Zach Murray wins Master of the Amateurs
It might not have been the finish that Zach Murray had wanted as the closing holes on Royal Melbourne’s West Course took their toll, yet a final round 71 was enough for Murray to secure a two stroke win at the Australian Master of the Amateurs.
Murray finished at 12-under-par after rounds of 69-69-67-71, to equal the tournament record set by Tarquin McManus in 2011.
Cory Crawford fired a final round 3-under-par 69 to finish in second position at 10-under-par with American Bryson DeChambeau and Ben Eccles in third at 8-under.
The win is Murray’s second major amateur title in two years after winning the 2013 Victorian Amateur.
“Each win is special, but it’s an honour to win this event,” said Murray.
“It was tough coming in and I did not hit the ball as solid as I would have liked, yet I was able to get the result that I wanted. I’m simply stoked.”
Murray headed into the final round with a two stroke advantage over fellow Victorian Frazer Droop with Queenslander Jack McLeod and Ben Eccles three behind.
Zach Murray holds the 2015 Master of the Amateurs trophy (Credit: Anthony Powter)
Going out in a 1-under-par 35 gave Murray the momentum and by the turn he was four strokes ahead of his nearest challenges.
Crawford was mounting a charge over the closing holes and Texan Bryson DeChambeau also had a final day charge going yet they had left their charge too late.
When Murray reached the challenging 202 metre 16th on the West Course he enjoyed a four stroke buffer and looked set to claim the title. Yet the 17-year-old’s game would be pushed to the wire over the last three holes.
“The 16th and 17th are not easy holes and I was not able to execute the shots that I wanted,” said Murray, who made consecutive bogeys to see his lead drop to two heading down the 396 metre 18th.
“It’s probably the toughest finishing holes we play, and when I made the putt on the 18th, I was just glad to get out of there.”
Murray worked hard for this victory against a star studded field of local and international players at Melbourne which included four of the world’s top-10.
Murray’s ball striking and course management was second to none and birdies on fourteen and fifteen certainly gave him the confidence to ride through the challenging closing stretch.
This tournament is undoubtedly Australia’s best and with the announcement by the Board of The Royal Melbourne Golf Club confirming that the event will be staged here for the next two years, this will see the event grow further in stature.
England Golf also announced that the “Ashes” series – where teams from England and Australia play against each other – will be played in conjunction with the event and this tournament continues to be the Australian benchmark for other amateur events and rightly justifies it’s ranking inside the world’s top-20 tournaments.
Any wonder Zach Murray was ecstatic with claiming this title and in the process his name will be etched alongside Jason Day, Brendan Jones, and Nathan Holman.