Adam Scott headlines the field at Huntingdale but you should also be watching some of golf’s future stars.
Adam Scott, former world #1 golfer and 2013 US Masters champion clearly headlines this week’s UNIQLO Australian Masters at Huntingdale this week and you’d be silly not to get out and watch him if you can. Scott looks like he his shifting into top gear again and all going well, I can see Scotty taking a shot towards another major in 2016.
But there are plenty of other reasons to follow the golf this week – either by grabbing yourself a ticket, or watching on Channel 7 – not least the array of future stars who are teeing up at Huntingdale tomorrow. Seriously, without wanting to put undue pressure or expectations on these young guns, but few golf pundits will disagree with me when I say at least a few of them will make their mark on the world stage some day soon. Perhaps all of them.
In addition to last week’s NSW Open winner Ben Eccles, WA Open runner-up Curtis Luck and Web.com player Oliver Goss who are in the field at Huntingdale this week, here are four more young-guns you need to be aware of before the action tees off tomorrow.
Cameron Smith (Qld)
The world took notice of 22-year-old Cameron Smith (pictured above) at the US Open this year. The young Queenslander turned in a mighty performance around the demanding Chambers Bay layout to finish in a tie for fourth in his first ever major championship. A top-25 at the US PGA Championship showed it wasn’t a one-off performance on the big stage and his first professional win can’t be far away. Not surprisingly, Smith is one of the favourites this week at Huntingdale. Who is Cameron Smith?
Bryson DeChambeau (US)
Bryson DeChambeau is the fifth ranked amateur in the world and is easy to spot on the golf course. He’s usually wearing the Ben Hogan/Payne Stewart style flat cap, and if you look closely you may notice that his irons are all the same length. He’s got a serious golf game going for him too. DeChambeau became only the fifth player to win the US Amateur and NCAA individual title in the same year. The others? Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore.
Here is DeChambeau talking about his clubs and his decision to go with irons all the same length.
Ryan Ruffels (VIC)
Ryan Ruffels is Australia’s highest ranked amateur golfer (7th) and was cruelly deprived the chance to earn a spot in next year’s US Masters when the final round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship after was cancelled due to bad weather. He finished one shot behind the eventual winner and a place at Augusta National disappeared. For now.
Ruffels is the son of former Australian tennis player Ray Ruffels and not only has a top-class golf game, but the demeanour to match. Just a poor opening round kept Ruffels out of the Sunday action at last year’s Australian Masters eventually finishing just six behind winner Nick Cullen. Ruffels will no doubt turn professional soon, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the 17-year-old win one of these big Australian tournaments in the next month.
Lucas Herbert (VIC)
Lucas Herbert has just turned professional and he was one of the great stories from last year’s Australian Masters. The Victorian fired a course record 7-under 65 in the third round at Metropolitan Golf Club last year to storm into contention and finished just four shots behind Cullen. Herbert also had a good Asia Pacific Amateur Championship and could threaten again this week.