Performances in the Amateur Championship at Hillside Golf Club feature heavily on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Bryden Macpherson became only the second Australian to win the Amateur in its 116-year history when he defeated Scotland’s Michael Stewart 3&2 in the 36-hole final. Macpherson, from Melbourne, Australia, breaks a 57-year-old drought. Doug Bachli, in 1954, was the last man from Down Under to win the Amateur.
Macpherson’s grandfather Keith played golf with Bachli back in the 1950s. It proved a good omen.
“I can’t believe it,” Macpherson said. “It feel’s pretty good to bridge the gap of 57 years.”
The 20-year-old arrived in Southport in good form. He helped his University of Georgia team reach the final of the NCAA Championship. Macpherson won all three of his contests in the match play stages, but Georgia had to settle for runner-up to rivals Augusta State.
He didn’t take a back seat at Hillside. He drove off with all the spoils. Macpherson’s reward is a place in The Open Championship at Royal St George’s next month, and an invitation to next year’s Masters.
The affable Australian makes a giant leap up the world rankings, moving 152 spots into the world top 50 in 42nd place.
Stewart’s reward for finishing runner up is a place in the top 20. The 21-year-old from Troon jumps to 12th spot from 24th.
Quarterfinalist Tom Lewis also moves into the top 20. The English amateur lost 4&3 to Stewart, but moves five places to 16th.
England’s Andrews Sullivan suffered a heavy 6&4 fourth round loss to Lewis. However, he takes pride of place on the WAGR table this week as the top European. Sullivan moves three places to become the world’s 10th best amateur.
Movers into the top 100 include England’s Gregory Eason. He led Amateur stroke play qualifying and moves 86 spots to 89th. Norway’s Joakim Mikkelsen makes it to 83rd in the world, an improvement of 128 places, after reaching the quarter-finals.
Patrick Cantlay confirmed why he is the number one player on the WAGR table with an outstanding performance in the US Open. The 19-year-old finished the tournament as low amateur after an even par total of 284, good enough for joint 21st place among golf's elite professionals. The UCLA player posted the lowest total by an amateur in 40 years. He left Congressional to take up a sponsor's invite in the Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour.
From the moment the Northern Irish teenager opened with a seven-under-par 64, the rest of the field were playing for second place. Maguire added rounds of 70 and 72 for a seven-under-par total of 206. That was good enough for an eight-shot victory over Royal Portrush’s Stephanie Meadow, and a 10-shot margin over sister Lisa.
Leona takes four steps closer to the title of the best woman amateur in the British Isles. She moves to world number 12 on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, just one place behind Meadow.
Lisa Maguire’s third place finish helps her move inside the world top 30 to 29th place, an improvement of two positions.
Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn continues her impressive march up the women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking with victory in the Rolex Junior Championship. Jutanugarn had never won an American Junior Golf Association event, but earned her first in some style.
The 15-year-old set an AJGA record for the lowest 72-hole score. Her 17-under-par 271 at Somerby Golf Club in Byron, Minnesota, was good enough for a four-shot victory over Yu Liu and Alison Lee. Jutanugarn recorded 21 birdies over the four rounds, and came from three stokes behind Liu at the start of the final 18 holes.
Jutanugarn has already made an impression in the professional game. She was the low amateur at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April, the LPGA’s first Major of the year.
Jutanugarn improves her world ranking by two spots, moving to world number 22. She isn’t the only family member on the WAGR table. Elder sister Moriya moves up 16 places to world number 82 after placing fifth, 10 shots behind her sister.