Zach Murray wins in US, now for world's best

ZACH Murray is into the round of 32 at the US Junior Amateur and on a collision course with another of the rising star’s of world golf.

Zach Murray practising on the Woodlands Course ahead of the US Junior in Texas this week.

Zach Murray practising on the Woodlands Course ahead of the US Junior in Texas this week.

Last night the 17-year-old won his first round of matchplay against Southern Carolina’s Bryson Nimmer, already a winner this year of the US Golf Association amateur tour.

Tonight Murray takes on Philip Barbaree, who was among the USGA’s All American junior list last year in the first of two matches.

If the Wodonga Catholic College student wins in the morning he will most likely take on English born and now US-based second seed Sam Horsfield in the round of 16 early tomorrow morning.

Last night Murray survived a spirited fightback against Nimmer on the Jack Nicklaus designed layout at The Woodlands, Texas.

Three-up early Murray’s lead was cut to 1 with six holes to play but wins at the 14th and 16th hole finished the contest 3&2 to the Australian.

Murray qualified for the matchplay after a 1-under, T18 finish in the 36-hole stroke play title that had him well inside the matchplay rounds top-64.

Barbaree finished T50 at four over in the stroke event but Horsfield finished at 6-under and in second place.

Horsfield enjoys a close relationship with Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter and the World no.28 has talked up his talents. 

Horsfield began this season with victory in the New Year’s Invitational. The win saw him move to sixth on the US rankings.

Murray begins his round of 32 match at about 11.30pm tonight.

Fellow Australian team-mate Curtis Luck also advanced to the next round but Ryan Ruffels was well beaten by Norway’s Andreas Halvorsen.