Kim Felton aims for more WA Open magic

9th Oct 2014

Three time champion Kim Felton will be one of the many WA professionals to watch when the John Hughes Nexus Risk Services WA Open gets underway in Cottesloe from the 16th to the 19th of October.

Felton was the champion in 2001, 2003 and 2006 and finished in fourth place last year at Mount Lawley, but it was at the 2009 WA Open when it was last held at Cottesloe that Felton made one of his most memorable appearances.

Starting the final hole in a tie for second place, Felton played one of the most remarkable holes in WA Open History.

“I remember my brother Tod saying we need birdie for outright second on the tee. Unfortunately I hit an average tee shot into right trap and needed a 4 iron to get to pin. After my second shot into the lip of the bunker, it popped out to around 160m out on the fairway.”

With hope of the extra $5,000 for an outright second place finish fading away, Felton then found himself scrambling for par to keep in a tie for second place.

“Tod said it was a perfect 6-iron and I should ahead and rip it, which I did and somehow it went in! As golfers we remember a lot of the bad luck we are dealt with in golf, but this was a time when I was super lucky and I won’t forget it.”

The WA Open has been a happy hunting ground with three victories, a second and a fourth placed finish over the last 14 years. Felton puts a lot of his success locally to his familiarity with Perth’s courses.

“I think just playing at home and playing courses you’ve played since you were young. I feel comfortable around certain golf courses and I get that feeling around the great WA tracks we have that host these great events.”

After a remodelling earlier in the year, Cottesloe’s layout is slightly different with holes 12 and 13 being lengthened and the tee shot on 14 being moved into the prevailing winds to make the back nine a much harder prospect.

“I played the Cottesloe Open earlier this year and got to see the course and new holes. I think they’re great holes that really fit in well but are definitely harder than the were previously.

“The back 9 is probably two to three shots harder now than the front, so the front 9 will be the scoring 9 and the back 9 makes you hit good shots to post a good round.”

As for his advice on how to score well next week, Felton says to look for the par fives.

“Drive it well around there and take advantage of the par 5’s I still think is the key. As always whoever putts the best will go close to winning.”

Over the past few years, Felton has payed close attention to WA’s younger golfers coming through the ranks, choosing to play his practise rounds last year with members of GolfWA’s state team. This year, he expects to see many of these amateurs make a run for the title.

“I would say Curtis Luck and Jarryd Felton and 2012 winner Oliver Goss are all massive chances, but I wouldn’t be betting against Curtis around his home track, that’s a massive advantage.”

“I’m sure Jarryd’s played it plenty also. All great players that WA should be proud of and definitely get out to watch them. They’re all going to have very successful and amazing careers in the game.”