.
Warren will play Hirmer in the first men’s quarter-final tomorrow, with the match to start at 7.30 a.m.
ABOUT THE Australian Men's Amateur
The Australian Men's and Women's
Championships are Australia's oldest
Golf Championships, with both having
played since 1894. Long held as a match play event,
in 2021 the format changed to 72 holes
of stroke play.
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