October 4, 2016: Cameron Davis is hoping to follow his individual title at the World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico two weeks ago with success in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in South Korea, where the tall Australian is part of the event’s strongest nation by ranking and form.
Davis, Curtis Luck and Harrison Endycott – currently Nos. 6, 2 and 13 respectively in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) – won the Eisenhower Trophy by a staggering 19 strokes and this week the trio head Australia’s six-man team at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon.
Anthony Quayle, Travis Smyth and Brett Coletta – 60, 63 and 69 in the WAGR – are also representing Australia.
Davis, 21, finished joint runner-up behind Jin Cheng of China last year and the soft-spoken Sydneysider believes he or one of his teammates could go one better this week.
“I guess all of us are in pretty good form at the moment and there’s a very good chance of at least one of us finishing high up on the leaderboard,” said Davis, who shot 67, 66 and two weekend 68s in Mexico to finish 17-under-par, two ahead of Luck, the reigning US Amateur champion.
“I think the reason I performed so well in Mexico was because it was a team event and every day you’re just trying to have a really good round for the team.
“You don’t really think of it as a four-round individual tournament as much as a chance to help your team. I think that’s why I played some really good golf over that week and I’m trying to take that into this week, too.”
Davis is among four of the top five finishers at last year’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship to return for this year’s edition in Korea but dismissed any talk of ‘unfinished business’ despite last year’s final round being called off due to weather conditions.
“I was disappointed not to have the chance to finish as I didn’t end my third round thinking it was going to be my final round. It would have been nice to have had that fourth round as I was playing very well but there was no way they were going to play,” said Davis, who carded rounds of 69, 64 and 67 at The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club.
“It was nice to be close last year but obviously this is going to be a completely different tournament. It’s not like I’m automatically starting from that same position I was in last year. I still have to play a lot of good rounds in a row to be at the top again.”
Davis and his five compatriots are bidding to become the second Australian champion in three years, following Antonio Murdaca’s success at Royal Melbourne in 2014, while the chance to play in the Masters Tournament and The Open Qualifying Series is an extra incentive.
“Everyone’s playing for one of the biggest prizes in amateur golf, so they’re all going to be giving it everything,” said Davis, who again praised the underlying team aspect of the championship.
“It’s more enjoyable being able to spend the week with a lot of friendly faces so I’m hoping it works out again and that everyone plays well because it would be nice to see a lot of Australians at the top of the leaderboard.”