YARRAWONGA’s teenage golf sensation Frazer Droop will play in Australia’s most prestigious amateur event after a stunning win in qualifying last week.
The Sacred Heart College student, 16, carded a five-under 67 on Royal Melbourne’s west course — the No. 1 ranked layout in the nation — to take top spot in the qualifying round for the Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship.
It was four shots clear of the field and five shots better than the winner of this year’s Australian junior amateur title, Anthony Murdacca.
Droop, along with the second and third placegetters, will now tackle the best amateurs in the world again at Royal Melbourne in January.
The Master of the Amateurs Championship is the only category A event in Australia — limited to a field of 54 over four days — and will include China’s Tianlang Guan, who was the youngest person to have teed up in the US Masters when he tackled Augusta in April.
Already the top amateurs from around the globe have nominated for the world ranking event, including the Walker Cup teams from the US and Europe.
Droop’s father Evan believes strength and conditioning work along with natural growth had taken his son’s game to a new level in the past six months.
“He reached all the par fives at Royal Melbourne in two and that really set up his round,” he said.
“Increasingly we are finding that the tougher the greens, the harder and faster they are, the better he plays.
“But Frazer is now hitting it longer and still has that touch and feel around the greens.
“This is the No. 1 event for amateurs in Australia and attracts the top 50 amateurs in the world, with world ranking points — it is a major event.”
Droop senior, one of Yarrawonga’s golf professionals, said there would be no set plan for his son in the lead-up to January.
“Frazer has a lot of golf in front of him in the next four or five months and we will just let him evolve naturally rather than target this event,” he said.
“We will just manage all that — practice smart rather than hit a million golf balls and see how his body copes.”
The Australian Master of the Amateurs is the only category A event in Australia, and is ranked by the R&A as the highest ranked amateur championship in Australia.
It will be held at Royal Melbourne from January 7.