Lukas Michel of Australia became the first international golfer to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Michel, 25, outlasted Joseph Deraney, 38, of Tupelo, Mississippi, 2 & 1 at the 7,561-yard Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado on Thursday.
Michel was the fourth foreign-born player to reach the final of this event but he became the first to break through with a victory in the 38th edition of the tournament.
He’s the third Australian to reach a USGA final in 2019 and the second to win one, joining U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Gabriela Ruffels and U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up Sue Wooster.
“Being the first international to win, I mean, it’s a massive thing,” said Michel. “Being the first of anything to win something is always great, a great feeling.
“ sounds unbelievable. It sounds almost too good to be true. Yeah, I guess it will sink in in the coming hours or days. But, yeah, I mean, I’m looking forward to what comes with it in the future for my golf.”
Deraney is a stay-at-home dad who went to Mississippi State. He was 3 up through 23 holes but that’s when Michel went on a tear, making birdies on five of the next 10 holes to take a 1 up lead. He birdied the 34th hole to go 2 up and then he closed it out when both golfers parred the 35th hole.
“Over 36 holes when a guy doesn’t miss a putt inside 10 feet, eventually it was tough to beat him, right?” said Deraney. “He might have missed one putt inside 10 feet He played great and putted probably the best I’ve ever seen over the course of, what, 35 holes?”
Michel’s victory means he will receive an exemptions into the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club, the next two U.S. Amateur Championships and a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
He entered the Mid-Am ranked 281st in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Michel won with William Davenport of Palm City, Florida as his caddie. Davenport lost in the Round of 64 to Stewart Hagestad, and then took over caddie duties for Michel.