Jarryd Felton has good reason to feel under a bit more pressure than the rest of the field ahead of next week’s Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open at Royal Perth.
That’s because the 22-year-old will do what few, in any, professional golfer has ever done – he’ll be pegging it up in the same tournament as his girlfriend, Hannah Green.
Green is one of the rising stars of women’s golf and will take on the men at the WA Open, following her breakthrough rookie season in the United States, when she was a three-time winner on the Symetra Tour to book her 2018 LPGA Tour card.
Felton has himself enjoyed a good year, highlighted by victory at the New Zealand PGA Championship, but admitted the presence of his long-time girlfriend in the same field had given him pause for thought ahead of the next week’s ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia event.
“I’m very nervous don’t worry!” he told the Inside The Ropes podcast.
“I’m legitimately nervous. Royal Perth isn’t long but it is quite tight and obviously Hannah hits it straight and I may hit a few offline.”
Many pundits believe Green is capable of becoming the first female to make the cut at the century-old tournament and, while she will have only a couple of days to recover after flying back from the US, Felton suspects Royal Perth’s tight lay-out will at least favour her precision play.
“I know Hannah played around Royal Freo (at the 2015 WA Open) which is a little bit longer and she struggled a bit with the length there, but I don’t think she’s struggle at all around Royal Perth with the length,” said Felton, who is heading into the tournament believing he can grab a second win on this year’s ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“I played well in Fiji and then okay in Darwin, it’s been good to have a bit of a break.
“I was crook for about two weeks so I didn’t move too much but I definitely rate my chances pretty highly. I enjoy Royal Perth and hopefully I get off to a good start.”
A strong field is set to assemble for the tournament, which runs from October 19-22, with Curtis Luck having flown back to Perth last week to defend his title while World Super 6 Perth champion Brett Rumford is also set to tee it up on his home course.
Former champions Oliver Goss – the 2014 US Masters Silver Cup winner – and Daniel Fox are also in a field that is certain to draw plenty of attention with general admission free across all four days.
— GolfWA (@GolfWestAust) October 12, 2017
“It is actually a really quality field. It’s going to be a great event,” said Felton, who believes the success of WA players overseas is helping to create a conveyor belt of talent in the state.
“I guess it’s because we’re all just such close mates and we’ve got great coaches over here and we just push each other.
“Curtis is out there playing PGA Tour events this year and we all want to get out there. We all want to beat Curtis and he’s back playing the WA Open next week so we want to try and test ourselves against him.
“Gossy was our best player on Web.com coming back and Rummy and Scriv on the European Tour.
“The guys that we’ve played against in amateur golf are there doing it so why can’t we work harder and get on ourselves.”
Following the WA Open next week Felton is set to fly out to Spain where he will take part in the second stage of qualifying for the European Tour after deciding against another crack at Web.com Tour Q-School in the US.
“I went to both last year and the second stages clash so you can’t do second stage of Web.com and the second stage of Europe,” he said.
“I chose Web last year and didn’t succeed and really just didn’t enjoy it as much so I’m going to give Europe a god this year.”
:: GolfWA is looking for new ways to grow the game at every level in the state and you can help by simply following us on social media. Please click on any of the links below and like us!