Elite Amateur

Three Australians Advance at US Junior Amateur

Vilips leads the Australians into the match-play (Photo: USGA / Darren Carroll)
Three of the five Australians in this week’s US Junior Championship at the Inverness Club in Toledo have made it through to the match-play stage of the event, the trio hoping to become the second Australian to win this coveted title following Min Woo Lee’s success in 2016.

US-based Perth golfer, Karl Vilips, added a second round of 73 to his opening 69 and finished in a share of 10th place in the stroke-play qualifying, the Gold Coast’s Elvis Smylie finished 12th and Perth’s Joshua Greer 37th to all safely make it to the first round of knockout play beginning Wednesday (US time).

Vilips, the current leading player in the International Junior Presidents Cup side, was bogey-free in his impressive opening round of 69 on the four-time US Open venue but battled a little today, dropping three shots with one solitary bogey.

Vilips does, however, enjoy an impressive amateur record for one of such young age and is expected to be a genuine chance of taking the title.

“I need to make more birdies," said Vilips. "I made one today, two yesterday. I think going into match play, I need to be slightly more aggressive and just work on the things that didn’t fire today.

“Yesterday, we fed off each other’s positive energy and today we fed off each other’s three-putting and missing putts. But playing with [Akshay] definitely helps. It’s a fun round, not an awkward, quiet round.” added the 17 year old on playing with good friend and 2018 runner-up Akshay Bhatia

Elvis Smylie - courtesy of USGA

Smylie bogeyed two holes late in his round today to slip outside the top ten but the current Australian Junior Champion had produced an excellent finish to yesterday’s opening round with three birdies to complete his day after a mid-round stumble had threatened his prospects.

Greer added a second consecutive round of 74 to be at 6 over but, importantly, it is mission accomplished thus far having made it through to the business of the contest.

The two other Australians in the field, Kuangyu Chen and Terry Yoon, have missed out on making it into the top 64.



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