Canberra's world champ has sights set on Federal
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Canberra's world champ has sights set on Federal

Canberra young gun Adam Thorp sees his scholarship with USA college Arkansas State University as a massive stepping stone to help launch his golf career.

But first, the junior world champion's sights are set on winning his home tournament, the Federal Amateur Open, which tees off in Canberra on Friday.

Canberra young gun Adam Thorp has his sights set on winning the Federal Amateur Open before he moves to the USA for university.

Canberra young gun Adam Thorp has his sights set on winning the Federal Amateur Open before he moves to the USA for university.Credit:Lawrence Atkin

Thorp wants to add the Federal Amateur to the Junior World Championships title he claimed at the famous Torrey Pines course in California in July.

He's going in in good form having shot a final-round 64 to win the Belconnen club championship by 11 shots recently.

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With about 13 college's trying to sign Thorp, he said it would be an important step in his career.

"Massive. It will be huge to test my game against all the best college players and just a big stepping stone for me," Thorp told Fairfax Media.

"Go over there in August, looking forward to that. I was umming and ahhing whether I was going to go over for a lot of the time.

"After I made my first trip to America, just saw the environment and how competitive it was, just the whole thing appealed to me.

"It was really tough to make a decision. There was 12 other colleges I was talking to at one stage. I don't know, I just thought they were the best fit for me."

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The 18-year-old Federal member has been drawn to play alongside Queensland's Charlie Dann and Kiwi Matthew McLean for the opening two rounds on Friday and Saturday.

He's hoping to set himself up to be in the running going into the final two rounds on Sunday.

Thorp felt playing on his home course would give him a big advantage on the rest of the field.

"I can't wait. It's been book marked in the calendar for a long time. It will be great fun," he said.

"I've got a couple of mates who are going to caddie for me over the weekend as well so that will be good to relax me.

"The goal is definitely to win. Hopefully get myself into contention come the final day and just go from there really."

Following the Federal, Thorp will go to the USA for a couple of tournaments in December, including the South Beach International Amateur - one of the best five amateur tournaments in the world.

Then there's the Australian Amateur Championships in Melbourne in mid January, plus the NSW Amateur and the Armidale Medal.

He also planned to play in the Australian Open qualifying next week.

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"That's a very sour point. I was planning on doing it and then somehow it skipped my mind and I went to register and it was two days after the thing had closed," Thorp said with a wry smile.

It could be a blessing in disguise, at least from an academic point of view, with the small matter of year 12 exams coming up for the Radford College student.

Although he admits study has taken a bit of a back foot in the lead-up to the Federal.

"I'd have to say there's a lot more golf than study at the moment. I'll definitely get into it just before exams start," he said.

It's a field of 70 for the men and 33 for the women, including players from New Zealand, Switzerland and Japan.

Meanwhile, fellow Canberran Matthew Millar has started the NSW Open in fine form shooting an opening round 67 to be five-under and just one shot off the lead at Twin Creeks on Thursday.

West Australian Jarryd Felton and Victoria's Cameron John head the field at six-under.

FEDERAL AMATEUR OPEN

Friday: First group tees off at 7.23am. Entry free

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.