Cameron Smith staged a dramatic turnaround at Commonwealth Golf Club near Melbourne to win the Australian Amateur Championship and move three places to 30th on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
The Queenslander was five down to Geoff Drakeford at one point but produced a brilliant comeback to win 3&2. He earns a spot in this year’s Australian Open, where he will test himself against the top Australian professionals. Drakeford climbs two spots to world number 94.
Brady Watt finished leading qualifier after rounds of 66 and 70 helped him to an 8-under-par total of 136, one shot better than Todd Sinnott. Watt lost in the first round to Anthony Houston but moves three places inside this week’s top ten to seventh.
Watt’s compatriot Viraat Badhwar also moves up this week’s WAGR table. He climbs 10 places this week to 20th to remain the world’s third best Australian amateur behind Watt and 16th ranked Oliver Goss.
Haydn Porteous takes a step closer to becoming South Africa’s best amateur following victory in the Prince's Grant Invitational at Prince’s Grant Golf Club in KwaZulu-Natal. Porteous returned rounds of 72, 72, 74 and 71 for a four-round total of 289, 1-over-par. It gave him a two shot victory over Phillip Kruse.
Porteous moves one place this week to world number 35, just eight spots behind South African number one Brandon Stone. Kruse climbs 191 spots to world number 1102.
Spain’s Jacobo Pastor is the only player this week to break into the world top 50. He climbs one place to 50th.
Three players break into this week’s top 100. All move three spots on the WAGR table. Tyler Raber of the United States moves to 98th, Canadian Justin Shin goes to 99th, while France’s Joel Stalter becomes the 100th best amateur in world golf.
Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini moves back to second on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking to continue her meteoric rise up the world order.
Dlamini ended 2011 outside the world top 100, but a stellar 2012 season has put her just one spot behind New Zealand’s Lydia Ko on the WAGR table. Last year Dlamini won the Gauteng Match Play Championship, Kwazulu-Natal Match Play Championship, Eastern Cape Match Play and Stroke Play Championships, and the North West Stroke Play Championship to move up the ranking. She has already occupied the number two position, reaching that status in June last year.
A sports science student at the University of Pretoria, Dlamini first started playing golf when she was 12.
Dlamini replaces Australia’s Minjee Lee at number two this week. Lee moves to world number three despite winning the Australian Amateur Championship.
Lee won her national title at Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne. She overcame Korea’s Jenny Lee 6&5 to earn an invitation to the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Royal Canberra Golf Club next month.
Jenny Lee climbs 301 places this week to world number 544 as a result of her runner-up finish.
Scotland’s Kelsey MacDonald jumps 20 places on this week’s WAGR table thanks to victory in the Ione D Jones-Doherty Championship at Coral Ridge Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The University of Stirling student bounced back from two down after five holes against Mika Liu to win 3&2.
MacDonald, who lost the 2009 final to 13-year-old Lexis Thomson, might not have won if not for a quick turnaround. The 22-year-old was still two down after seven holes but won five holes in a row from the eighth to turn the match around.
Nicole Morales of the Unted States is the only player to move inside this week’s top 20. She climbs 12 places to 19th.