Hart, Higginbottom in QLD Amateur final

Tim Hart will be hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself at this year’s final of the Queensland Amateur championship when he meets Jake Higginbottom in the 36-hole championship match at Arundel Hills.

Hart was a finalist last year in this event where he lost to Brett Drewitt, 1-up, at Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club after leading 5-up before Drewitt pulled off one of the most impressive comebacks that season in amateur golf to win his maiden event.

Tim Hart Tim Hart will play Jake Higginbottom in the final of the Queensland Amateur Championship (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Conflicting tournament dates had Drewitt, as well as a number of other leading amateurs, electing to play last week’s Golf SA Amateur Classic, a title which Drewitt easily won.

The schedule conflict resulted in a reduced field for the Queensland Amateur in an event that was headed by current Australian Amateur Stroke and Boy’s champion, Cameron Smith.

With Higginbottom accounting for Smith in today’s semi-final with a 3&2 win, he remains the only player between Hart and the silverware.

In today’s semi-final Hart accounted for Medallist and number one seed, Daniel McGraw, 2&1.

Since his win in March at the Federal Amateur, Hart’s game has continued to improve after discarding the the title as being one of Australia’s main amateurs not to win a major title following runner-up finishes at the 2009 Mandurah Easter Amateur, the 2008 NSW Amateur Championship, the 2009 Federal Amateur, 2009 Victorian Amateur and the 2010 Port Phillip Amateur.

In making his way to the final, Hart defeated Jonathon Holder, 2-up, and Aaron Wilkin, 2-up in the first round.

Higginbottom’s momentum will be at an all time high after he disposed of the tournament favourite Smith to set his final’s berth against Hart.

This was a massive victory for Higginbottom and sends a strong message to national selectors that he should not be discounted for future national teams.

The win against Smith was even more impressive considering that the Queenslander has been one of the best amateurs this Australian season having recorded three wins with the Australian Amateur Stroke, the Australian Boy’s Amateur, and the Victorian Junior Masters as well as top-20 finishes at the Riversdale Cup, Queensland PGA Championship, a runner-up finish at the Lake Macquarie Amateur and a third place finish at the China Amateur Open.

Higginbottom already has a state title to his credit with the 2010 New South Wales Amateur title where he defeated England’s, Tommy Fleetwood, with a 3&2 victory at Royal Sydney Golf Club.

The Novocastrian would like nothing better than to add a Queensland amateur title to his home state title.

With Hart on the verge of considering the transition to the professional ranks later this year and Higginbottom looking to cement his place in international amateur teams, this final is bound to be a closely fought encounter with a blend of experience in Hart, matched against the youthful enthusiasm of Higginbottom, eager to send a message to national selectors.

Tomorrow’s 36-hole finals commence at 7:15am (Women) and 7:30am (Men).

Finals Draw

  • Saki Suzuki v Ali Orchard
  • Tim Hart v Jake Higginbottom