McKinney, Boyd share Australian Amateur medal

Connor McKinney has jointly claimed the Gold Medal for the Australian Amateur Championship Qualifiers to cap off a stellar opening two days for Western Australia at the national tournament held at Lake Karrinyup and Wanneroo Golf Clubs.

The young 15-year old has been dominant over the qualifiers, finishing equal first with Darcy Boyd (NSW) on 9-under, meaning the medal is shared. Fortunately, McKinney pulled the number one seed from a random draw, leaving him in pole position going into tomorrow.

Min Woo Lee finished just one shot off the pace at 8-under to claim the third seed, nailing a clutch birdie on the 16th to finish on 68 for the second consecutive round.

However, it was McKinney who stole the show, playing with maturity well beyond his years to shoot his name into unlikely contention for the Championship.

The youngster didn’t seem overawed by the enormity of the occasion, carving out a career-best 66 on Tuesday before backing it up with a bogey-free 69 at Lake Karrinyup today.

“It’s been pretty chilled to be honest, I have just really been looking forward to the tournament,” a surprised McKinney said.

“Well yesterday was great, 66 is the lowest score I have ever scored, so that was a huge bonus.”

As the competition moves to the elimination rounds, McKinney has no real expectations, with his first national championship already a success.

“I guess a win would be really nice, but I have just got to see how it goes,” he claimed. “Really just stick to my game plan.”

“I’m just basically trying to finish as high as I can, that’s my aim.”

Boyd was equally effusive about his move through to the Matchplay rounds.

“It feels pretty awesome, I haven’t had a great last 12 months – I didn’t make a cut last year, even though it felt like my game was getting better,” said Boyd, who hails form the small New South Wales town of Toukley.

“So it’s good to see the hard work pay off – a lot of physical stuff, short game and trying to improve the swing to make it more reliable.”

Recent Master of the Amateurs winner David Micheluzzi from Victoria continued his run of good form to finish in equal 4th place alongside New South Wales’ Blake Windred.

The men’s competition will now feature 64 golfers, while the women’s will have a top 32 moving into the second phase of the Australian Amateur Championships.

The remainder of the tournament will take place at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.

Source – Golf WA/Golf NSW