Elite Amateur

Eleven chase Australia's third US Amateur title

Curtis Luck during his victory last year. (Photo: Courtesy of USGA)
Eleven Australians will take to the fairways of the Bel-Air and Riviera country clubs in Los Angeles this week and attempt to become the third Australian to win the US Amateur Championship and establish perhaps a dream start to a pending professional career.

Nick Flanagan in 2003 and Curtis Luck in 2016 are the previous Australians to win the event while Oliver Goss was runner-up in 2013 in the most significant event in amateur golf.

Harrison Endycott, Travis Smyth, Min Woo Lee, Dylan Perry, Shae Wools Cobb, Ruben Sondjaja, Karl Vilips, Matias Sanchez, Kiran Day, Blake Collyer and James Grierson get their chance to emulate the deeds of Luck and Flanagan but first must safely negotiate 36 holes of qualifying over both venues before the leading 64 players knuckle down to the match play phase at the famed Riviera Country Club.

They will compete amongst a field of 312 of the world's leading amateurs in the opening stroke play rounds and so even making the final 64 would be a significant achievement.  

The par-four 18th hole at long-time PGA Tour venue, Riviera.

The Riviera Country Club has often seen Australian success over the years, notably Steve Elkington’s PGA Championship win in 1995 while Robert Allenby (2001), Aaron Baddeley (2011) and Adam Scott (2005) have all won the PGA Tour's Genesis Open.

While none of the Australians are at the same level that Luck was at the same time, his fellow West Australian Lee is considered by many to be a future Australian star and carries solid recent form in the US into the event.

Endycott is Australia’s leading world ranked amateur but he is not playing at the level he was last year in the US when he won the Porter Cup, was runner-up at the Players Am and was part of the Australian Eisenhower Trophy-winning team in Mexico.

Perth-raised but now US-based, Vilips, recently won the Southern Amateur in the US and although not yet 16-years-old is considered a genuine chance to do well. Vilips begins the week as a 15-year-old but turns 16 on Wednesday.

New Zealander James Anstiss is the only Kiwi in the field and he will look to follow the lead of Danny Lee and become just the second male from his nation to win this title.  





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