We are now two weeks away from the 97th Nexus Advisernet WA Open, which means the field of players are beginning to take shape.
Royal Fremantle’s very own reigning champion, Hayden Hopewell, will return to defend his championship having tasted victory some 18 months ago when the Open was last held. He will be joined by fellow Western Australian and close mate Haydn Barron. Barron recently turned pro and the WA Open will be his first chance to put in a performance in his home state since turning.
Lakelands’ Ryan Peake will also be playing in his first WA Open since turning pro. Peake is a former winner of the GolfWA State Sand Green Championship as well as the State Amateur Foursomes Championship.
Fresh off his Australian Amateur Championship title last week, Joondalup’s Connor McKinney will be considered by many as a chance to trouble the field considering his hot streak of form. McKinney also ran away with the South Australian Amateur Classic only a week prior in dominant fashion.
Of course, it won’t only be Western Australians in the field; the eastern states players will be well represented headlined by Australian PGA Champion Jed Morgan who will be looking to add to his stellar start to 2022 and solidify his spot on top of the Australian Order of Merit. Sixth place in the Order of Merit at the moment is Queensland’s Louis Dobbelaar who finished third in both the Australian and Queensland PGA Championships. Dobbelaar will be playing in his maiden WA Open and searching for his first PGA title.
2022 Vic Open winner Dimitros Papadatos will be looking to add to his State Championships when he arrives at Royal Fremantle, fresh off dual top 10 finishes at the NSW Open and the Eynesbury Masters. Papadatos, Dobbelaar and Morgan have featured as prominent players in every tournament they have played in together, building a healthy golfing rivalry.
Spectators can also expect to welcome a pair of TPS winners in Aaron Pike and WA’s own Jarryd Felton. Pike won the TPS Hunter Valley earlier this year, hitting an incredible round of 62 along the way. He sits inside the top 10 in the Order of Merit alongside Felton who took out the TPS event in Bonnie Doon earlier this year. Felton will look to continue what could very well be a breakout year for him.
Derek Ackerman will front the overseas contingency, the American joining the Australian PGA Tour this year and fairing well. Ackerman won the recent National PGA Classic by two shots. He adds another recent title to the field, stacking it with talent that has been in a rich vein of form.
And there will be several past WA Open Champions including Oliver Goss, Rohan Blizzard and Michael Wright as well as 6 time European Tour Winner Brett Rumford. Add to that players of the calibre of Peter Lonard and Peter Fowler, there is a wealth of talent on display.
Clearly the Nexus Advisernet WA Open is building up to be a massive tournament when the players converge on the fairways of Royal Fremantle. Arguably some of the most talented players in the country will be in our backyard in two weeks time and you can watch them and all the action for free between the 28th of April and the 1st of May!