The first day of match play proved to be an exciting and challenging one for the final 32 gents and 16 ladies competing in this years WA State Amateur Championships.
Haydn Barron sailed through today defeating local boys Ian Pienaar and Zac Vaughn. Barron will face Royal Fremantle teen Alex Maxwell, who is on form defeating Round 2 top scorer Liam Purslowe and new Cottesloe recruit Shaun Cameron.
One would predict the more experienced Barron would move forward to the semi-final but Maxwell is certainly one to watch.
The matchup between Joondalup’s Josh Greer and Fremantle’s Hayden Hopewell was always going to be a strong one. Hopewell led the charge early – at one point he was 4 up, but Greer fought back hard but it proved to be too little too late with Hopewell taking the match 2&1.
Naraajie Emerald is the last international competitor in the mix after winning two gruelling matches against West Aussie locals. Both of Emerald’s matches went through to the 20th and 21st holes respectively. Emerald, from Jakarta, is playing in his second WA Am and now faces Royal Fremantle favourite Hayden Hopewell tomorrow in the quarter-finals.
Mount Lawley club champion Jordan Jung had a strong day defeating last year’s champion Azer Pehlic. Jung then trumped WAGC’s Adam Chemello with a confident win 6&4.
Jung will face Cottesloe GC’s experienced Paul Patterson who had two confident wins over the Adam Brady and Tristan Geerlings.
Speaking after his round, Paul said, “I have played Jordan once before in pennants. I am currently none from one but looking forward to tomorrow.”
Joondalup’s Thomas Botica played through to the 25th hole to defeat talented Cottesloe player Jack Patterson. It was Jack’s 45th hole of match play for the day only to stumble on his last overshooting the green. A fantastic competition with both players managing four pars and two birdies to keep the competition going. Botica faces another tough Cottesloe competitor tomorrow, Michael Hanrahan Smith.
Kirsten Rudgeley, the 2019 State Am champ has a wealth of match play experience and would be the favourite in this semi-final to trump thirteen-year-old Valerie Khuu. Khuu will need to draw on all of her home course advantage if she wants to progress to Sunday’s final.
Valerie fought hard today securing wins over Amie Phobupa and Brooke Price whilst Rudgeley sailed through her earlier rounds defeating youngsters Ruby Fry and Celine Chen.
The other semi-final is set to be a tight contest between two of the top female Amateurs in WA, Kathryn Norris and Maddison Hinson Tolchard. Both are on form and have a wealth of matchplay and tournament experience.
Kathryn Norris defeated Joondalup’s Madison Large and Queenslander Candice High to easily secure her position in tomorrow’s contest. Maddy Hinson Tolchard played confidently all day defeating Fremantle’s Abbie Teasdale and Mount Lawley’s Erina Tan.
Play will commence at 7.30 am tomorrow morning with the four men’s matches. The women’s matches are scheduled to start at 7:54 am and 8:00 am and the winners of these matches will progress directly through to the 36-hole final on Sunday. All matches will start from the first tee.