Top amateurs line up for NSW Amateur

Across its 111-year history, the NSW Amateur Championship has developed into a true test of golf that produces worthy champions.

Former winners include Jack Newton, Brett Ogle, Peter O’Malley, Tony Gresham and more recently, Brendan Jones, Won Joon Lee, Brett Drewitt and last year Victorian Ben Eccles defeated Troy Moses at Royal Sydney.

Jordan Zunic Jordan Zunic (Credit: Anthony Powter)

The championship format is brutal.

Incorporating the NSW Medal (the Stroke winner after four rounds) and the 2013 NSW Champion of Champions (each Club Champion in NSW competing for the title), this year’s championship has attracted a stellar amateur field.

“This championship attracts the best amateur golfers in the state, both young and old, plus leading golfers from other states and internationally.”

“With the final two players having played six gruelling days of golf, it really is a test of skill, mental strength, and endurance,” remarked Graeme Phillipson, General Manager – Golf, Golf NSW.

“This year we will have the men and women competing at the same venues for the very first time and it promises to be a fantastic spectacle. We are bound to see some great golf.”

The NSW Medal will be played at Pennant Hills and Castle Hill Golf Club starting today.

The Medal is four rounds of 18 holes stroke play, played over three days – 18 holes on the opening two days, and 36 holes on Friday. The leading 60 players plus ties after the first 36 holes qualify for the final 36 holes, which will be played at Pennant Hill.

The leading 32 players from the NSW Medal will compete in the NSW Amateur Championship Match Play. Each match is played over 18 holes other than the Final which is completed over 36 holes. The match-play will be seeded and will take place at Concord Golf Club starting 2 February 2013.

A strong field of 240 competitors will tee up in this year’s event. Of the Interstate visitors, Western Australia’s Jarryd Felton will start one of the tournament favourites.

Already with three main amateur wins in 2013, including the Queensland Amateur Medal and Mandurah Open Amateur, Felton finished runner-up to England’s Ryan Evans on Sunday at the Lake Macquarie Amateur. Felton’s consistency this season has been nothing short of impressive and this will serve him well this week.

Evans also is playing this week and will be looking for back-to-back wins after his stellar victory on Sunday at Belmont.

His Lake Macquarie win came on the back of taking the Medal at the Australian Amateur the week before in Adelaide following scorching a course record 68 on the Greg Norman designed East Course at The Grange.

Victorian’s Ben Eccles and Thomas Power-Horan are back to defend their NSW Medal and Amateur titles. Eccles is also now the holder of the course record at one of the venues, Castle Hill, after his spectacular round during the NSW Open in November.

Cameron Davis, who continues to impress and 2012 Champion of Champions, Jordan Zunic should also feature.

Zunic, who held the third round lead at Belmont, is according to the Golf Australia National Amateur Ranking, the top-ranked Australian amateur. The ranking reflects Zunic’s consistent run which includes top-5 finishes at the Keperra Bowl and Federal Amateur, a top-20 finish at the Australian Master of the Amateurs and a fortnight ago he made the top-16 at the Australian Amateur in Adelaide.