Michel, Higo victorious at Master of the Amateurs

Lukas Michel and Lion Higo have taken out the Australian Master of the Amateurs championships at The Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Australian Master of the Amateurs again served up a quality tournament with plenty of excitement and drama.

Lukas Michel Lukas Michel (Credit: AMOTA)

The Men’s Championship leader was constantly changing between Lukas Michel, Ryan Thomas and Konrad Ciupek. Despite the last-minute charge from Konrad and Ryan, Michel was still able to handle the pressure and claim the 2021 Men’s Championship at 6-under, which included three birdies across the final four holes for a two stoke win over Thomas.

“I played very nicely down the stretch,” said Michel.

“Today was a pretty good day. I was two over through seven but got back into it. Being the winner of the Master of the Amateurs is pretty incredible and it’s great to be the men’s champion.”

Michel is no stranger to playing in, and winning, major events.

In 2017 at Colorado Golf Club he won the US Mid-Amateur championship and became the first international player to claim the title. He also gained exemptions to the US Open at Winged Foot and the Masters.

A member of the Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne, Michel had been stuck in the US since March and experienced his own frustrations in trying to return to Australia before eventually making it through. Last Friday’s victory was certainly one for him to savour under the circumstances.

“It might not be the green jacket that I was striving for before, but winning the Australian Master of the Amateurs and receiving the green jacket is pretty nice thing. I look forward to returning next year for the event.”

Whilst the field was effected by border closures with the COVID-19 issues preventing many NSW players from attending, there was still a strong presence from Queensland, South Australian and Victoria. The championship was declared a COVID-19 safe event by the Victorian Government and played under strict conditions.

Victorian Konrad Ciupek took out third position at 3-under-par, three shots from the winner with Andree Lautee and Antony Majstorovic rounding out the top-5 at 1-over-par.

Lion Higo Lion Higo (Credit: AMOTA)

In the women’s championship, Queenslander Lion Higo secured the title with an impressive four shot win over Victorian Stephanie Bunque, finishing at 2-under-par. Lion reeled off three birdies in her last four holes to stamp her mark on the field.

“This tournament means so much for me,” said Higo.

“It’s my last tournament in Australia before I head to Pepperdine University and to have a win is really special. I look forward to returning again next to compete.”

Justice Bosio finished in third position at 8-over-par followed by Jeneath Wong and Hyejun Park.

With COVID-19 issues seeking the cancellation of many elite amateur tournaments, not just in Australia but world wide, full credit should go to all those involved with these championships, which allow our elite amateurs the opportunity to compete and regain those competitive experiences.