That, however, could change this weekend as Australians Antonio Murdaca and Todd Sinnott sit atop the AAC leader board after 36 holes at Royal Melbourne. A 69-68 start from the 19-year-old Murdaca leaves him a stroke ahead of Sinnott, 22, who claimed the first-round lead with an opening 67. Four other Australians -- Ryan Ruffels, Cory Crawford, Jarryd Felton and Geoff Drakeford -- are also within six strokes of the lead.
Betting on an Aussie to pull out the title makes sense given the home-course edge they have playing at Royal Melbourne, the first time the course or country has hosted the championship. That's particularly the case for Sinnott, who is from the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown and has played Royal Melbourne at least 30 times, including the last four years in competition at the Master of the Amateurs event that the course hosts.
The Australian locale makes it convenient for American golf fans to follow the action, with the third and fourth rounds being shown live on ESPNNews from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. EDT Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.
And why should you put in the time for the late-night viewing? The winner is likely somebody you'll see playing over the weekend this coming April at Augusta National. Three of the last five winners of the AAC have made the cut in the Masters the following year. By comparison in that same time frame, no winner of the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Public Links or U.S. Mid-Amateur has made the cut in the same time period.