Alyaa Abdulghany – photo Anthony Powter
The Australian Master of the Amateurs Championships were completed Friday at the Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne with America’s Sahith Theegala wining the men’s championship and Malaysian Alyaa Abdulghany the women’s event.
Both players attend college in the US, Theegala at Pepperdine University and Abdulghany at the University of Southern California.
Theegala was one of the leading world-ranked amateurs in this week’s field and despite a final round of 75, which included a horror start to his day, he was able to regain control and win comfortably by four shots.
Beginning the final day four shots ahead, Theegala birdied the short par four first but then, almost inexplicably, dropped seven shots over the next six holes before taking advantage of the consecutive par fives which finish the opening nine the Victoria Golf Club with an eagle and birdie.
Theegala has been a star performer on the Pepperdine team despite sitting out most of the 2018 and 2019 season with wrist injury but he has been in good form in recent weeks winning an event on the collegiate programme just a few weeks ago.
Theegala is a player good enough to have made the cut in an event on the PGA Tour, the Genesis Open.
Sahith Theegala – photo Anthony Powter
Korea’s Jang Hyun Lee finished runner-up just ahead of South Australian, Jack Thompson, who was unable to repeat yesterdays heroics in which he recorded a third round of 64.
The women’s event provided a much closer contest with Abdulghany winning after a playoff against Queenslander Cassie Porter and Chinese Taipei’s Ho Yu An.
Porter led into today’s final round after a round of 62 on Thursday but was unable to finish the tournament off, bogeys at two of her final three holes for a round of 75 proving very costly after Abdulghany took the playoff at the first extra hole.
Abdulghany had birdied the final hole of regulation play while An birdied the 17th and 18th to force her way into the playoff.
Malaysian born but raised in California, Abdulghany, who is in her third season at USC, birdied the first extra hole to take the title.