Joondalup’s teenage superstars Amie Phobubpa and Aldrich Potgieter are the 2021 WA Amateur Champions after an exciting final matchplay round at Lakelands Country Club. A double header for the Joondalup Country Club who commented, “we are thrilled and extremely proud of these terrific kids.”
Favoured finalist, and winner from the last two consecutive years Kirsten Rudgeley took Phobubpa to the 36th hole all square. The ladies both had solid drives on the Par 5, 18th, but it was Phobubpa’s third shot four foot from the pin, that gave her the winning birdie to seal the match 1UP.
Rudgeley was 1UP after eighteen, and steadily gained a lead to 4UP over Phobubpa through to the 28th hole, however the slick challenging greens started to cause her some headaches and by the 32nd hole the ladies were back to all square. Rudgeley won the hole on the 34th with a tap in birdie after Phobubpa overshot the green with her third. The 35th, par 3 left Rudgeley with a challenging downhill putt, which fell away at an unrecoverable distance. Phobubpa made Par to bring the final hole approach to all square.
Phobubpa was “so happy to have won today, and congratulated Rudgeley on being such a great competitior. The course was in great condition and it was very challenging for all of us.” Final embraces of many of the spectators, parents, and the finalists themselves was a testament to the genuine friendship and support the Phobubpa and Rudgeley families and friends have for each other. It was a classy note to finish the five day women’s competition.
Potgieter and WAGC’s finalist Haydn Barron were neck and neck all day, finishing the first eighteen at all square. They remained steady but Barron was looking to be edging away winning the 23rd hole to get to 2UP after Potgieter’s green approach strayed into the scrub and palm tree. This lead was short-lived with Barron over shooting the green on the 24th par 4 meeting with the water, and Potgieter winning the hole.
Potgieter opened a window for Barron on the 26th, driving to a tricky position well into the trees on the left. Barron remained steady in the middle of the fairway, and had a fantastic second shot to the green making it appear a promising win ahead. With seemingly no view of the green, Potgieter managed an incredible recovery to hit his 6 iron 178 metres from the trees to the back edge of the green to square the hole.
The match continued with the boys trading birdies with Aldrich just ahead at 1UP starting the 35th hole. With both boys on the green it came down to the putts and Potgieter nailed his final one to seal the match 2&1 to a large cheer. Both popular competitors, the boys were well supported by fellow club members, family and friends. A teary Potgieter senior struggled with words, full of pride for his talented sixteen year old son.
Barron accepting his runner-up award at presentations thanked host club Lakelands and warmly congratulated Potgieter, “you’re an awesome guy and so talented. What a future you have ahead of you.”