Armstrong puts dicky knee behind him

It took 30 minutes, a green whistle and a few gentle taps from the paramedics to get Josh Armstrong’s kneecap back in place after an exam-week cricket game went wrong.
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Now the Canberra golfer is back playing as he prepares for January – the big month on the n golf calendar for amateurs.

While his expectations will be low, that doesn’t mean the Gold Creek member won’t be having a crack in the n Master of the Amateurs at Royal Melbourne (January 9-12), the n Amateur Championships at Lake Karrinyup in Perth (January 16-21) and then the NSW Amateur Championships at Royal Canberra and Gungahlin Lakes (January 29-February 2).

But he’ll skip defending his Avondale Amateur title, which will be held in between the Aussie and NSW amateurs.

The 18-year-old is just happy to be back out on the golf course – less than six weeks after he dislocated his knee.

He was batting in the annual staff v students cricket game during exams at Burgmann College when he twisted awkwardly and out popped his knee.

The doctors gave Armstrong the all clear to return to golf last week as the amateur summer starts to heat up.

“It was out for a good 20-30 minutes before the ambulance came and put me on the green whistle and straightened the leg out and started tapping it and back it went,” Armstrong said.

“It was such a good feeling when it went back into place. I’m back swinging and playing again, which is good.

“I got clearance on Monday [December 18] that I could start swinging. Played on Wednesday and it felt good, no pain, so it was really good. I’ll be alright for the events in January.

“The expectation level will be pretty low. Obviously I’ll be there to compete, but the Master of the Amateurs especially will be just enjoying being back playing tournament golf more than anything.”

His injury lay off meant he missed out on the chance to play in the n Open along with Jason Day, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth.

As ‘s top junior amateur he would’ve been in the mix to get an exemption into the $1.25 million event.

But the laid-back Canberran wasn’t too concerned, given he’ll have “plenty of other chances” over the course of his career.

“The NSW Open I wasn’t going to be able to play due to exams at school, but the Aussie Open I wasn’t locked into the field,” Armstrong said.

“There was half a chance that I might’ve got a spot, but it’s not the end of the world. There’s plenty of other chances to play in pro events. It’s still just getting experience where I can to get myself to [the point of] playing professional golf myself.”

It’s been a big year for Armstrong, who not only won the Avondale, but also played in the inaugural Junior Presidents Cup.

He’s unsure when he’ll turn pro, but has committed to remaining an amateur until the end of next year.

The 18-year-old might go to the n Qualifying school at the end of next year – or he could have a crack at one of the Q-schools in Europe, Asia or the USA.

“It was a pretty solid year. I’m happy with what I’ve done, but there’s still more to be achieved, not so much before I turn pro, but it’s still just learning a couple of things about myself before I do turn pro,” Armstrong said.

“But I’ll stay amateur in 2018 definitely and then kind of see how the year goes and evaluate from there.”

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