AUSTRALIA’S elite senior amateur golfers will face a tough challenge from top international players when the 2010 Australian Men’s Senior Amateur Championship gets underway from Wednesday April 28 at the Royal Canberra Golf Club.
Leading the international challenge is the tournament’s defending champion, New Zealand’s Rodney Barltrop, who will be itching to claim the Kerry Packer Trophy for the fourth time following wins in 2004, 2005 and 2009.
The Kiwis have had it over the Australian in Trans Tasman golf in recent times with Barltrop the main offender.
But this year’s championship will see the added inclusion of two of the best senior amateur golfers from the USA, Randall King and Kemp Richardson.
Richardson, the 2001 US Senior Amateur and British Senior Amateur Champion will be aiming to win his first Australian Senior Amateur crown.
He became part of United States Golf Association history by winning the USGA Senior Amateur, a title his father, John, won in 1987. The Richardsons are believed to be the only father-son combination to win USGA titles.
Leading the local charge will be 2008 champion Stefan Albinski, one of six Australian golfers competing in the tournament to have won the title previously.
Albinski is the current Western Australian, Queensland and Tasmanian Senior Amateur champion and is ranked first on the Australian Men’s Senior Rankings. He also won the Australian Men’s Senior Match Play Championship in Victoria last year.
The other former Australian champions in the 130 strong field are Denis Dale (2006, 2007), Rick Oliver (2007), Bill Banks (2001), Tony Gresham (1998, 1999, 2000) and Owen Beldham (2002).
Royal Canberra Golf Club last hosted the championship in 1987.
The event is contested over 54-holes of stroke play and players must be 55 years and over to be eligible.