Viraat Badhwar was probably as surprised as anyone when he was handed the Australian Master of the Amateurs trophy in Melbourne. Like everyone else, he probably thought he was playing for second place to Brady Watt.
Badhwar trailed Watt by six shots heading into the final round over the West course at Royal Melbourne. With Watt looking in imperious form, the 17-year-old Queenslander could have been forgiven for thinking victory was outside his grasp.
However, Watt slumped to a 6-over-par 78 in the final round after three straight scores in the 60s to open the door for Badhwar. A closing 2-under-par 70 to go with earlier scores of 67, 74 and 68 gave Badhwar a four round total of 279, 9-under-par. It earned him a two-shot victory over Watt and a dramatic rise up this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Badwhar, who has pledged to play golf at Stanford University, climbs 64 places to world number 30. He is now the world’s third best Australian amateur behind Watt and 17th ranked Oliver Goss.
Watt breaks into the world top 10 as a result of his runner-up finish. He moves six places to 10th. Geoffrey Drakeford finished alone in third place and breaks inside the top 100 this week. He climbs 30 places to 96th.
England’s Max Williams moves 34 places this week after winning the Qatar Amateur Championship at Doha Golf Club. Shubhankar Sharma won the All-India Championship to climb 77 spots to 649th in the world.
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and Taipei’s Cheng-tsung Pan both move one spot inside the world top 10. Two-time Asian Amateur champion Matsuyama goes to world number four, while Pan is right behind him in fifth place.
Kelly Shon is used to winning golf tournaments, but victory in the South Atlantic Amateur Championship at the Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach, Florida, is easily the biggest of her amateur career.
The 20-year-old Princeton University student won the title known affectionately as The Sally by a shot over Shannon Aubert. Tied for the lead with Aubert at 8-under-par standing on the par-5, 17th fairway, Shon knew she needed something special to win. She produced a wedge shot to nine feet and holed the birdie putt to break the deadlock. A par on the 72nd assured her of the title.
Shon turned up for The Sally having won three tournaments in two and half years of college golf. She also possesses three AJGA wins. Needless to say she was one of the favourites heading into the championship.
Rounds of 67, 69, 74 and 69 gave her a 9-under-par total of 279. Alex Stewart was third behind Aubert, three shots off the pace.
Shon climbs 52 places on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking to 44th. Aubert moves 13 places to 59th, while Stewart improves five spots to 22nd.
Su-Hyun Oh solidified her world number five status with a runaway victory in the Lake Macquarie Amateur Championship in Australia. The reigning Australian Girls Amateur Champion won the prestigious title by 13 shots over Ellen Davies-Graham and Hannah Green.
Davies-Graham improves 20 places this week to 116th, while Green climbs 80 spots to world number 120.
Dottie Ardina of the Philippines won the Philippine Amateur Open and improves three places this week to 27th in the world.