Micha makes benchmark figure

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David Micheluzzi sparkled at the Australian Open last week.

The break-out season of David Micheluzzi has been awarded the benchmark athlete status of Golf Australia.

The Melburnian has paved the way for fame in all corners of Australia and the world, both in amateur and professional tournaments, and is en route to the top 10 amateur rankings in the world.

Micheluzzi achieved the status "Tier 1" after an excellent series of results that started with runner-up finishes at the Dunes Medal and Port Phillip Amateur titles at the end of 2017, but was in high gear when he lifted the Victorian Amateur crown.

He was fast Australian Master of the Amateurs champion in Royal Melbourne and the number two in the Australian Amateur in Lake Karrinyup.

Micheluzzi went unbeaten on number 1 in the Interstate Series and played a key role in his third title for Victoria in the past four years.

He was a quarter-finalist with the British Amateur, played with Ernie Els in the Fiji International on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and was chosen to represent his country in respectively the Asia-Pacific Amateur and Eisenhower Trophy in Singapore and Ireland, respectively.

He finished second in the West Australian Open and shortly afterwards held the Australian Open before finishing as low-amateur at The Lakes in Sydney, just weeks after winning the Golf Australia 2018 Order of Merit

"The past wave year was one of the best I have ever played and it has been really great to be able to play in big events," said Micheluzzi.

"I wanted to become a member of a national team for 5-7 years, so to get that recognition, I am very proud of that.

"I would like to thank everyone at the VIS, Golf Australia, Cranbourne and Metropolitan golf clubs and in particular my coach Marty Joyce for helping me to reach this stage of my career.

"I look forward to taking this opportunity to go to the next level next year."

The benchmark athlete status offers additional benefits for Micheluzzi on top of existing support through the Victorian Institute for Sport.

Under a series of extra benefits, he receives a stipend for travel to international tournaments, more money for coaching fees and sports science expenses and a subsidy for playing further professional events.

Brad James, general manager of Golf Australia, was absolutely delighted with the progress of Micheluzzi and his desire to continue the progress.

"Together with all the other high-performance squadrons in the state-of-the-art program around Australia, David is already receiving funding and other" home base "support," said James.

"He has had an enormous year, both in terms of learning and results, and we are delighted to see him take the next step in his career."

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