Curtis Luck of Cottesloe Golf Club and Hayley Bettencourt of Mandurah Country Club have won the WA Amateur Championships at Royal Perth Golf Club this afternoon.
Luck defeated Australian Number 4 Cameron Davis of New South Wales 5&4 with a terrific putting display. Luck and Davis were square after 11 holes, but wins on the 12th, 14th, 15th and 16th gave Luck an imposing 4-up lead that he held for the remainder of the match.
Luck’s win at the State Amateur gives him his fourth title of the year, adding it to his NSW Strokeplay, Victorian Junior Masters and the WA Amateur Medal that he won earlier in the week. Luck also finished as a finalist at the Australian Amateur.
In the Women’s championship, Bettencourt trailed to Mount Lawley’s Hannah Green from the outset, quickly finding herself three back after just four holes. With Green leading by four at the halfway point, Bettencourt steadily whittled away the deficit, and eventually took a 1-up lead after 30 holes that she maintained until the last. Bettencourt opened the door for Green on 18 by leaving her approach off in some heavy rough, but a pressure 15 foot putt to save par secured the Bettencourt the championship.
Bettencourt’s secret weapon of the day was LPGA Profession Kristie Smith on the bag as her caddy. Bettencourt credited Smith for some great reads of her putts but primarily thanked her for keeping her relaxed on the golf course.
CURTIS LUCK QUOTES
How highly do you rate your putting today?
Unreal. Putting was definitely the key to success today. I couldn’t not have holed many more putts than I did to be honest. I think I had two three putts for the entire week which is pretty good going for any tournament, and to do that this week is the best timing, so yeah putting was great.
Is that what it takes to beat a guy like Cameron Davis?
Cam’s a very good player. I’ve never played with him before and I was incredibly impressed. He hits it long and hits it straight and he’s got a really good short game so you have to do some pretty good stuff to beat someone like that as he’s good in all areas.
Third win this season…where does it rate?
I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest event for me of the year because the Aussie Amateur is an incredibly strong field and to make it to the final is a big deal, but it’s a great win to win at home in WA, first state amateur title and hopefully I get to play a few more and have at them, so it’s definitely important to me and it’s a great achievement when you consider who has won it like Brett Rumford and Greg Chalmers.
What’s worked for you this year that’s helped you start competing and winning these events?
I think mentally I’m pretty stable at the moment. Not being at school I don’t have too much to worry about outside of. golf My game’s pretty good at the moment and I’m doing most things well, you can’t argue when you can do most things to a high standard, you are going to play well most days. It’s just how my year’s started, I can’t really put it down to one thing, it’s just a good start to the year.
So what’s in store for the rest of the year?
I’m heading to the US for seven weeks to play about five or six events. I get to play the Callaway World Junior and US Junior and hopefully if I can get my World Ranking to top 50 I can get an invite to the US Amateur. That’s the goal.
HAYLEY BETTENCOURT QUOTES
How does it feel to be the State Amateur Champion?
I can’t believe it. Today was definitely a really enjoyable day. I didn’t give up, that’s all I can say, I didn’t give in. Being 4 down after the first 18 and to come back was absolutely amazing.
You were fighting from the start being 3 down through 4. It must have been hard to stay in it mentally for so long.
I started just playing par golf, just my usual golf that I play attacking those holes, but Hannah holed some great birdies and I had one bogey in there so I found myself three down without doing much wrong. I just hung in there and played par golf and if the birdies come then it was a bonus.
What was the catalyst for your comeback on the back 18?
I just thought to myself that I had nothing to lose. I’ve already played Hannah before and I know how good she is. She’s going to pull out shots unexpectedly and I just tried to keep playing the way I have all week and to just relax. Kristie and I had a ball and just talked about hardly anything to do with golf and just had some fun.
It was all riding on the last putt you made. What were you thinking?
I just did the usual that I had in my head all week. Smooth stroke and putt down the line. Sure enough the ball did a lap of honour and I thought ‘oh no it’s going to lip out!’ but I think it deserved to go in after the amount of putts that have shaved the hole this week!
Kriste is a fellow State Amateur Champion, what did she say to you after you won?
She just sort of looked at me and screamed ‘how good is this!’ and I jsut looked at her and told her I could believe it. We just sort of laughed. I was a really good day!