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Murdaca wins Asia-Pacific Amateur, punches ticket to the Masters

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There’s a few ways to get invited to the Masters. One of them is to win the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. Remember Guan Tianlang, the 14-year old Chinese phenom who made the cut at the 2012 Masters? He received his Masters invitation by winning the event.

This year, Antonio Murdaca won the Asia-Pacific Amateur at the famed Royal Melbourne Golf Club’s Composite Course, earning him a coveted spot in the 2015 Masters Tournament.

“It’s a dream come true. I can’t wait,” Murdaca said. “I was standing on that second shot today sort of thinking ‘wow, imagine if I get to the Masters. Imagine how many people there are going to be’.”

Murdaca, who qualified ninth out of host nation Australia’s 10 available spots, had an eight-stroke lead after three rounds and secured the victory with a 71 on Sunday.

He was able to cruise to a seemingly stress-free victory thanks to building a lead early in the week. Despite getting the worst of Thursday’s weather, he was the only player to shoot sub-70s on both Thursday and Friday. The shot of the tournament was his approach to the No. 17, a par-5, in the third round. From 220 meters, his second shot lipped out for what would have been an albatross. He was left with a tap-in eagle that stretched his lead to eight strokes.

Second place went to Japan’s Horikawa Mikuma, who was the only player to break 70 on both days of the weekend. Mikuma finished seven behind Murdaca at 6-under par.

First round leader Todd Sinnott followed his opening 67 with rounds of (71-74-71) to finish third at 6-under. Previous winner Guan Tianlang finished T5 with compatriot Dou Zecheng at 2-under, one behind Australian Ryan Ruffles.

Murdaca, a two-time Australian Boys’ Amateur Champion, looks to follow in the footsteps of his countrymen, and he’s off to a promising start. The Aussie boys’ championship roll of honor gives some indication of Murdaca’s talent and potential — previous winners include 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott, who was the first Australian to ever win at Augusta, and PGA Tour winners Jason Day, Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, Brett Ogle and New Zealander Grant Waite. Of those, only Scott and Waite won twice – both back to back. Murdaca won his first in 2010 (at a record 14-years of age) and his second in 2013 (shooting a four-round record 272).

As many GolfWRXers know, renowned golf course architect Dr. Alistair McKenzie had a hand in designing Augusta National and the RMGC West course, which provides 12 holes to the Composite. Victory at RM suggests Murdaca can play McKenzie courses – whether he can cope with Masters aura remains to be seen.

2014 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship leaderboard  (top-ten finishers):

1 Antonio Murdaca AUS 13-under
2 Horikawa Mikumu JPN 6-under
3 Todd Sinnott AUS 5-under
4 Ryan Ruffels AUS 3-under
T5 Dou Zecheng CHN 2-under
T5 Guan Tianlang CHN 2-under
T8 Lucas Herbert AUS 1-under
T8 Jerome Ng SIN 1-under
T8 Geoffrey Drakeford AUS 1-under

Previous winners of the Asia-Pacific Amateur (and how they fared at the Masters the following year):

2013 Lee Chang-woo (MC)
2012 Guan Tianlang (58 – low amateur)
2011 Hideki Matsuyama (T54)
2010 Hideki Matsuyama (T27 – low amateur)
2009 Han Chang-won (MC)

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Brendan Toohey is a sports nut who wasn't good enough at golf, cricket, (Australian Rules) football or athletics so turned his fascination with the history of these sports into a career as a history teacher and occasional writer. He currently lives in Singapore where the cost of golf is a long way from the $1.40 he used to pay as a kid at Waverley Public in Melbourne, Australia. Brendan's fascination with the history of the game extends to still enjoying the occasional outing with persimmon but is too much of a gorilla to put one in permanent play even though he would hit more fairways.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. NaBUru38

    Oct 31, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    The Latin American Amateur winner will also play the Augusta Masters. The 2015 will be held on January 15-18 at Pilar (Buenos Aires, Argerntina).

  2. kylie

    Oct 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Great article. Love hearing about up and coming talent!

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Check out Scotty Cameron’s 2022 “Las Vegas” putter cover

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Las Vegas traditions include both losing your shirt at the craps table and limited-edition putter covers from Scotty Cameron at the Shriners Children’s Open.

Last year’s “Let’s Roll” cover featured an abundance of red dice against a green background. 

Prior to that, the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign served as inspiration.

This year, Cameron and Company went with a silver cover with a traditional Vegas showgirl, “777,” jackpot, a pair of cards totaling blackjack, and more.

Check out Scotty’s 2022 “Las Vegas” covers, below.

Check out more photos from the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open here.

 

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Photos from the 2022 Fortinet Championship

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Plenty of general galleries to fill your cup with this week, as well as WITB looks — including Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler. We also have a limited-edition Odyssey putter cover and new drivers from Wilson and Srixon.

Check out Rickie discussing his new irons in this PGA Tour x GolfWRX video.

 

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