Hawkes extends WA Open lead but Felton in the hunt

7th Oct 2023

Tasmania’s Simon Hawkes extended his lead to four strokes after the third round of the Nexus Advisernet Bowra & O’Dea WA Open, although a clutch of WA players remain within touching distance with 18 holes to play.

Hawkes (above left) kept his cool on a sweltering day at Joondalup Resort & Country Club to fire his third successive 67 (five under par). His round featured no dropped shots, while he came home with three birdies in six holes during a sizzling back nine.

Sitting pretty at 15 under par, Hawke’s nearest challenger is South Australia’s Jason Norris, who carded a solid 69 to move to -11 for the championship, while WA’s Jarryd Felton (above right) is in outright third a shot further back after a round of 71.

There’s further WA interest near the top of the leaderboard too, with Joondalup duo Connor McKinney (T4th, -9) and Josh Greer (T7th, -8) still in contention. McKinney mixed five birdies with four bogeys in his 71, while Greer was buoyed by three birdies in his last three holes to post a 70.

Hawkes looks in ominous form, though, and after mastering today’s tough conditions is feeling good about his chances of adding to his sole previous PGA Tour of Australasia title, which came at the 2018 Victorian Open.

“Those first six holes, you could bogey all of those holes very easily without doing much wrong,” said Hawkes. “As soon as I got through those first six holes I got into the comfort part of the golf course, started attacking some flags and getting some good numbers again.

“Once that pressure valve released when the first birdie putt rolled in, it was business as usual from there.”

Elsewhere in the field, there were notable rounds from SA’s Jak Carter, whose six-under 66 moved him up into a tie for 7th at -8, and QLD amateur Quinnton Croker, who moved into T10th at -7 after a splendid 67.

It was also a good day for WA’s Braden Becker, whose 68 moved him up into a group of eight players sharing 13th position on five under.

View the full leaderboard here.

WA amateurs continue to shine

Although Croker now sits in pole position to land low amateur honours, WA’s Joe Owen (Lake Karrinyup CC) and Jordan Doull (Mount Lawley GC) remain very much in the hunt sitting T13th at -5 for the championship.

Owen was steadiness personified in a one-birdie 71, while Doull produced some sensational golf on his way to a four-under 68, which included a monster birdie putt on 18. You can view his reaction to his round below.

The two other WA amateurs to make the cut fared less well, with Connor Fewkes (Goldfields GC) and Ollie Marsh (Wanneroo GC) carding over-par rounds to slide down the standings. Nevertheless, an intriguing shoot-out for the low amateur trophy is on the cards for Sunday.

Two-horse race for All Abilities title

Saturday also marked the first day’s play in the 36-hole WA Open All Abilities Championship for players with physical impairments. Ten players – including five from WA – are contesting the title, which is played on the same course, at the same time as the WA Open itself.

Queenslander Lachlan Wood and NSW’s two-time WA Open All Abilities defending champion Cameron Pollard are the major players in All Abilities golf in Australia and a tight tussle for for the title is underway.

Wood holds a one-stroke advantage over his rival with 18 holes to play after an opening 75, but with a WA Open three-peat on his mind, Pollard will still fancy his chances of overcoming his narrow deficit.

WA Open All Abilities

Lachlan Wood (foreground) and Cam Pollard are engaged in a close battle for the All Abilities title


View the All Abilities leaderboard here.

Day four of the WA Open will commence at 8.50am on Sunday morning, with cooler conditions expected. View the draw here. Once again, entry is free for spectators and a free shuttle service is being run in the event of a parking shortage at Joondalup Resort. More details here.

The closing round will be televised live on Fox Sports, Kayo and SportNZ between 11.30am-4.30pm.


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