Australian Master of the Amateurs – Preview

8th Jan 2018

The beginning of the January “silly” season has arrived, with WA’s top athletes embarking on the top ranked amateur event in Australia.

The Australian Master of the Amateurs boasts an impressive honours board, with Jason Day taking out the title in 2005 and such players as Tommy Fleetwood and Rickie Fowler playing in recent memory.

The Australian Master of the Amateurs is ranked among the best amateur tournaments in the world. For the first time, the 2018 edition is a mixed tournament; attracting 21 of the world’s best female amateurs including top 20 player Mariel Galdiano (US). With the tournament gaining “A” status on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), and various professional opportunities for the two champions, the tournament presents a huge opportunity for the elite field.

It is only fitting then that the tournament is played on the world renowned Royal Melbourne Golf Club (East Course). A perennial inclusion in world top 100 lists, “Royal” as it is colloquially known, has hosted numerous championships of the highest calibre, including being named as the President’s Cup host in 2019.

The WA contingent has built year upon year at the Master of the Amateurs, and it is no surprise to see many of the state’s leading talents getting an invitation into this prestigious tournament. Haydn Barron (WAGC), Kiran Day (CGC), Ben Ferguson (VGCC) and Daniel List (CGC) are returning to Royal Melbourne whilst Jose De Sousa (GGC) and Robbie Morrison (RPGC) will debut in what is probably their biggest tournament to date.

Haydn Barron on Royal Melbourne, the WA contingent and upcoming plans

“It’s a new course being on the East this year (last year was RM West) which is more fidgety and requires more strategy than the West. For example on the 8th I’ve seen guys hit driver, where I wouldn’t even think about it. Yeah, I feel this suits my game as I normally hit it pretty straight.”

“I think this is the biggest contingent we’ve had this year (from WA). I had a practice round with Min (Woo Lee), Ben (Ferguson) and Kiran (Day) yesterday which is really beneficial. I’ve played with these guys for years and know their game inside out. We all kinda help each other”.

“This week and Australian Amateur are really our best chance of improving our ranking (WAGR) significantly so definitely looking to peak. I’ve got Avondale (Medal) after Australian Amateur then looking to get a start in Victoria (Oates Victorian Open) following. Then another run of tournaments in March and the (Interstate) Series in May before possibly heading to the UK and US for a couple of months.

Jose De Sousa on being a tournament debutant and his insight into Royal Melbourne

“I’m not treating this any different to say a Paxton Average event, my preparation and process has been the same as any other week. It’s a big opportunity but I feel if I can stick to my own processes I won’t have any added pressure on myself”

“Strategy is important around Royal Melbourne East, if you miss the green long it’s basically dead so I’ll be planning to miss short if any. It’s really firm out there, I’ve adapted my game to combat this, like hitting it higher if I can”