Golf Australia

Micha makes benchmark grade

David Micheluzzi
David Micheluzzi shone at the Australian Open last week.

David Micheluzzi's breakout season has been rewarded with Golf Australia benchmark athlete status.

The Melburnian has played his way to prominence in all corners of Australia and the globe, both in amateur and professional tournaments, moving his way into the top 10 of the world amateur rankings en route.

Micheluzzi has achieved "Tier 1" status after a superb series of results that began with runner-up finishes at the Dunes Medal and Port Phillip Amateur titles late in 2017, but hit top gear when he lifted the Victorian Amateur crown.

He was soon Australian Master of the Amateurs champion at Royal Melbourne and runner-up in the Australian Amateur at Lake Karrinyup.

Micheluzzi went undefeated playing at No.1 during the Interstate Series, playing a key role in his third title for Victoria in past four years.

He was a quarter-finalist at the British Amateur, played with Ernie Els in the Fiji International on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and was chosen to represent his country at both the Asia-Pacific Amateur and Eisenhower Trophy in Singapore and Ireland, respectively.

Having finished second in the West Australian Open, he then briefly led the Australian Open before finishing as low amateur at The Lakes in Sydney just weeks after winning the Golf Australia 2018 Order of Merit.

"This past year of golf has been some of the best I've ever played and being able to play in big events has been really awesome," Micheluzzi said.

"I've wanted to become what was then a national squad member for 5-6 years, so to get that recognition now is something I'm very proud of.

"I'd like to thank all at the VIS, Golf Australia, Cranbourne and Metropolitan golf clubs and particularly my coach Marty Joyce for helping me reach this stage of my career.

"I look forward to using this opportunity to take it to the next level next year."

The benchmark athlete status enables extra benefits for Micheluzzi over and above existing support through the Victorian Institute of Sport.

Among a range of additional benefits, he will get a stipend for travel to international tournaments, more funding towards coaching fees and sports science expenses and a subsidy towards playing further professional events.

Golf Australia high performance general manager Brad James was absolutely delighted with Micheluzzi's progress and his desire to continue the progress.

"Along with all other high performance squad members in the state programs around Australia, David already receives funding and other `home-base' support," James said.

"He has had a massive year both in terms of learning and results and we are excited to see him take the next step in his career."

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