Porter Cup: Full of Talent!

Top players from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Germany and South Africa will contest the Porter Cup commencing this Wednesday at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, NY.

The Porter Cup is an invitational amateur event conducted at stroke play over 72 holes and eleven Australians will line up for what is considered one of the main amateur tournaments with PGA Tour players such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Tom Lehman, Hal Sutton and Justin Leonard having all challenged for the trophy with Mickelson the sole victor, claiming the title in 1990.

2010 Porter Cup and Western Amateur champion, David Chung, will return to the Niagara layout to defend his title.

Chung will line up alongside 2011 Nationwide Tour winner and US Open participant Russell Henley, 2011 NCAA champion John Peterson and 2011 British Amateur champion Bryden Macpherson.

Three-time US Mid-Amateur champion and 2009 US Walker Cup Team member Nathan Smith returns to NFCC for his eighth Porter Cup. Smith will play along side perennial mid-amateur contenders Mike McCoy and Skip Berkmeyer.

MacPherson narrowly missed the cut at the British Open which illustrative of the talent the former Australian and New Zealand Amateur Stroke play champion is. Just before the British Open the Georgia based Aussie had a top-20 finish at the Dogwood Invitational.

MacPherson would love nothing more than to win a main amateur event on US soil to add to his ever expanding collections of titles.

Supporting MacPherson in the Australian camp is Brett Drewitt, Tim Hart, Nathan Holman, Ryan McCarthy, Kalem Richardson, Todd Sinnott, Cameron Smith, Matt Stieger and Daniel Nisbet.

Sinnott has played superb golf this US season with three top-20 finishes recorded already in his first main tour of the season, including a top-10 at the Players Amateur a few week's back.

With Sinnott's US campaign nearing an end the former Victorian Boy's champion has been one of the standout Australian performers here in the US this season. I'd expect another strong effort this week from the Victorian.

Richardson has displayed signs of brilliance with the amateur journeyman playing into contention at the Players Amateur.

The Tasmanian Amateur champion is one of the hardest workers of the game and is due for a main amateur title. Richardson knows the Niagara layout well having played this tournament on the past three occasions and he should seriously contend this tournament.

Cameron Smith is another to monitor having qualified recently for the match play segment of the US Junior Amateur after being Medalist at sectional qualifying. Smith also has a top-20 result at the Players Amateur.

Keep an eye out for Harris English, who became the third amateur to ever win a Nationwide Tour event last Sunday when he birdied the final hole to beat college rival John Peterson at the Children's Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.

English, 22, an All-American from the University of Georgia, and Peterson, 22, the NCAA champion from Louisiana State University, are both expected to play this week at Niagara.

Last year Jason Scrivener was the best of the Australians securing a top-10 finish after firing a 4-under-par total with rounds of 70-70-69-76 to fall nine strokes behind winner David Chung.

Chung's 5-under-par, 65, in Saturday's final round gave him a total of 13-under-par finish, which was good for a three stroke victory over 15-year-old Gavin Hall of Pittsford and Peter Uihlein, both of whom shot 10-under-par to tie for second.

Australians have experienced mixed success at the Porter Cup with Simon Nash back in 2002 the only Aussie to hold the prized trophy. European Tour players, Andrew Dodt and Andrew Tampion, recorded top-10 finishes in 2007 and 2006 respectively, while Matthew Griffin in 2008 finished in a tie for 13th position.

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