Missed chances for Aussies at Porter Cup

It was a case of what could have been for the Australians during this Porter Cup championship held at Niagara Falls Country Club in NY.

Heading into the final day Tim Hart and Tarquin MacManus were in a tie for 3rd at 8-under-par just three behind the third round leader, American Paul Haley. Hart had fired earlier rounds of 68-67-67 with MacManus carding rounds of 70-64-68 to be in serious contention for the title.

The Australian duo would go onto fire closing rounds of 1-over-par, 71, on a day where low scoring dominated the field to finish in a tie for 15th position, five short of Americans Patrick Rodgers and Wesley Bryan who finish at 12-under-par to force a play-off for the title.

Rogers, a 19-year-old freshman-to-be at Stanford University had erased a seven-shot deficit with eight holes to play storming home with a wet sail to finish equally with Bryan in one of the best comebacks seen this American summer.

Rodgers won the title on the first extra hole, sinking a 12-foot uphill birdie putt on the par-3, 18th.

"It was weird," said Rodgers, a Stanford freshman who fired rounds of 68-63-69-68.

"I was so far out of it with eight holes to play that I didn't even really think about winning until it was over. I just kept playing and grinding trying to get myself back in it."

Earlier this year Rogers was placed fourth in the Northeast Amateur agains a stellar field. The win at the Porter Cup signifies his break through victory, following a number of close finishes in big events this year including a runners-up at The Players Amateur and the Terra Cotta Invitational, and third places at the Azalea Invitational and Jones Cup.

"This was so important for me," Rodgers said.

"I kind of got a taste of being in contention this summer, but I haven't been able to finish it off. I just kept trying to learn from all those weeks."

His 12-under-par total at Niagara is just a shot off of last year's winner, David Chung, who will be a teammate at Stanford this season.

Ryan McCarthy displayed the golf that had the Tasmanian at one stage last season our top-ranked amateur with a strong closing in this tournament carding rounds of 67-72-66-68 to also finish in a tie for 15th position with Hart and MacManus.

It is pleasing to see McCarthy finding some form here in the US after a forced period of absence after suffering a shoulder injury during the Lake Macquarie Amateur last January.

MacManus' efforts are also equally impressive as he chalked up another top-15 finish in a main US amateur event as we head into the serious end of the US amateur tour schedule.

With the Western Amateur starting this week in Chicago, a world amateur event that's arguably the toughest tournament and most prestigious behind only the US Amateur championship which starts the end of August, the solid performances in recent times by MacManus sets the US based Aussie and 2011 Master of the Amateurs champion up well.

Daniel Nisbett fired mixed rounds of 65-73-70-65 to also finish in a tie for 15th in Niagara.

Defending champion David Chung shot a final round 78 to finished tied for 72nd at 11-over for the tournament. Dylan Frittelli shot 65 on Saturday to finish at 11-under, tied with Paul Haley, the tournament leader after the first three rounds, for third place.

New Zealand's Ryan Fox was the best of the Australasians, finishing in a tie for 11th at 8-under-par following rounds of 72-70-63-67.

As for the remaining of the Australians, Cameron Smith finished in a tie for 36th position at 2-under-par with rounds of 72-70-67-69, Matt Stieger was 44th at 1-over-par, Brett Drewitt finished in a tie for 52nd position at 4-over-par, Bryden MacPherson and Kalem Richardson were in a tie for 56th position at 5-over-par, Todd Sinnott was a 7-over-par for a tie for 59th position and Nathan Holman finished at 10-over-par for a tie for 68th position.

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