CHARLESTOWN gun Blake Windred has made a strong start to what looms as his final year as an amateur, finishing third in a world-class field at Royal Melbourne on Friday.
Windred fired rounds of 70,73,70,70 to finish at five under in the Master Of Amateurs – a world ranking event.
The 21-year-old was a shot behind Japanese teenager Keita Nakajima (66,74,70,72) and Chinese Tapei’s Chun-An Yu (73,69,73,67).
Yu sank a birdie putt on the third play-off hole to win the title.
Windred, who is ranked 31st in the world, was the leading Australian and finished ahead of world No.1 Justin Suh and world No.4 Matthew Wolff.
An Australia representative, Windred won a third straight WE Alexander at Waratah before Christmas and had set the target of a top-10 finish.
His third place is his best in an Australian amateur event and follows a solid 2018 in which he finished tied for seventh at the European Amateur and equal second in the Porter Cup in the US. Next for the 2018 NSW player of the year is the Australian Amateur Championships starting in Melbourne on Tuesday.