Avani shoots day’s best card of 68, placed in T-10 at Australian Master of Amateurs

Melbourne, Australia, Jan 5: Avani Prashanth has started the new year in style as she moved into the Top-10 at the  Australian Master of the Amateurs. Avani compiled a fine third round of 5-under 68, the day’s joint best score. Starting on the back nine she found four birdies and added a fifth before dropping the day’s lone bogey on Par-5 seventh, but made up with a birdie on eighth for 5-under 68.

At 3-over 222, Avani is lying tied eighth as Yuna Araki of Japan (67-74-68) led the field at 10-under 209. Taiwan’s Hsin Chun Liao (70-72-72) at 5-under was second.

Avani began the week with a disappointing 79 and followed that up with a 75 at the challenging Southern Golf Club, one of the finest courses on Melbourne’s famous sandbelt.

The other Indian woman golfer in the field, Nishna Patel (82-77-75) missed the cut, as only Top-25 and ties from women’s section qualified for the final round.

In the men’s section, both Shaurya Bhattacharya (75-74-71) and Aryan Roopa Anand (77-81-74) missed the cut which for the boys was for Top-45 and ties. Shaurya missed the third round cut it by one.

Interestingly Avani will play the final round with an Indian-origin golfer, Shyla Singh, who is Australian by nationality. The 16-year-old Shyla, a promising talent from Gold Coast, has had rounds of 76-72-74.

Avani, who recently won the final leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour, while being an amateur last month, has also won the All India Ladies and All India Junior titles in December. So, she is coming into the week with three wins on the trot.

Avani is currently ranked 104th in the World Amateur Golf rankings. She is looking at getting into the Top-100.

The Australian Master of the Amateurs is a 72-hole medal play Championship and has of late become one of the elite championships in amateur golf. Like The Masters, the champion receives a Green Jacket. Contestants participate in the first round of the championship with professional golfers in a unique Am-Pro Invitational.

The Master of the Amateurs winner gets an invitation to the Porter Cup in the U.S.

The Indian Golf Union has also sent a four-member team for the Australian Master of Amateurs and a five-member team for the Australian Amateurs to be held next week at New South Wales Golf Club and St Michael’s Golf Club outside Sydney from Jan 10-13. The five players for Australian Amateurs will be Avani Prashanth and four boys, Aryan Roopa Anand, Shaurya Bhattacharya, Yuvraj Singh and Milind Soni.


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