04 Mar 2021 | Amateur golf |

Lautee chases Riversdale redemption

by Dane Heverin

Melbourne pair Trinity Francis and Imogen Jones practise at Riversdale GC this week.
Melbourne pair Trinity Francis and Imogen Jones practise at Riversdale GC this week.

By Dane Heverin

Memories of last year’s near miss have motivated Andre Lautee during practice for this week’s Riversdale Cup.

Lautee topped the Riversdale leaderboard on the Saturday night of last year’s tournament, but finished one shot behind the playoff group after a final-round 71.

The 21-year-old tees it up again at Riversdale Golf Club this week, determined to win the title.

“I definitely want to go one better and try to win it this year,” he said.

This year will be Lautee’s sixth start at the Riversdale Cup and he is confident that his experience will hold him in good stead.

“I’ve always loved the course and there’s something about it that’s always suited me.

“I’m quite used to the greens and their speed. I feel quite comfortable there.”

His form line is good.

He finished fourth in January’s Australian Master of the Amateurs and put in good showings at the TPS Victoria event and the Australian Men’s Amateur Championship in recent weeks.

But he will face tough competition this week with Lawrence Curtis and Lukas Michel among the 105-strong male field.

Curtis is the defending champion and has finished in the top 20 at every event he has played since lifting the Riversdale trophy.

And Michel played in both the US Masters and US Open last year and won the Australian Master of the Amateurs.

On the women’s side, teen sensation and defending champion Jeneath Wong headlines the field of 24.

“This is going to be exciting and I cannot wait to begin,” Wong said.

Her six-shot triumph at Riversdale last year was her first win in an all ages amateur event and she recently finished seventh at the TPS Victoria event.

But she is not getting ahead of herself.

“I’m extremely grateful and excited to not only be returning to compete for the Riversdale Cup, but also being able to be back playing golf after being locked down for almost a year in 2020,” she said.

The greens and fairways are in “immaculate condition,” said Christian Tanner, General Manager of Riversdale Golf Club.

The grass has grown well during multiple lockdowns over the past 12 months, but this means the rough is also very thick in some parts, he said.

“Back left rough on the 18th where the players try to take on the green is very thick, so it’ll be a tough shot out of there.”

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