The opening day of the 2020 NSW Amateur matchplay has proved to be an eventful one with several fancied contenders falling by the wayside.
Jed Morgan survived a mini scare in his morning match against the Links Shell Cove’s Colin Mitchell. The freshly minted Aussie Amateur champion bounced back with an impressive 5&4 win against fellow Queenslander Joel Stahlhut in the afternoon session.
The Vintage’s Corey Lamb cruised through his morning round with a 3 & 2 win over Quinnton Croker, before accounting for the talented Zachary Maxwell 4&3.
Last year’s runner-up, Nathan Barbieri cruised through his morning match with a 4 & 2 win, but he had no answer for England’s Callum Farr in the afternoon, going down 3&2.
In a battle fo the College graduates, Castle Hill’s Jackson Bugdalski got the better of New South Wales GC’s new recruit, Harry Bolton, with a one-up win.
Bugdalski, a graduate of the University of Oklaholma, couldn’t repeat the effort against his afternoon opponent, Kyle Gray, losing on the last.
New South Wales Golf Club’s impressive Junior Jye Hall proved to be the giant killer of the day, taking out the formidable Chris Campbell in the morning, before accounting for England’s Harvey Byers in the afternoon.
Jayden Ford had the biggest win of the day, a 9 & 7 result against Merewether’s Luke Ferrier, in the morning session before surviving a tight encounter against James Hydes, two up.
Harrison Crowe is keeping the local hopes alive, and the St. Michael’s member made no mistake with two impressive 3 & 2 wins. He will meet England’s Benjamin Schmidt, who easily won his afternoon match 7 & 5.
Choi prevails in an extra hole thriller
Doey Choi has survived three holes of sudden death over a plucky Annika Rathbone on the opening day of the matchplay section at the 2020 NSW Amateur.
Choi looked to be in complete control of the match early in proceedings, racing to an early four-hole lead after just six holes. Rathbone, however, had other ideas and kept her composure despite the deficit.
Rathbone’s persistence paid off. The teenager from the Australian Golf Club grabbed wins on the 13, 14, 16, and 17th to get back to all square.
The pair traded pars on the last and headed to the sudden death.
A pair of matching fives on the first followed by pars on next sent the match to the par-three third.
Rathbone hit first and left it just 20 feet short. When Choi missed the green, it looked like an advantage for Rathbone. Choi however, got lucky and had a very makeable chip. She sensed a chance, but sadly, it slid by.
Rathbone’s putt for the win looked good for a long time before it too slid by.
Choi holed her four-footer for par, and all that was left for Rathbone was a simple tap in from just over a foot. To the shock of the gallery watching, it slid by, and with it went the match to Choi.
The other matches in the women’s division proved less dramatic, with top seed Steph Kyriacou accounting for Claire Shin 5 & 3.
Sarah Wilson got the better of Angelina Gong 2 &1, while Grace Kim dominated Yerin Kim 4&3.
Ann Jang was too good for Rhianna-Maree Lewis. England’s Emily Toy trounced Alexandra Hilliard 7&6, while June Song took out Kono Matsumoto 4&2.
In the final match, Kelsey Bennett took full advantage of her home course knowledge with a big 7&6 win over Sophie Yip.
Morgan survives early fright on day one
NSW Medallist Jed Morgan has survived an early scare in the opening round of the NSW Amateur Championship at St. Michael’s Golf Club.
Morgan was seemingly in control of his match at four up through nine holes, but a withering comeback from Colin Mitchell from the Links Shell Cove saw the match tied after 15 holes.
A clutch birdie on the 15th, followed but a thirty footer for a par on the 17th was enough for the 20 year old to progress with a 2&1 win.