15 Jan 2020 | National Championships |
#AusAm: Lautee secures no.1 seed
by Martin Blake
Andre Lautee has won his first national stroke play medal, and the Victorian will take the top seed into the matchplay section of the Australian Amateur Championship in Brisbane tomorrow.
Lautee, 20, who plays out of Kingston Heath and is a Victorian Institute of Sport qualifier, scarcely came from the clouds.
He has won the past two Victorian Amateur Championships, the most recent just a few weeks ago, making him a matchplay specialist and one of the favourites coming into this week.
Lautee was dominant on the second day of medal play, picking off a six-under-par 66 at Royal Queensland to reach overall eight-under-par and win the Australian Stroke Play Championship by a single shot.
He birdied the first three holes consecutively to pick up momentum, went out in 31 and had just one bogey, at the par-four 14th hole. He’d shot a 68 at Brisbane Golf Club on Tuesday.
New Zealander Jimmy Zheng, who also carded a 66 today at Brisbane Golf Club, and Germany’s Marc Hammer tied for second at seven-under par. Queensland state team member Lawry Flynn finished five-under and on the next line along with another state team star, Lewis Hoath, the reigning Queensland Amateur champion, who shot 65.
German duo Laurenz Schiergen and Nick Bachem also finished at five under.
The Swinburne University student Lautee, who was part of the winning Victorian team at last year’s Interstate Championships, found the conditions to his liking. “I enjoyed both the courses,’’ he said.
“Royal (Queensland) today, it wasn’t very windy this morning, so it was quite gettable. Once the wind picked up and the rain hit it got a bit tricky. It’s a strategist’s course. You have to plot your way around the course, and I think I did it pretty well today.’’
Zheng’s 66 at Brisbane today was capped off by birdies at both the 17th and 18th holes, and the New Zealand Youth Olympics representative thanked his short game. “My putting came through in the end,” he said.
The top 64 players will progress to the matchplay phase, beginning on Thursday, with a potential six rounds still to play and the pressure set to rise. As for Lautee, he can’t wait.
“Looking forward to it,’’ he said. “I love matchplay. It’s good fun. Slightly different to strokeplay. Hopefully I get off to a good start.”
60 players have secured their spot in the matchplay event, with seven players vying for the final four spots to be decided tomorrow morning at 6.30am at Royal Queensland.
Join our newsletter
Get weekly updates on news, golf tips and access to partner promotions.