14 Jan 2016
In the foosteps of Jason Day, Wagga Wagga’s Charles Pilon is the men’s Australian Amateur Championship medallist.
Pilon, 17, fired an even-par 72 at tough Kingswood yesterday morning, then watched the six-under-par 66 he shot at Metropolitan stand up in a delayed round marred by wild weather.
Overnight leader Kevin Yuan, among those caught in the delay, returned this morning and faltered with four bogeys in his closing six holes to slide to three under a day after his amateur course record 64 at nearby Metropolitan.
Pilon, who like world No.2 before him, attends the Hills International School in Queensland. He has qualified for his second straight matchplay phase of the #AusAm after finishing 12th in strokeplay last year.
He will take the No.1 seed into the matchplay, with his opponent Haydn Barron after the big West Australian was one of four men through a cliffhanger 15-man playoff.
Pilon was thrilled with the “awesome” result.
“It’s a great confidence booster going into matchplay. I went out at Kingswood yesterday and just tried to get it around in square and I did exactly that,” the Golf Queensland state team member said.
“I’m very happy … it’s very good for my world rankings and give me a bit more status (towards future tournaments). That’s another really big advantage of the result.”
The affable Pilon said he was fortunate to have played in the calmer part of Wednesday’s wild weather and finish his round before play was suspended.
“It was good to get that off in the morning before the wind and heat of the afternoon – it definitely helped me a lot. It picked up the last couple of holes, so I can sympathise with the afternoon guys.”
The round of the day belonged to emerging Queenslander Anthony Quayle, whose 67 at Metropolitan franked the form he showed at last weeks’ Master of the Amateurs without any tangible success.
“That’s been coming, for sure,” Quayle said.
“I feel last week at Royal Melbourne I was pretty close and the scores didn’t reflect how I played.
Then I played solid in the first round (at Kingswood) and couldn’t quite get it done, so it was nice today to have a few under and have a score that reflects how I’m playing.”
Quayle, who won the Pacific Northwest Amateur last year in Oregon, likes his chances in the matchplay, too.
“I’m a very confident match player. The tournament I won in the US last year was a top 64 matchplay event against a pretty strong field, too, so I feel like I can do it again,” he said.
“I like matchplay – I feel like I’ve got a pretty good game plan going into it and a good mindset of how I need to approach it and get on top of my opponent, so … if I believe I can win every match, there’s no reason I can’t get it done.”
Remarkably, a 15-way tie for the 61st-64th slots into the matchplay was resolved in just one hole when Victorians David Micheluzzi and Blake Collyer, Perth’s Barron and young Queenslander Lochie Coleborn who were the only players to make par on the tough par-four 10th hole.
A four-way women’s playoff for three berths took two holes to resolve with Queenslander Lauren Mason eliminated with a bogey on the par-three 11th.
New Zealand’s Alanna Campbell made a par to advance after both made bogeys on the 10th, with birdie and par good enough on that hole for Hannele Mikkola, of Finland, and Victorian Lisa Teo, respectively.
For everything Australian Amateur, visit www.golf.org.au/australian-amateur.