In a first for the Australian Amateur and Australian Junior championships, 2022 will see players competing for prizemoney. This move takes advantage of changes to the Rules of Amateur Status that were announced recently by golf’s governing bodies, the R&A and USGA.
The male and female champions for both events will each receive $1,350, which is a bonus to their current exemption into the men’s and women’s Australian Opens.
Runners up will receive $1,000 and third place-getters $750. For the Australian Amateur, positions down to eighth place will receive prizemoney, and for the Australian Junior prizemoney will be paid to those in the top five.
The prizemoney component will ensure the events have even greater alignment with professional tournaments and will enable players the experience of playing under increased pressure.
Brad James, Golf Australia’s general manager of high performance, said, “for players to experience the real pressure of needing to sink that six-foot putt which may make a difference of $350, will be a further boost for their ongoing development”.
“We want our events to demonstrate a strong flavour of what players will experience when they make the move into professional golf, and this is a great step in that direction,” James said.
Kirsten Rudgeley, Australia’s highest-ranked amateur golfer and Order of Merit winner said: “I’m excited for this year’s Australian Amateur to replicate some of the pressures professional golfers face each week. Dealing with the added pressure that comes from needing to make a birdie or make a par at the last to secure the prizemoney is an important step in my development.”
The new rule to allow prize money in amateur golf competitions comes with the following restrictions:
- Prizemoney may only be awarded to amateurs in ‘scratch competitions’. (For the purposes of the Rules of Amateur Status, a scratch competition is a competition that does not have a net score element in any part of the competition and handicaps must not be used to separate players into different scratch categories. Any competition that is not a scratch competition is considered by the Rules of Amateur Status to be a handicap competition. Note: in a scratch competition, handicaps may be used to limit who is eligible to enter, such as allowing entry only to players with a GA Handicap of 5.0 or better.)
- $1,350 is the limit for the total value of prizes accepted by an individual in a single competition (or in multiple competitions being conducted at the same time, e.g. long-drive, nearest-the-pin, team event, etc).
CLICK HERE for information on all of the new amateur status rules.