Jim Ferrier, Aaron Baddeley, Nick Flanagan, Bryden Macpherson, Oliver Goss, Antonio Murdaca and Curtis Luck have previously played their way into the field for golf’s first major of the year through a range of criteria, two of whom have done so through winning the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship.
In today’s final round of the 2017 version of the event, at the Royal Wellington Golf Club in Upper Hutt just north of New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington, another three have a chance, at least, of not only playing their way into that very select group.
The brilliant West Australian teenager Min Woo Lee at 7 under is just one back of the 54 hole leader Lin Yuxin of China.
Queensland’s Shae Wools-Cobb is three further back and Gold Coast based NSW golfer, Dylan Perry, is six shots from the lead but not completely without hope of a brilliant final round sweeping him to victory.
After all, Curtis Luck came from seven behind last year in South Korea to win the event and so anything is still possible for what promises to be a thrilling final day.
But in 2017 not only is a start at the Masters next April up for grabs but so too is a start at the Open Championship where 23 Australian amateurs have made an appearance previously, the first of whom being Clyde and Bruce Pearce in 1911 and the last, Bryden Macpherson in 2012.
China appears to be the biggest threat to the Australians with that country, too, looking for its third win in the event after Guan Tianlang in 2012 and Cheng Jin in 2015 took the title.
Lin leads the event while Andy Zhang is just one back and Yechun (Carl) Yuan is just four from the lead.
No Chinese amateur has played the Open Championship so that country’s continued emergence as a world golfing force could be accelerated even further this afternoon.
OATLANDS GOLF CLUB
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