Golf Australia

Micheluzzi out in British semis

David Micheluzzi
David Micheluzzi with some support at Portmarnock in the British Amateur semi-final today. Image: Getty


David Micheluzzi’s run in the British Amateur was halted in the semi-finals overnight.

The Australian lost his semi-final against Irishman James Sugrue at Portmarnock links 3 and 1 when he lost the 17th hole, the Irishman saying the partisan crowds were “like a Gaelic football match”.

Sugrue, 22, faces Scotland’s Euan Walker in today’s 36-hole final of the 124th amateur championship. Walker defeated England’s Benjamin Jones in the other semi-final.

The winner secures exemptions into The Open at Royal Portrush next month, the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot and, by tradition, an invitation to play in the Masters Tournament.

Sugrue, who is 231st on the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, is bidding to become the first Irish winner since Alan Dunbar in 2012, while Walker is seeking to emulate the last Scottish victor, Bradley Neil, who won at Royal Portrush in 2014.

Micheluzzi, the top-ranked amateur player in the field, reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 British Amateur.

Originally from Cranbourne Golf Club, he is ranked No. 7 in the world and has been as high as No. 5, having won a Master of the Amateurs and Victorian Amateur title as well as finishing tied-fifth in the 2018 Emirates Australian Open.

At 22, he has delayed turning professional so that he can play the big amateur events with their xxx this year.

Today, Micheluzzi failed to get up and down for par at both the 10th and the 11th to hand the Irishman a three-hole lead. Sugrue conceded the 13th after a poor tee shot but he kept his nerve to seal a 3&1 win after Micheluzzi twice found trouble.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Sugrue. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. To think if I win tomorrow I’ll be playing in major championships like The Open is incredible. I’m really, really delighted. I know I have 36 holes tomorrow but it’s hard not to think about things when you have a massive, massive prize at the end. But I’m going to try and keep my cool and play it hole by hole tomorrow.

“It wasn’t easy in front of the crowds as you do feel the expectation but I putted really well today. It was a good match against David, he is a class player and has a bright future ahead of him. Being three down after four to play in the last-32 against Christoffer Palsson, it’s brilliant to now be in the final. I wouldn’t like to say David gave me a couple of holes but he had a couple of bogeys that helped me.”

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