Keperra Bowl to test top amateurs

The Keperra Bowl is rich in history with previous winners including Marc Leishman (2005), Andrew Tampion (2006), Andrew Dodt (2007) and Matt Griffin (2008), all who have gone out to secure tour cards on the world golfing stage, with Marc Leishman named USPGA Tour Rookie of the year in 2009.

The four-round stroke championship starts this Tuesday at Keperra Golf & Country Club on Brisbane’s outskirts.

Jake Higginbottom Jake Higginbottom (Credit: Anthony Powter)

The tournament has attracted a strong field with the inclusion of members of the National Squad and many of Queensland’s emerging amateurs.

Jake Higginbottom will returned to defend his title after last year’s win with a 15-under-par total, a stroke better than Matt Stieger and five better than Daniel McGraw, who finished in outright third position at 10-under.

Higginbottom last month won The City of Sydney International defeating Dimi Papadaos in a playoff after the pair finished the three-round tournament at 5-under-par. Higginbottom had stormed home with a final round 66 – that included a birdie on the last to force the playoff – before he secured the win on the first playoff hole.

The win in Sydney was significant for Higginbottom as well as timely leading into this week’s Keperra Bowl.

Whist Higginbottom sits comfortably insider the world’s top-20 in the R&A ranking at 17, the highest Australian, his recent international results in the United Kingdom and the United States were not what he had hoped for.

“I struggled in the US and UK this season,” said Higginbottom, who plans to attend stage 2 of the European Tour School in November.

Higginbottom’s last major amateur win was at the 2012 Riversdale Cup in March where the 18-year-old Novocastrian blitzed the field with a runaway seven stroke win after leading the field from the opening day.

“My game certainly is on the improve after a period where I was struggling overseas. I’m looking forward this week towards defending my title and posting another low score.”

With the departure of Matt Stieger and Daniel Nisbet to the professional ranks this week’s field includes Jordan Zunic, Chris Brown, Brett Drewitt, Todd Sinnott, Cameron Smith, Ricki Kato, Nathan Holman, Dimi Papadatos, Brady Watt, to name a few.

All are former winners on the Australian Amateur tour and will challenge Higginbottom for the title.

After 36 holes the field will be reduced to the leading 70 players (plus any ties).

These players will contest the final 36 holes over Thursday 18th October & Friday 19th October.