With the Nexus Advisernet Bowra & O’Dea WA Open consigned to the history books, attention turns eastwards to the WA PGA Championship at Kalgoorlie Golf Course from October 12-15.
The event completes the West Coast swing of the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia’s 2023-24 schedule, while the $250,000 prize purse makes it one of the richest fixtures on the calendar prior to the DP World Tour co-sanctioned Australian PGA and Australian Open in November-December.
Twelve months ago, the WA PGA Championship saw Victorian David Micheluzzi edge out WA’s Jarryd Felton to win his maiden tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
Micheluzzi would use his win as a springboard to the big time, winning twice more by season’s end as he topped the Order of Merit and earned his playing rights for the DP World Tour.
This year, the WA PGA marks the fourth event of the tour season and the chase for Order of Merit honours is already intensifying. WA Open winner Simon Hawkes has moved past NT PGA champion Daniel Gale into top spot, with the season’s other winner to date, PNG Open winner Lachlan Barker, in third.
With the top three players on the season-ending Order of Merit earning DP World Tour cards, the importance of the WA PGA was underlined in four Aussies – Haydn Barron, Lincoln Tighe, Nathan Barbieri and Justin Warren – making the 15,000km expedition from St Andrews to Kalgoorlie so that they can tee it up on Thursday afternoon.
All four competed in the rain-affected Dunhill Links Championship on the DP World Tour, which didn’t finish until Monday.
In total, nearly 30 WA players will compete at Kalgoorlie, including Felton, Barron, Brett Rumford, Hayden Hopewell, Ollie Goss and Braden Becker. Fresh from his runner-up finish at the WA Open, Joondalup CC member Connor McKinney will also be hoping to make a run on the title.
WA amateurs Connor Fewkes (Goldfields GC), Tom Addy (Joondalup CC) and Joseph Buttress (WAGC) have also been given exemptions into the event. You can view the full entry list and first round draw here.
The WA PGA Championship is free for spectators to attend, while the final two rounds will be broadcast live by Fox Sports and Kayo Sports, with coverage to begin at 2pm AWST Saturday and 11.30am on Sunday.
Image credits: Australian Golf Media