Call it what you will but Andrew Richards is taking towards one of the more unlikely wins in a long while at the NSW Amateur.
Richards is looking more confident as the match progresses, and is now four up with just eight holes left in the final of the NSW Amateur Championship.
Back-to-back wins on the ninth and 10th have got him there, and it’s going to take a comeback for the ages from Guan if he is to prevail.
In the women’s it is looking like Grace Kim will be the back to back women’s champion, with an all but unbeatable 7 hole lead with eight left to play.
Kim has never been headed in the match, although a plucky Ji has attempted a fight back, winning some holes this afternoon, Kim is displaying the type of form you would expect from the State’s highest ranked female player.
12.15pm: Kim raises the bar as play resumes
Grace Kim has wasted no time in resuming her march towards back-to-back NSW Amateur crowns.
With wins on the 19th and 20th, Kim has stretched her lead to 7 holes, with the task looking forlorn for her opponent, Ji.
In the Men’s Final, Andy Richards and Jeffrey Guan are in an arm wrestle, with the lead no switching between the two.
Guan got an early march as the second 18 began, winning the 19th and 20th to go to one up, however Richards has bounced back with a couple of nice wins on the 4th and 5th to regain the lead.
The weather, sadly, has not let up, and the wind on the top half of the course along the 3rd, 4th and 5th is currently blowing the strongest it has all week.
11.20am: Ji arrests avalanche on last
Belinda Ji has grabbed a vital hole to stop the Grace Kim avalanche in the final of the NSW Women’s Amateur.
Unable to make an impact, Ji’s timely birdie on the last hole of the morning has brought her Opponents lead back to five holes.
JI will be hoping it’s the start of a swing with the second 18 due to begin at 11.30am.
11.00am: Fast Finish for Guan leaves final in the Balance
A fast finish over the final four holes from Jeffrey Guan has left the final of the NSW Amateur delicately poised.
Guan grabbed three vital wins on the 15, 17 and 18th to leave Pennant Hill’s Andrew Richards with just a one hole lead at the end of the opening 18.
The weather, predictably, hasn’t been kind, and it’s a testament to the players’ abilities to be playing at the level they are.
10.00am: Menacing Kim in ominous form
Defending Champion Grace Kim is in ominous form, refusing to give her opponent Belinda Ji any chance in the women’s final, compiling a five hole lead after nine holes.
Kim made her intentions clear from the first, making birdie to set the tone of the match.
Kim consolidated her opening salvo with more wins on the second, third, sixth and seventh to establish her imposing lead.
8.30am: Richards grabs early lead
Pennant Hills Andrew Richards had an early lead in the men’s final here at Magenta Shores.
After halving the first in fives, Richards and his opponent Jeffrey Guan matched birdies on the second, Richards then made his move winning the third and fourth before Guan grabbed one back with a birdie on the fifth.
Nice! A big birdie for Richards on the 7th to go 2 up in final action at the 2021
Richards moved back to two up after converting a fantastic approach to the par-three seventh with a walk in birdie.
7.10am: Final underway under grey skies
The finals of the 2021 NSW Amateur are underway at Magenta Shores Golf Resort.
Grey skies greeted the finalists this morning, with the weather report not looking much better than yesterday, with a 90% chance of rain and the mercury not expected to top 22 degrees.
Top seed Jeffrey Guan was first away in the men’s final against Pennant Hills Andrew Richards, with the duo halving the first hole in fives.
Defending Champion Grace Kim and Belinda Ji, team mates in the Golf NSW High Performance Squad, are the women’s finalists. Despite spending so much time practicing and playing together, the pair have never met in matchplay until today. It should make for a fascinating contest.
Stay up to date with the scores and updates here as the day progresses.