New Zealand’s Lydia Ko further justified her status as the world’s best women amateur with victory in the Australian Amateur Championship at the Woodlands Golf Club in Melbourne.
Ko defeated Australia’s Breanna Elliott 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final to add the prestigious title to the Australian Stroke Play and New Zealand Stroke Play titles she already holds.
The 14-year-old entered the event as the clear favourite and didn’t disappoint. She won the first hole of the match and raced to a six-hole lead at lunchtime. Elliott was seven down after 21 holes and did managed to reduce that deficit further. However, Ko had built up too big a lead for Elliott to overcome.
Elliott’s consolation is a leap of 21 places up the WAGR table into the top 50 to 45th position.
Meghan Stasi of the United States moves into the world top 100 following victory in the Ione D Jones/Doherty Championship at Coral Ridge Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The 33-year-old defeated Jaye Marie Green by one hole to take the title.
Stasi, runner-up in the championship in 2008, took a tough route to face Green. She needed 20 holes to defeat GB&I Curtis Cup player Holly Clyburn in the second round. She also overcame defending champion and world number eight Charley Hull 3 and 2 in the quarterfinals.
Stasi entered the 18-hole final as underdog. However, she is a three-time US Mid-Amateur champion and that experience helped against her 17-year-old opponent.
Stasi improves 84 places on this week’s ranking to move to world number 76. Green moves to world number 20, an improvement of seven spots.
Germany’s Marcel Schneider came from four down with 11 holes to play to win the Australian Amateur Championship and carve out his own place in Australian Amateur Championship history. He is the first German to capture the Australian title.
Schneider went up against home favourite Daniel Nisbet in the 36-hole final at Woodlands Golf Club in Melbourne, but looked like going home with the runner-up medal for most of the match. Nisbet fashioned a four-hole advantage after 25 holes, and still held a two-hole lead with four to play.
That’s when the Stuttgart amateur shifted into fifth gear. Schneider birdied two of the last four holes to level the match, and then birdied the 37th hole.
Schneider’s first big amateur success makes a dramatic improvement to his World Amateur Golf Ranking. The German moves inside the world top 50 to 33rd position, a leap of 66 places.
Nisbet also moves 66 places into the world top 50. He improves to world number 48.
South Africa’s Brandon Stone joins Schneider and Nisbet as the other player this week to move into the top 50. Stone takes his place thanks to victory in the Prince’s Grant Invitational in his homeland.
Rounds of 73, 75, 70 and 69 at Prince's Golf Estate in KwaZulu-Natal gave Stone a four round total of 287, and four-shot victory over Wesley Baptiste.
Jose Mendez Vargas becomes the highest ranked Costa Rican amateur following victory in the Costa Rican Junior Stroke Play Championship. Vargas moves 232 places into the world top 100 as a result, improving to 66th place.
Australians Luke Humphries and Nathan Holman, recent winner of the Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship, also move inside the top 100. Humphries improves 31 places to 82nd, while Holman moves 65 spots to 100.