The respective trophies at Victoria Golf Club – Master of the Amateurs

Elite amateur golf for 2020 gets underway next week when the Australian Master of the Amateurs is played at the Victoria Golf Club on Melbourne’s sandbelt, the event being played for the first time in several years away from its long-standing home of Royal Melbourne where it has been played over the last eight years.

The Victoria Golf Club loses little in comparison to its great neighbour however, having long been considered one of the leading golf courses of the famed sandbelt, if not Australia.

First played in 1997, the Master of the Amateurs boasts an honour roll including Jason Day, Brendan Jones and more recently, Aaron Wise, all of whom have gone on to successful professional careers, Day in particular.

Former Australian PGA Champion, Nathan Holman, is also included on the winner’s list as is 2019 New Zealand Open Champion Zach Murray.

Other leading figures of the current game such as Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau, Tommy Fleetwood, Russell Henley and Andy Sullivan have also played the event prior to joining the paid ranks.

This year’s field has attracted three players from the world top ten in the male amateur rankings namely, University of Florida standout, Ricky Castillo, 2018 Australian Amateur Champion, Keita Nakajima, and England’s, Benjamin Schmidt.

The leading world ranked Australian amateur in the field is Nathan Barbieri who finished runner-up at last year’s Australian Amateur Championship.

Two years ago the event introduced a female version of the Master of the Amateurs to be played alongside the men’s event and in 2020 Tsubasa Kajitani (number 1 in Japan), US based New Zealander Amelia Garvey (Number 1 in New Zealand), Alyaa Abdulghany (number 1 in Malaysia) and Doey Choi (number 2 in Australia) will be amongst the contenders.

The inaugural women’s champion in 2018 was won by Yuka Yasuda who also won last year’s Asia Pacific Amateur Championship and is now considered a future star of women’s golf.

The event is played from Jan 7th to 10th.

Below the par 3 16th at the Victoria Golf Club – photo Bruce Young