Amateur stars Murdaca, Felton move to paid ranks

On the eve of the summer’s first major tournament, the Fiji International, which tees off this morning at the Natadola Bay, two of Australia’s most promising golfers have taken their biggest step yet by turning professional.

Antonio Murdaca and Jarryd Felton, both 20 years of age, should get their chance to earn some of the big dollars on offer over the Aussie summer with their prodigious talents sure to have them in demand.

Jarryd Felton Jarryd Felton (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Murdaca, from South Australia, really caught the eye this year when he earned a start at the US Masters.

He was also prominent with a final round 64 in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Hong Kong last week.

That was the event which saw Murdaca surge to international prominence with victory at Royal Melbourne which earned him his invitation to the Masters.

“I am ready to turn professional and start the next leg of my ongoing golf journey,” Murdaca said.

“I am super excited to start in Fiji and can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.”

Murdaca showed glimpses of his awesome talent at several other professional events, including a slashing six-under-par 66 playing alongside Robert Allenby in the third round of the 2013 Emirates Australian Open.

He also made the cut at last year’s national championship.

Felton is wasting no time getting into the action either and will play alongside Murdaca in this week’s Fiji International as both play for money for the first time in their careers.

From the Gosnells Golf Club in WA, Felton has also enjoyed a stellar amateur career, winning seven rankings events nationally and representing Australia several times.

He will be expected to figure prominently in several events in his home state this season, including the WA Open and WA PGA which will both be played in November.