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Finalists Set At Australian Amateur

(Photo: Australian Master of the Amateurs)
Japan will have two chances at an Australian Amateur crown tomorrow with Keita Nakajima to take on Victoria’s David Micheluzzi in the men’s final while Suzuka Yamaguchi will face South Korea’s Yean A Cho in the women’s at Lake Karrinyup in Perth.

On a thrilling day which saw both quarter final and semi-finals played in both events, Micheluzzi remains the last local in the field after four Australians advanced to the quarter finals.

The in-form Micheluzzi accounted for Queensland’s Shae Wools-Cobb 5&3 in the semi-final after earlier taking out another Japanese player, Ren Yonezawa, in the round of 16.

On the women’s side Western Australians Hira Naveed and Kirsten Rudgeley both flew the flag in the women’s quarter-finals but only Haveed advanced, eventually falling in the semi-final by a margin of 5&4.

Micheluzzi, the reigning Victorian Amateur and Australian Master of the Amateurs champion, has been in scintillating form all week with just one of his five matches going beyond the 15th hole.

He was a 5&3 victor in the opening round before taking out Canberra’s Jordan Ayre 6&4 in round two.

Another 5&3 win came in round three with his only close call of the week coming with a 1up victory over Japan’s Daiki Imano in the quarter finals.

But despite adding another 5&3 result to his resume in the semi-final the 21-year-old isn’t getting ahead of himself.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” he told Golf Australia Media Manager Mark Hayes after the win adding: “Hopefully it sinks in when I win!

“I’ll just try to do what I do and the rewards come after we finish. If it happens it happens if it doesn’t it doesn’t, I’ve still had a pretty good tournament.”

Micheluzzi’s opponent, Keita Nakajima, is the first Japanese player to qualify for the Australian Amateur final as is women’s finalist Yamaguchi.

Yamaguchi accounted for the final two Australians in the championship on the day, first taking out Kirsten Ridgeley in the quarter final before a comfortable 5&4 win over Naveed in the semi-final.

The 17-year-old made headline in 2014 when she qualified for the US Women’s Open as a 14-year-old and had proved a force at Lake Karrinyup.

She won her opening match 8&6 though was pushed to the brink by Victorian Amateur champion Stephanie Bunque with a 1up win in the second round.

Her opponent, Yean A Cho, has had a more comfortable run to the finale with none of her matches going beyond the 15th hole.

The women’s final tees off at 8.30am local time tomorrow with the men going off 10 minutes later. Both championship matches will be 36 hole contests.

NAT WHITTINGTON TALKS SHOT VISUALISATION:

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